Talking ‘bout my generation — Is climate change all about a form of intergenerational warfare? As Conference participants lined up to get a morning cup of coffee, youth delegates staged a rally nearby complaining that their voices were being ignored. Many of the delegates sported “gags” to make the point that that their voices were not being heard. At the heart of the argument is the contention that by not moving to address climate change, the adult population is degrading the environment, and ultimately, dooming future generation to impoverishment.
When adaptation fails—An issue that has sparked considerable debate in Warsaw concerns people who have basically lost everything because of climate-related events. A decision to consider the issue, known as loss and damage, was adopted in Doha last year at the prodding of developing countries, particularly small island developing countries. NGOs at the Conference cited cases of people in Bangladesh who have been forced to move more than 30 times over the last six years, as rising waters had ruined their homes and engulfed their land. They contend that the problem stems from the failure of developed countries to reduce emissions or provide financing or technology and that developed countries were morally obligated to offset these loses.
What would a deal look like?—One of the big questions for the negotiating process going forward is to decide on the nature of what an agreement would look like. Just how would countries make new pledges under the process, NGOs are asking. There is a need, says Jennifer Morgan, of the World Resources Institute, to have something more transparent and systematic than the pledges that came out of Copenhagen four years ago, which she said were not publicly discussed and which were announced very late. Still to be answered, she said, were issues pertaining to what would be included in the pledges, or offers, and what kind of level of ambition would they reflect? Would the offers follow any international guidance or would there be a “wild west” approach? And when would countries make their offers, she asked—at the 2014 Climate Summit, at COP 20 in Lima, or in 2015? And then, would there be any review of the adequacy of the offers. “It is time to get far more specific.”