Saskia McCulloch: Straight to the Point - Three

"Loss and damage is the most fragile sensitive political issue”

Contextualizing: Loss and damage has been high on the ageda point this COP. However, its very contentious as many of the "rich" countries do not want to contribute financially and have issues with compensation in regards to the need to find blame before compensation can be given. 

“The problem of unemployment in the states that is grave and needs to be addressed”.

Contextualizing: Unemployment in the US is a record highs (excluding the great depression). Youth especially have high unemployment rates, leading to a lot of other social implications. This speaker was combining the role of the "green economy" and green initiatives to bridge the gap between climate change and unemployment. 

“The price is really low at the moment”

Contextualizing: The Emissions Trading Scheme in New Zealand, and other part of the world have ended up being ineffective in creating a reduction of carbon emissions. The scheme provides a financial incentive for the reduction of emissions, originally the credits were around NZD$ 20 - 25.00 and now they are less than NZD$ 5.00. In many cases the financial incentive is lost as it is cheaper to continue rather than move to cleaner energy sources. 

“Focus on building climate smart infrastructure"

Contextualizing: This quote was specifically focused on the how we can bridge the gap between youth unemployment - to make current systems smarter reducing the energy loss in each process. For example, fixing water pipelines to reduce the amount of water lost. However, I see this in more general terms as well. Why are we moving to drill oil of the coast of New Zealand? Why are we not building more Climate smart infrastructure - more renewable energy stations? Why would we spend money on furthering a dying industry instead of financing clean energy that is the way forward?

"There is an injustice about how climate change affects our world today”

Contextualizing: This is a quote from Mary Robinson on world Gender today. It reflects two realities. The first, that women are most likely to be affected more than men due to climate change. Secondly, that those countries who have burnt fossil fuels and become rich from it will not bare the immediate and initial consequences of climate change - those that are at high risk from climate change are not the ones who created it. 

“The world is not always just. Thats why we are here, to make it better”

Contextualizing: The world is not just. Simple. We are here. Here spending long hours to try and negotiated a solution to the issue. To make it better. How successful these processes are, is negotiable. 

“The objective of the convention is stabilized temperature change"

Contextualizing: Stabilized temperature change, means that we do not exceed 2 degrees in warming. The issue is, how do we balance this, how to we get an agreement to make this goal a reality. 

“There is no guarantee we limit warming so we all burn”

Contextualizing: The bottom-up approach of "pledge and review" creates a risk that not enough is done to reach the 2 degree mark. The difference between what is needed for the 2 degree target, and what is on the table for pledges is called "the gap". This
"Gap" is a very stark reality - it needs to be filled.


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Posted on November 21, 2013 and filed under UN Climate Talks 2013.