Helping climate measures along / Columns / The Foreigner

Helping climate measures along. Another year of climate change negotiations is over, this time in Warsaw. One lesson is that campaigners can make a difference. Governments are slow and at loggerheads. The climate change negotiations in Warsaw were the nineteenth such meeting, after all, with little to show regarding substantive governmental agreement. The impasse on coordinated international activity has spurred innovative campaigns and local action from many sectors. Some are scientific, some are about community action, and some are activist.

greehousegases, globalwarming, co2, climatechange



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Helping climate measures along

Published on Saturday, 30th November, 2013 at 11:52 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.
Last Updated on 1st December 2013 at 09:37.

Another year of climate change negotiations is over, this time in Warsaw. One lesson is that campaigners can make a difference.

Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Canada
The place as seen by Portraits of ResiliencePangnirtung, Nunavut, Canada
Photo: Ilan Kelman


Governments are slow and at loggerheads. The climate change negotiations in Warsaw were the nineteenth such meeting, after all, with little to show regarding substantive governmental agreement.

The impasse on coordinated international activity has spurred innovative campaigns and local action from many sectors. Some are scientific, some are about community action, and some are activist.

One programme in which I have been involved, co-directing it since 2008 with John Crump from GRID-Arendal, is a combination of science and support for communities acting for themselves: Many Strong Voices (MSV). MSV brings together the peoples of the Arctic and tropical islands to meet climate change challenges.

Supported by the Norwegian government and the Research Council of Norway, amongst others, the years of hard work by our Arctic and island teams paid off through recognition at the Warsaw negotiations. According to readers of the UK newspaper the Guardian, MSV features as #6 in the top ten climate change campaigns.

This is a particularly proud day for MSV partners and participants, because the community action which they undertake is based on cutting-edge scientific publications. There is little point in trying to do something without a knowledge baseline.

MSV is also about education and engagement. A flagship project is Portraits of Resilience. Youth in Arctic and island communities use photography and other digital media to bring their personal stories, faces, and voices to the world. They explain how they feel and act with regards to climate change.

These people are being affected by climate change now. When today's Arctic and island youth are leaders, their communities could be dominated by climate change's impacts. MSV is helping them to stay in their communities to adjust to a difficult future.

While governments remain stuck at the annual negotiations, People Power is doing as much as feasible. But it cannot achieve everything--we still need the governments.

It does mean that we should never give up hope in the face of climate change. Joining a campaign can make a difference.

Ilan Kelman is a Reader in Risk, Resilienceand Global Healthat University College London and a Senior Research Fellow at NUPI in Oslo.



Published on Saturday, 30th November, 2013 at 11:52 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.
Last updated on 1st December 2013 at 09:37.

This post has the following tags: greehousegases, globalwarming, co2, climatechange.





  
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