There aren’t many designers who can find inspiration in a campaign to save Venice from the effects of climate change but Vivienne Westwood is unique.
The show for her Gold Label collection, at Paris fashion week on Saturday, was called Mirror The World, and saw the designer put the city – slowly sinking into its surrounding lagoon – centre stage on the Paris catwalk. A pre-show film on her blog saw Westwood speak of Venice as an “emporium of culture”, citing painters Titian and Bellini, and the city’s carnival, as inspiration.Continue reading...
Mark Carney calls it the Tragedy of the Horizon: the chronic inability of Britain’s leaders, whether in business or politics, to tackle challenges that extend more than a few years ahead. There are plenty of examples, from the shameful failure to build enough homes to the indecision about whether, and where, to add to airport capacity. But climate change is the ultimate example: it presents an existential threat to the status quo, yet it barely features in the day-to-day calculations of many business and policymakers. It’s too big, too scary and, most of all, too distant, to start planning for.
The governor of the Bank of England was castigated by some last week for offering doom-laden prognostications about global warming’s potential impact, straying into territory more commonly occupied by the Green party than financial technocrats. Some in the City believe the spirit of buccaneering free enterprise and the inexorable advance of innovation will eventually meet the challenges of climate change head on, as evidence mounts of its potential costs. Yet as Carney pointed out, threats often take financial markets by surprise, even when they should have been foreseeable. Volkswagen’s flagrant fiddling of vehicle emissions tests surely scotches the idea that big business will get to grips with the problem of its own accord.Continue reading...
What is (or should be) the role of climate science in the upcoming negotiations? Discuss.
Survey of 440 sustainability workers around the world finds companies are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints
More companies are making climate change one of their top sustainability priorities, according to a survey released this week by nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility, which counts big brands like consumer goods giant Unilever and food and beverage maker Coca-Cola among its members.
The annual survey, which polled 440 sustainability workers from nearly 200 companies around the world, aims to provide a snapshot of what environmental and social issues are important to businesses over the coming year.Continue reading...
When more water is being found on Mars than in California, you know the drought is bad. Comedian Jason Saenz created and posted his own signs about the drought around Los AngelesContinue reading...
India’s announcement means all the world’s biggest economies are now publicly in favour of a deal, but there are still challenges ahead
With India’s plan for curbing carbon emissions now in, most of the major developing economies have responded to the UN’s requests for the commitments on climate change that will form the keystone of an agreement to be signed in Paris this December.
Those commitments – to make absolute cuts in future emissions levels, in the case of developed countries; to curb future emissions growth, in the case of less industrialised nations – will not add up to the cuts that scientists say are needed to avoid more than 2C of warming above pre-industrial levels. This is significant, because the 2C threshold is regarded as the limit of safety, beyond which the changes in the climate are likely to become catastrophic and irreversible.Continue reading...
Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) equipped with more than six thousand (6,000) signatures urging DENR Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje to deny DMCI an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for a proposed coal power plant in the Philippines’ last ecological frontier – Palawan. The ECC is to ensure that projects will not have negative impacts to the environment.
“These signatures will not be a waste. This is strong evidence that people are against the coal project in Palawan. DMCI must prove to us that the environmental reasons behind these signatures are invalid before they can get the ECC,” says USec Ignacio.
Cynthia Sumagaysay del Rosario said , “DENR told us that DMCI has not submitted any EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) that is necessary to have an ECC. We will not let our guards down and we will remain vigilant.”
The ECC is the final step before project implementation. Previously, the Provincial Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) chair Provincial Governor Jose C. Alvarez had approved the project on the provincial level.
Palawan Getting Rid of DMCI
PACE and other anti-coal groups continue to stand against the project. DMCI has been turned away from Barangay Panacan in the Municipality of Narra, and also in Barangay San Juan, Aborlan. About four months ago, the City Government of Puerto Princesa issued a resolution which vehemently opposed the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Palawan. More recently, the Barangay Council of Irawan issued a similar resolution against the coal project. These milestones of organized resistance only prove that the people continue to reap victories against coal.
“Our livelihood largely depends on fishing and farming. DMCI may be able to pay the penalties to any environmental damages if this project will push though– but its impacts to our lives and livelihood will be irreversible.” Manong Teofilo, a farmer from Barangay Calatigas stated.
November this year, the UN Conference on Climate Change or COP21 will gather in Paris. If participating governments fail to come up with legally binding agreements to keep global warming below 2ºC, it will be the less developed countries, who contribute very little to the worsening climate, which will be deeply affected. To achieve this goal, 80% of the known coal reserves should be kept in the ground. This burden falls greatly on the shoulders of the biggest polluter economies in the world.
For Manong Teofilo and the communities at the frontline whose lives and livelihood are at stake, finding solutions is very real and urgent. There is no place for coal in the country’s last ecological frontier, national pride and heritage. To all who supported, the fight is not yet over! We’ve delivered our voices resisting coal in Palawan—our persistence in unified action will determine the fate of DMCI’s coal power project.
World’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter says it will source 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources, ahead of Paris climate summit
India, the world’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has pledged to source 40% of its electricity from renewable and other low-carbon sources by 2030.
It is the last major economy, following 140 other countries including China, the US and the EU, to submit a climate change plan to the UN before international talks to reach a deal on tackling global warming in Paris this December.Continue reading...
By Emily Gayfer, RMIT student
This week the Times Higher Education (THE) World Academic Summit has drawn hundreds of leading academics and professionals from across the global higher education sector to the University of Melbourne, Australia.
There are currently over 400 divestment campaigns at campuses worldwide. 40 educational institutions have already chosen to move their endowments away from coal, oil and gas companies because they recognise fossil fuels carry ethical and financial risks. As more universities see the writing on the wall for fossil fuels, this number is only set to grow. Yet, this week, World Academic Summit organisers left the issue off the agenda.
So instead, students organised their own, alternative Fossil Free Summit to show that divestment is a critical issue for the higher education sector and to send a clear message that our universities need to get a wriggle on with divesting if they want a livable future and a credible reputation.
As Summit attendees arrived on Wednesday evening, they were met with divestment campaigners offering ‘fossil free’ cupcakes and flyers inviting them to the Fossil Free Summit. Some lively conversations were had while other attendees brushed off students as they made a bee-line for the champagne.
The drinks reception had originally been planned for the stunning University of Melbourne Quadrangle but was re-located at the last minute in an attempt to avoid fossil free campaigners, who had chalked “Get with the times, divest” among other slogans on the long pathway to the Quadrangle. Organisers didn’t go as a far as to get the trusty hose out and spray down the messages- choosing to rush attendees through the area poste haste instead.
The next morning, students marched to the site of the World Academic Summit bearing a giant clock with the slogan “Get with the times, divest”. Aside from making their way noisily through the venue of the World Academic Summit, students announced their own Australian Fossil Free University Rankings to parallel the release of the World University Rankings in the THE Summit.
First place went to ANU for their commitment to partial divestment in October 2014, and worst to UNSW for their staunch, public refusal to divest. A student acting on behalf of ANU was awarded with a polar bear trophy, while UNSW was given a giant cheque from ‘polluters’.
The rankings showed that whilst some institutions are making progress, none have gone all the way and fully committed to fossil fuel
divestment. Clearly, universities are not acting fast enough to break their ties with the dirty fossil fuel industry which is driving dangerous climate change.
Divestment is an incredible opportunity for institutions to show thought leadership and drive the transition away from polluting fossil fuels. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and we need to take serious action to ensure dangerous warming does not occur. Students have shown that they want their universities to stand up and tackle climate change head on, and it’s time they respond by taking their money out of the dirty fossil fuel sector and move it to the clean, renewable energy industries of the future.
Emily Gayfer is a passionate environmentalist and activist. She is currently studying a double degree of Environmental Science and Social Science (Environment) at RMIT. She is also involved with Friends of the Earth’s Yes2Renewables campaign.
Joides Resolution research vessel drilled to find seabed sediment holding climate records up to 5m years old but discovered some dated to 50m years ago
Knowledge of Australia’s climate history has been expanded to the past 50m years, up from the past 500,000 years, via a major international scientific voyage from Fremantle to Darwin.