Category Archives: Civil Society

Venezuela’s 2014 climate summit faces credibility crisis

By Guy Edwards, Michael Murphy and Paola Eisner


Deteriorating political stability, which has allegedly left 150 injured and 50 dead, does not bode well for Venezuela’s plans to host a climate summit in November before the UN Climate Convention meets in Peru this December.

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CDL catches up with Brianna Craft, a Brown and CDL alum in Warsaw

By Sophie Purdom


Early Thursday morning as harried negotiators streamed into the National Stadium, we sat down with a composed research assistant to the LDC Group. Brianna Craft had already been at work for hours before, supporting her boss in breaking negotiations and backdoor deals. “We stay here practically all night,” she confessed.

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UN Climate Negotiations: Indigenous Resistance from Within

By Camila Bustos


In 2009, Members of Indigenous Organizations Including COICA Gathered to Form a Human Banner. Photo Credit:

As climate finance and “loss and damage” payments dominated the agenda at last November’s United Nations climate change negotiations in Warsaw, Poland, indigenous peoples’ groups fought to be heard.

One of the most vocal and visible indigenous groups at the UN climate talks, COICA (The Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon) was founded in 1984 as the umbrella group for more than 350 indigenous organizations in nine different countries. It works to address issues of human rights, self-determination, and natural resource protection.

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Lima Must Deliver on Indigenous Peoples’ Vision of Inclusive Climate Decision-Making

By Keith MaddenImage

A year from now, Lima, Peru will host the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  For Latin American Indigenous peoples—who make up a large proportion of the populations of Peru and neighboring Bolivia and Ecuador—COP20 is a pivotal chance to coordinate and leverage their influence on the international stage.

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Corporate Influences Silence Voices Demanding Progress at COP19

By Bryna Cofrin-Shaw


At 5 pm on November 23rd, 2013, the Warsaw stadium hosting this year’s UN Climate Conference, COP19,  erupted in applause. The room, packed with party delegates and observers who had already worked through the final night and into the next evening showed enormous relief that some progress had been made. The progress in question? To adopt a future mitigation agenda “inviting” parties to initiate “preparations” for intended nationally determined contributions. In other words, No emissions targets, no pledge and review process, not even commitments.

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CAN-LA and the Latin American Platform on Climate present on Latin America’s climate policies at COP19

By Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis and Alison Kirsch 

ImagePhoto credit: Alison Kirsch 

Two of Latin America’s leading climate change networks organized a side event at COP19 in Warsaw, to analyze the climate policies of Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, while also sharing experiences of other countries in the region.

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Ecological Debt and Climate Justice After Durban: Time for Some Practical Politics

By Timmons Roberts*


Photo Cred: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Written December 21, 2011, posted March 21, 2012

In the utilitarian lecture-hall of the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, some of the world’s top scholars and activists on the “ecological debt” spoke to a half-full hall.   Impassioned speeches outlined the big idea: that rather than owing a huge economic debt to private and World Bank lenders and governments of the wealthier nations, the world’s poorer nations are actually owed an “ecological debt” due to the plundering of their natural resources by colonists and neo-colonizing corporations alike.

Who owes by this reckoning?  The global North.  The bill?  By one scholarly estimate: US$1.8 trillion.  Others argue that it is impossible to calculate the value of complex ecological systems, but the first level estimation is that the financial debt of poor nations is tiny in comparison and should be forgiven.

The microphone is passed around the audience in the risers, and finally finds its way to the hands of a Durban labor union leader.

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Latin American governments and civil society combine forces at COP17

By Guy Edwards

The COP17 was a watershed moment for Latin American civil society participation in the UNFCCC negotiations. Civil society organizations (CSOs) actively engaged with governments at the talks and, in turn, governments made efforts to reach out to civil society. This increased level of exchange can be observed on two levels.

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Occupy COP17

By Adam Kotin and Cecilia Pineda


As negotiators determine the fate of the Kyoto Protocol on the last day of COP17, youth from all over the world, NGO members, and a few distinguished negotiators stormed the hallways of the International Convention Centre demanding climate justice.

Protesters began the march toward the opening plenary for the 7th meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) singing a mix of the South African miner’s song “Shosholoza” and chants for climate justice. Borrowing the human microphone from the U.S. Occupy Wall Street movement, they voiced their demands for the negotiators to come up with an ambitious, legally-binding treaty to reduce emissions. Continue reading