TUESDAY 27 NOVEMBER
Gender Day in Doha—It is true that a women leads the Climate Change Convention. And there are many women delegates in Doha. But even here, and historically, the gender balance in the climate change negotiations has been seriously out of whack. That’s why today is Gender Day here in Doha, with several discussions about the role of women in the climate change negotiations and the issue of climate change and women. In the opening, UNFCCC’s Christiana Figueres, who said the reason she wanted to tackle climate change was for her daughters, their children, and future generations, added that “We need to maximize potential of everyone because it is going to take every one of us to address climate change.”
Climate is risky business—How is climate change really affecting people? And how well do adaptation strategies really work? UN University teamed up with some partners to check with people in areas in Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Gambia, and Kenya to see how things were going. And the answer, in each, was not so well. In Bangladesh, coastal farmers in Satkhira have endured two years now of poor harvests due to increased soil salinity with damages totaling $1.9 million for four villages. In Bhutan, strategies to shift crops to adapt to decreasing rainfall have not been sufficient. And in Kenya, efforts to cope with more and more floods have not helped people enough to avoid having to sell property and assets while in Micronesia, building seawalls has not been enough to confront rising sea level, and the result has been the loss of cultural heritage.
For Pa Ousman Jarbin, who leads the Least Developed Country group, the findings point to the need for sufficient financing for adaptation projects in developing countries. He says that there are now five least developed countries that are now receiving more than 20 million dollars each for adaptation projects. He also says the financing must come in the form of grants, not loans. “I am totally against getting loans for adaptation,” fearing that future generation will be saddled with debt for a problem that the poorest did not make.
Next COP: Warsaw— Poland, which hosted the climate change conference in 2008 in Poznan is now poised to host the 2013 conference. The conferences, which are held in different regions every year, goes to East Europe, and Warsaw, Poland will be the next host. And Warsaw is already on the scene in Doha, with all the maps and travel information that any visitor should ever need.
Permafrost not so permanent—The permafrost, a unique expanse of frozen landscape that lies just south of the Arctic Ocean, is thawing and the results could be far-ranging. According to a new report from UNEP, about 39 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions will come from thawing permafrost by the end of the century. The thaw is already having a big impact on life in the region, which spans Russia, the United States, China and Canada. Apartment buildings have collapsed and the infrastructure, such as hydroelectric dams in Switzerland, are threatened.
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