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Friday, December 7, 2012

  • "If Not Now, Then When?": Filipino Negotiator Pleads for Climate Deal After Typhoon Kills 500

    Yeb_sano

    Talks at the 18th U.N. Climate Change Conference in Doha are taking place in the shadow of a devastating typhoon that struck the southern Philippines on Tuesday, leaving more than 500 dead, hundreds missing, and at least 250,000 homeless. "We have never had a typhoon like Bopha, which has wreaked havoc in a part of the country that has never seen a storm like this in half a century. And heartbreaking tragedies like this is not unique to the Philippines, because the whole world, especially developing countries struggling to address poverty and achieve social and human development, confront these same realities," said Yeb Saño, member of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, who broke down Thursday while calling on negotiators to do more. "Please ... let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to ... take responsibility for the future we want. I ask of all of us here, if not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?" For more, we are joined by Heherson Alvarez, another climate delegate from the Philippines and fellow member of the Philippines Climate Change Commission. [includes rush transcript]

  • Profiting From Pollution: Top Venezuelan Negotiator on the Economic Motives Behind the Climate Talks

    Claudia

    We speak with Claudia Salerno, the top negotiator for Venezuela at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Doha, who is known for her dramatic action at the conference three years ago in Copenhagen when she bloodied her fist while banging it on the table, demanding to be heard. She says her main concern this year is that new commitments to the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding international climate agreement, will be "meaningless." "The first thing that countries need to understand when they want to succeed in this process is to understand that this is not an environmental process," Salerno says. "This is a process that is going to have impact in economics, so that is why it is so difficult for developed countries that are doing well economically, or even doing bad, to do the necessary changes in their economics." [includes rush transcript]

  • "Your Governments Have Failed You": Syrian-American Student Munira Sibai Calls For Climate Justice

    Munira_sibai

    Speaking on behalf of youth organizations, 19-year-old Munira Sibai criticized the actions of world leaders as she addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar. "Over the past two weeks, we have seen not only a complete absence of vision, but also an active effort by some to move backwards," Sibai said. "Those who have caused the climate crisis already accepted the responsibility to solve it two decades ago. Today, after 18 years of inaction, the same countries are backing away from that obligation. The foundational principle of equity is under attack." [includes rush transcript]

  • "The Most Obdurate Bully in the Room": U.S. Widely Criticized for Role at Climate Talks

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    We speak with two representatives of civil society who have attended the U.N. climate talks for the past decade. "We strongly believe that we need a high level of ambition, we need urgent action, and we need action based on equitable sharing of the atmospheric space," says Sunita Narain, Indian environmentalist and director general of the Centre for Science and Environment. "So we said to the Indian government, we expect the Indian government to be hard on what the world needs and to walk out now, because I think the time for talking is gone. We need hard action." We are also joined by Tom Goldtooth, a member of the Indigenous Caucus and executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. "There’s no guarantee we’re going to have a strong Doha deal coming out of here," Goldtooth says. "So we’re committing as Native indigenous peoples from the United States to go back and have highest-level government-to-government meetings with Obama and his administration to hold him accountable to some commitments he made on climate." [includes rush transcript]

  • Qatari Human Rights Official Defends Life Sentence for Poet Who Praised Arab Spring Uprisings

    Poet

    Three days after the United Nations Climate Change Conference began here in Doha, a Qatari court sentenced a local poet to life in prison, a move that shocked many activists in the Gulf region and human rights observers. The sentencing of Mohammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami came nearly two years after he wrote a poem titled "Tunisian Jasmine," supporting the uprisings in the Arab world. "We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive elites!" al-Ajami wrote. "The Arab governments and who rules them are, without exception, thieves. Thieves!" We speak to his attorney and a member of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee. [includes rush transcript]

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