Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth

At the Word People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (held in Cochabamba, Bolivia from 19-22 April 2010), a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth was proclaimed, which inter alia recognises that ‘Mother Earth is a living being’ with various inherent rights including ‘the right to be respected’. The declaration can be downloaded  here.

‘Challenge of the New Balance’ – study on options for reducing emissions in India

In January this year, India had declared that it would voluntarily reduce emissions intensity of the GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in comparison to the 2005 level. Will it be able to do so and what is the technology-emission reduction road map for India? A report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), which was released here today, finds while industry can meet the 2020 target under even business as usual scenario, its options beyond this are few, difficult and very expensive.

The study, using extensive data on each sector collected from the industries, concludes that most Indian industry is already efficient in terms of its use of energy and emissions. But in all these sectors, technology options for emission reduction stagnate after 2020. There is no way to reduce emissions without impacting growth once we cross the current emissions-efficiency technology threshold, says the study. Continue reading

New book – ‘Global Climate Governance Beyond 2012’

A cutting-edge assessment of policy options for future global climate governance, written by a team of leading experts from the European Union and developing countries. Global climate governance is at a crossroads. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was merely a first step, and its core commitments expire in 2012. This book addresses three questions which will be central to any new climate agreement. What is the most effective overall legal and institutional architecture for successful and equitable  climate politics? What role should non-state actors play, including multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, public-private partnerships and market mechanisms in general? How can we deal with the growing challenge of adapting our existing institutions to a substantially warmer world? This important resource offers policy practitioners in-depth qualitative and quantitative assessments of the costs and benefits of various policy options, and also offers academics from wide-ranging disciplines insight into innovative interdisciplinary approaches towards international climate negotiations.

Continue reading

Oxfam report released on ‘Poverty, vulnerability and climate variability in Ethiopia’

Climate variability in Ethiopia is not new – but now, in addition to the usual struggles, Ethiopians living in poverty are additionally suffering the effects of climate change – both more variable climate and more extreme weather events.

People who are already poor and marginalized are struggling with the added burden of climate variability. For now, this means that the little that they have goes to dealing with the current unpredictable weather because their livelihoods are so dependent on it. When selling off assets becomes a mean to cope, there is little left to plan for the future. Thus, communities are faced with simultaneously increasing climate variability, and with it increasing risk and vulnerability. Continue reading


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