QUNO's Human Impacts of Climate Change programme briefly summarizes the latest climate science ahead of the COP 21 climate change negotiations taking place in Paris in December 2015.
Climate Change and the International Negotiations
A "Quaker Statement on Climate Change" has been signed by a large number of Quaker organizations, having been distributed to all Yearly Meetings across the world. The Statement recognizes the personal and collective responsibility to respond to anthropogenic climate change and calls for fair, sufficient and effective international action.
Read it by following the document link below.
Representative for Climate Change, Lindsey Fielder Cook, reflects on the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Over the course of three years leading up to COP21, QUNO engaged in quiet diplomacy at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), offering delegates a more 'human' space in what could seem at times like an inhuman environment.
The report, available below, offers insight into this process, thoughts on the Agreement itself and a vision for what might lie ahead.
The most critical work begins now.
Between November 30 and December 11, 2015, international negotiators will meet at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 in Paris. The annual COP is the main decision making session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This meeting is historic: in the context of increasingly strong and urgent calls to tackle anthropogenic climate change, the participants will seek to agree on a new agreement applicable to all Parties.
QUNO maintains a presence at the UNFCCC and supports the negotiations through a number of avenues - particularly through our "quiet diplomacy" work. These four papers are intended to provide a comprehensive briefing for those concerned about the outcomes of COP21. The subjects are covered as follows:
- Paper 1: The UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris 2015.
- Paper 2: The importance of grassroots action to influence international climate negotiations.
- Paper 3: Questions to ask policy makers.
- Paper 4: What can we say, briefly, about the findings from climate science?
QUNO delievered an oral statement in response to the Report of the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The oral statement is a joint statement from the QUNO programmes on Natural Resource Conflict and Cooperation, and Climate Change. The statement was delivered by Programme Assistant David Elliott at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council on the Promotion and Protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Text and video (beginning at 02:37:04) of the statement are available below.
In this issue:
- What is an NDC? Elements for a New Climate Agreement
- Drones: Transparency and Protection
- I Belong: Eradicating Statelessness
- Biological Diversity, Food Security and Small-scale Farmers’ Innovation
- Highlights from QUNO New York
- News in Brief
In an article written for Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW), QUNO’s Representative for the Human Impacts of Climate Change Programme, Lindsey Fielder Cook, reports from the June negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She explores some of the challenges, controversies and opportunities that exist at the UNFCCC, the primary multilateral negotiating body responsible for setting the international agenda on climate action.
“A Call to Conscience: Quaker experiences facing the challenge of Climate Change” features interviews with Quakers worldwide on why they care about climate change, and what they are doing to address the challenge locally, nationally and internationally.
QUNO Geneva has created this publication as a form of witness in facing anthropogenic climate change through love and action, rather than fear. The people portrayed span our worldwide Quaker community, from Africa to Europe, Asia Pacific to the Americas.
Minute 36 (the Canterbury Commitment) challenges Quakers to seek a sustainable, equitable and peaceful life on Earth. Britain Yearly Meeting is responding to this challenge by focusing on how to become a low-carbon sustainable community. The Quaker United Nations Office responds to the same challenge at the international level in our work on climate change, natural resource management, food and sustainability, and human rights.
This briefing paper connects the work of QUNO to the concerns and the spirit of Minute 36, describing the linkages between local, national and international levels of engagement.
This paper presents four examples of multilateral agreements that involved complex negotiations, some spanning several years, others several decades. The examples draw on international processes in environment, disarmament, human rights and trade, exploring some of the factors that led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987), the Mine Ban Treaty (1997), the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000), and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007).
Water and land are two of the key natural resources that shape billions of peoples’ livelihoods, food security, wellbeing and identity. Developing management of water, land and food that is equitable and peaceful is an increasingly challenging task due to a multitude of factors – such as resource degradation, population growth and violent conflict – that can fuel tensions and exacerbate vulnerabilities around natural resources. Increasing climate uncertainties now lend an additional urgency to the need to develop appropriate policy and practice at international, national and local levels.
The statement encourages the Independent Expert to consider the following:
- The role that peacebuilding approaches can play in fulfilling procedural rights, in order to achieve both substantive rights and effective environmental poliy, and
- How small farmers, rural communities and marginalised sections of society can effectively participate in consultation and decision-making processes that relate to their environment.
As the UNFCCC moves towards new arrangements under the Durban Platform, facilitating trust among its Parties will be vital to enabling and encouraging States to stabilise their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and prevent dangerous levels of climate change. An effective and positive monitoring system can be an important part of building mutual trust between Parties to an international Convention, increasing confidence that all Members will fulfill their obligations by providing support for implementation while also identifying areas of non-compliance. This paper is a contribution by the Quaker United Nations Office to a discussion on what effective monitoring under the UNFCCC and its Protocols might look like, offering a small sample of approaches adopted by other international bodies and discussing some of the merits of each.
Exploring the complex interlinkages between climate change, resource scarcity, violent conflict and cooperation.
QUNO Geneva's newsletter for February to April 2009. Featured stories:
- Women in Prison: New Steps and Resolutions
- Making a Difference on Global Economic Issues
- Conscientious Objection at the Human Rights Council
- New Momentum in Nuclear Disarmament