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:
- Leaked government plan hints at solar revolution in India
- International Energy Agency warns leading ministers to change their priorities
- Climate Impacts Day events planned for over 100 countries
- Audio from Sharan Burrows interview & our Rio+20 side event at the UN
Solar Plan Could Revolutionize India’s Energy Sector
Peru is latest developing nation to adopt climate change initiative
IEA tells leading energy ministers that the world is headed to 6C temperature increase unless they change their priorities
With better understanding of global water cycle, scientists see climate changing faster than expected
Leaked documents show recent Shell Nigeria oil spill ’60 times larger than reported’ by company
Canadian budget bill gives Cabinet power fast-track tar sands projects, blocking social and environmental protections.
Windfarms causing climate change? The news gets it wrong.
What our partners are focused on now
350.org is gearing up for a massive day of actions around the world – the first ever Climate Impacts Day on May 5th is a global event designed to “connect the dots” between climate impacts, such as extreme weather events, and the broader climate crisis. In a press release issued Monday, 350.org described an incredible diversity of events taking place more than 100 countries. 350.org can arrange interviews, access to photos and videos from around the world, and contact info for the day’s most iconic events. Get in touch with their Communication’s Director, Jamie Henn: [email protected].
Tuesday is May Day. The International Trade Union Confederation is marking the international workers’ holiday by calling on governments to act for a sustainable and equitable recovery. In case you missed last Thursday’s fascinating and inspiring call with ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrows, you can catch the audio recording and transcript here. Burrows discussed the ITUC’s recent report ‘Growing Green and Decent Jobs’; she talked about unions’ plans to shift members’ pension funds (worth US $25 trillion dollars) toward job-creating green growth; and she outlined opportunities to lobby world leaders over the next 2 months.
Country’s negotiators are in the thick of the second week of preparatory meetings for Rio+20 in New York, and many of our Tck partners are on the UN campus working to convince countries to champion their issues. Among those champions is New Zealand, who Monday joined a panel with Greenpeace, Oxfam, and others to talk about opportunities to eliminate perverse subsidies in Rio. New Zealand discussed their efforts to ensure goals and timelines to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies are a concrete outcome of Rio. You can listen to an audio recording of the Monday UN event here.
Meanwhile, back in Brazil, lawmakers bowed to agribusiness pressure and voted to pass controversial changes to the country’s forest code into law. Our partners campaigned against these changes for months – warning that they severely weaken protections for the Amazon and open up vast areas to destruction, contributing to carbon emissions and climate change. On the verge of the Rio Earth Summit, President Dilma has 14 days from the law’s passage to veto before it becomes the law – and we’re working hard to make sure she does.
The Sierra Club is joining efforts to prevent a World Bank funded, 600 MW lignite-fired power plant project in Kosovo from being built. Opposition to the proposed “Kosovo C” coal plant is mounting, with protests spreading from the project site in Obiliq, Kosovo earlier this month right to the doors of the World Bank in Washington, DC.
Events and upcoming opportunities
23rd April – 4th May, New York – Rio+20 ‘Zero draft’ negotiations continue this week
We kicked off the week with a side event on perverse subsidies. Check out audio and pictures from the event here. Throughout the week, you can follow the talks via daily reports from IISD’s reporting service and the twitter hashtag #rioplus20.
11th May, Washington DC – The iMatter case of ‘Kids vs. Global Warming’ gets its day in court
In May of 2011, youth with the iMatter Campaign filed lawsuits against their state and federal governments to hold them accountable for their inaction on climate change. The first hearing on this case was April 2nd, where the federal Judge allowed the National Association of Manufacturers, and five other industry groups, to join the case as co-defendants with the federal government. On May 11 is critical, a Motion to Dismiss filed by defendants will be heard at the US District Courthouse. iMatter is inviting supporters to sit in on the hearing to show the judge strong public support for the youth plaintiffs.
Other upcoming moments on our calendar:
- 3-4th May, Bonn – Informal Ministerial meeting in Bonn to discuss the Durban Platform
- 5th May, Global – 350.org to host global ‘Climate Impacts Day’
- 7-8th May, Brussels – Informal Ministerial meeting in Brussels to discuss the Durban Platform & Rio+20
- 14th – 25th May, Bonn – UNFCCC’s Bonn Climate Change Conference
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: [email protected]
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.
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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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