MONDAY 3 DECEMBER
More bustle—The second week of negotiations at the Doha Climate Conference has brought more activity as delegations geared up for the ministerial part of the Conference that starts tomorrow.
Impatience—Asked about the youth who have been persistently calling for far more—and faster action on climate change, Climate Conference chief Christiana Figueres said she welcomed “healthy impatience on the part of youth.” But, she said, the process is about the economic restructuring of the world—and that’s not going to happen overnight.” She said “we are very far behind what the science tells us,” but added that we’ve seen more progress in the last three years than we had in the past 10.
Arab’s still low-key on climate—There has been a significant Arab NGO presence in Doha, the first climate conference ever held in the Gulf region, and the second ever held in an Arab country, with Morocco having hosted one. But the governments have not been particularly vocal. Conference President Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah said “we are not seeing an Arab group right now” even though he noted that many countries in the region were facing environmental problems. “We are not seeing a lot of activity from Arab delegations.” Still, countries in the region have been very much involved. Lebanon held a side event where they mapped out how they would reduce their emissions by 12 per cent by 2020. “We’re a small country but when there’s a will there’s a way,” said a Lebanese environment official.
An open agenda—With rumors circulating to the effect that there would be some sort of back room deal, Conference President Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah said today that “The process is very open. We have never had a hidden agenda.” He said he has been in close cooperation with all parties in the months before the Conference and said parties would never agree to a deal that they were not part of.
A new way to watch forests—Starting next spring, there will be a new way to monitor the state of the world’s forests in real time. A virtual consortium of entities such as UNEP, the World Resources Institute, Google, and NASA, are teaming up to bring real-time information to the world about the state of the world’s forests, in much the same way people learn about financial information. The information would come from satellites, remote sensing and information derived through crowd sourcing. “It’s very easy to use,” says Dr. Nigel Sizer of WRI.
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