Welcome to this edition of the Fresh Air Brief, a weekly overview of trending climate news, and upcoming meetings, events and issues that our tcktcktck partners & peers are tracking. Fresh right now:
- ITUC’s recipe for 48 million green jobs and a chance to talk with ITUC head Sharan Burrow
- UN calls for doubling renewable energy by 2030
- Greenpeace cleaner cloud campaign targets Apple, Amazon and Twitter
- Internews’ Earth Journalism Network announces Rio+20 Fellowship opportunities
New report forecasts huge job growth in the green economies of 12 countries
A new independent economic report released by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) provides astonishing figures on the benefits of serious investment in low-carbon, green economies. The green investment model shows how new investments of 2% of GDP in each of the next five years in 12 countries could create up to 48 million new jobs. The ITUC which represents 175 million workers globally has challenged leaders to invest and unlock the potential of these ‘green and decent’ jobs. You can join ITUC’s Executive Secretary, Sharan Burrow, in a special Fresh Air briefing to discuss the report’s findings this Thursday. See the details below.
Large reserves of water in Africa could help buffer impacts of climate change
A new study shows that large reserves of underground water in some of the driest parts of Africa – including Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Sudan – could provide a buffer against the effects of climate change for years to come, scientists said on Friday. Researchers from the British Geological Survey and University College London have for the first time mapped the aquifers and their respective capacities across the African continent.
UN calls for doubling renewable energy by 2030, EU first to answer.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a call to double global consumption of renewable energy over the next two decades in order to ensure sustainable economic development. The EU answered that call with a pledge to provide electricity access to 500 million people, beginning with a €50 million 2 year commitment to improving energy access in Africa and a promise to mobilise several hundred million additional euros to support concrete new investments for developing countries in the run-up to the Rio+20 conference in June’s Rio+20.
On aviation, EU to consider China’s emissions plan
China plans to use revenue from a passenger tax on international flights to cut carbon emissions in the aviation sector, which could have implications for chinese airlines in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS). EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said last week that officials were looking at a Chinese plan for its aviation carbon emissions, but did not yet have enough information to see if it could count as an “equivalent measure” under EU carbon law. An equivalent measure could lead to exemptions from the EU ETS for some carriers or flights. In the meantime, the US warned that the row over the European Union’s plans to charge foreign airlines for their carbon emissions could hold up affect UNFCCC talks.
India flips switch on Asia’s largest solar power field
With 400 million people lacking access to electricity and hundreds of millions more reliant on coal in India, the state of Gujarat leading the way to addressing both challenges by turning on Asia’s largest solar project. The new project can supply 214 megawatts of clean energy to India’s grid. The Washington Post has more.
2012’s Earth Day brings the world together
More than one billion people in 192 countries around the world are engaged in Earth Day activities April 22nd, according to Earth Day Network estimates. The network is sending a strong call to action to Heads of States to negotiating a sustainable future for planet Earth at the Rio+20 summit this June. Check out our coverage of some of the events that took place around the world.
What our partners are focused on now
On the road to Rio
As another round of negotiations on draft text for Rio+20 gets underway in New York this week, we’re learning more and more about the opportunities Rio will present for addressing climate change.
Consumers International is working on sustainable consumption and production, outlining the two likely approaches to be decided on in Rio and how this week’s negotiations might make a difference. Oil Change International, Oxfam, Greenpeace, the ITUC and GCCA staff are hosting a side event called ‘From harmful subsidies to safe subsidies‘ on the role of perverse subsidies and how Rio+20 can help eliminate them.
Policy wonks and gluttons for punishment can follow day to day progress of the negotiations via reports from IISD’s reporting service and we expect traffic will pick up on the twitter hashtag #rioplus20 over the coming days as well.
Greenpeace cleaner cloud campaign targets Apple, Amazon and Twitter
Greenpeace released a new report on the impacts of cloud computing showing the exploding increase in Internet use is mainly being powered by dirty energy. Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all scored badly in the report for relying on dirty coal and dangerous nuclear power for their data centres. In addition to high-profile stunts to raise public awareness, Greenpeace activists are flooding the email inboxes of CEOs from Microsoft, Amazon and Apple asking them to clean up the cloud.
Connecting the dots between extreme weather and climate change – a global day of action
350.org is gearing up for a global day of action on May 5th – Climate Impacts Day – to connect the dots between climate change and extreme weather. According to a recent polling, the “…direct experience of erratic weather may be convincing some people that [climate change] is no longer just a vague and distant threat.” We’re hoping that 350’s efforts will help people understand the connections, and pressure politicians to act.
Resources and opportunities
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is calling on G20 Finance ministers to drive investment of at least 2% of GDP in the green economy to create as many as 48 million jobs over the next 5 years. Join us in discussion with ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, on her organization’s recent report and what it means for workers and the green economy. The call will take place this Thursday, April 26th, at 13:30 UTC/GMT. Get dial-in details, bios and download the report here.
@ 13:00 GMT, 26 April
World Resources Institute, the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Environmental Defense Fund co-host a monthly webinar series, Climate Change Solutions: Frontline Perspectives from Around the Globe. This month, Dr. John Leitner discusses Korean Green Growth Policy as Paradigm Shift: Implications for Development, Sustainability and International Law. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. This announcement has dial-in details, speaker bios and background on the event.
@ 17:15 GMT, 30 April
We’re broadcasting our upcoming side event from inside the negotiating halls of the UN in New York next Monday. Tune in with Greenpeace, Oxfam, Oil Change International the ITUC as we chart a path off of harmful subsidies. See this page for additional details.
The Adopt a Negotiator project is accepting applications for its Rio+20 Adopt a Negotiator Fellowship, which aims to help claim young people’s place as major stakeholders in the outcomes of this summit and the work beyond while build and sustaining pressure on decision-makers to play constructive roles in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Qualified applicants have until April 30th to apply.
Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) and O Eco have developed a Fellowship program to bring journalists to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Fellowship program will start on June 14th, when the Fellows will arrive in Rio. The days prior to the Rio+20 Summit will include journalism training sessions, pre-Summit conferences, and at least one field trip. Check out Internews’ Fellowship page to learn more.
Other upcoming moments on our calendar:
- 23-25th April – Stockholm+40 international environmental conference on sustainable development in preparation for Rio +20 – a chance to galvanise a strong position on HFCs and other dangerous greenhouse gases ahead of Rio +20 and important clean air campaigns.
- 23th April – 4th May – Second Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development(UNCSD or Rio+20)
- 25-26th April – Clean Energy Ministerial 3 in London
- 5th May – 350.org to host global ‘Climate Impacts Day’ – activists will show the impacts of global climate change, and the global interest in fighting it.
Connect you with our partners in the trenches
As always, if you’re looking to dig into any of these issues and want to connect with our partners in the trenches, Fresh Air is here to help. Email me and I’ll help make it happen.
That’s all for this week’s Fresh Air Brief. We’re eager to learn how to make this as useful as possible, so all feedback is welcome. We’re also eager to accept suggestions for leads, content and opportunities you’d like to promote. Get in touch.
If you haven’t already, apply to join our Fresh Air Network.
Til next time.
By Joshua Wiese
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About the AuthorJoshua Wiese is a project director at the Global Campaign for Climate Action. He runs the Adopt a Negotiator project and publishes our weekly Fresh Air Brief
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