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UNFCCC climate change negotiations
The Red Cross Red Crescent and the UNFCCC COP18 negotiations in Doha, 26 November-7 December 2012
The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opened on Monday 26 November and continues until Friday 7 December 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar. The UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) is a government meeting that brings together around 15,000 delegates from governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society to discuss climate change issues. The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre has been following the COP process since COP6 and it has been actively engaged in the negotiations to highlight the humanitarian impacts of climate change.
COP18 aimed to bring progress in different topics related to Red Cross Red Crescent work ranging from climate change adaptation to mitigation. While on the mitigation side decisions will be taken on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, on the adaptation side, guidelines and funding mechanisms for the formulation and implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) will be discussed in Doha.
Red Cross Red Crescent was present at COP18 in a delegation headed by the IFRC's Vice President Dr. Mohamed Ghanem Al-Maadheed. Please find some of the key messages (pdf, 289 kB) that the Red Cross Red Crescent will bring to COP18.
Red Cross Red Crescent related meetings during COP18:
During the middle weekend of COP18 on 1 and 2 December 2012 at the Ezdan Hotel, the Climate Centre organized the Development & Climate Days, an influential event which brought together policy makers, practitioners, and researchers. Read all about it on twitter and here.
More on the Red Cross Red Crescent related side events at COP18:
- A formal UNFCCC-IPCC side event on Wednesday 28 November on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, featuring Maarten van Aalst, Director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre;
- On Thursday 29 November, the Climate Centre moderated the session on Children in a Changing Climate, where the new game "Bitten!" will be officially launched.
- On Friday 30 November, the Climate Centre facilitated a participatory session on early warning system - linking municipal, provincial and national decision making processes.
- Red Cross Red Crescent side event on Monday 3 December: Ensuring sustainable funding for community resilience and DRR in a changing climate.
There was also an IFRC booth with further information on our work and our humanitarian diplomacy efforts.
More information on previous UNFCCC COP Negotiations can be found below.
The Red Cross Red Crescent and the UNFCCC COP17 negotiations in Durban, 28 November-9 December 2011
The 17th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP17) and the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol took place in Durban, South Africa.
IFRC press release: Red Cross/ Red Crescent Head expresses alarm over outcome COP17 climate change negotiations:
11th December 2011, Durban -Failure to reach a binding agreement to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions at this week’s 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) represents our “collective failure” and puts the world’s most vulnerable people at even greater risk, the head of the Red Cross Red Crescent said today.
Bekele Geleta, Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said that even though global policy making has slowed down severely, the IFRC was committed to “rolling up its sleeves” and would continue to address the humanitarian impact of climate change and extreme weather on communities.
“Failure to reach a binding agreement was not unexpected but is nonetheless extremely alarming,” said Geleta. The devastating consequences of global warming on people and their communities are increasingly clear to see and it is frankly unacceptable we cannot all agree when so many lives are at stake.”
Throughout his attendance at COP17, Ethiopian-born Geleta, has called upon the international community to deliver on the Copenhagen and Cancun commitments to increase financing for climate change adaptation.
“Families and communities at risk from the impact of climate change do not need more words but real action. We must demonstrate leadership or we run the risk of being overwhelmed by the humanitarian consequences of climate change.”
Games wake people up to climate change
At COP17 Pablo Suarez illustrated the Dengue: Catch the Fever game used to educate people on climate change during a side event. Four Yale MA students (Sophia Colantonio, Lauren Graham, Kanchan Shrestha, and Vanessa Lamers) helped design the game. Basically: some players are mosquitoes trying to reproduce and infect humans; other players are humans trying to stay healthy and prevent mosquito breeding. Climate change trends increase the chances of mosquitoes winning, and the Red Cross can help reduce this risk. Importantly, the rules are deliberately designed to make it adaptable to other climate-related threats. Go here for more information on the game: background information (pdf, 69 kB) and game instructions (pdf, 211 kB).
The Red Cross Red Crescent and the UNFCCC COP16 negotiations in Cancun, 29 November-10 December 2010
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Cancun applauds progress; underlines continued urgency to prevent devastating humanitarian consequences of climate change. Read the full press release on the outcome of COP16.
Prior to the conference, the IFRC compiled an advocacy toolkit for the UNFCCC COP16 climate conference in Cancun, Mexico. The following documents from this toolkit can be downloaded:
- Introductory note from the Secretary General (pdf, 134 kB)
- Red Cross Red Crescent key messages (pdf, 206 kB)
- Updated facts and figures (pdf, 211 kB)
- Key recommendations for Red Cross Red Crescent engagement policies and programmes
- Red Cross Red Crescent climate change background information (pdf, 225 kB)
- Summary of the key negotiation issues at COP 16 in Cancun (pdf, 162 kB)
Climate change youth update from Red Crescent and Red Cross Youth from COP16
Young volunteers continue to communicate their views on the latest events at COP16. Two youth delegates from Colombian RC played Riskland, the Climate Ladder Game and did a puppet show at the Climate Change Village. Please find below 3 stories posted on the Our world, your move blog (two of them in Spanish) and a photo album illustrating youth activities in Cancun.
- Our world your move blog: COP16: The UNFCCC Negotiations – More than Global Decision Making
- Nuestro mundo. Tu acción: COP16: Juventud entre Juventud, frente al cambio climático
- Nuestro mundo. Tu acción: COP16: Tendencias y percepciones de las problemáticas de Cambio Climático
- COP16 flickr photo album
Games as learning tools at COP16
After facilitating two game-based climate change sessions by Climate Centre staff, members at the UN Climate Conference in Cancun (one on linking forecasts with humanitarian decisions and another one on insurance for risk reduction), Reuters published a news item on games as learning tools. The article can be uploaded at http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/games-bring-boring-climate-science-to-life-researcher .
The IFRC and the Climate Centre and the UNFCCC COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen, December 2009
2009 was a crucial year in the international effort to address climate change. In December, Heads of State, Ministers and officials from 192 countries came together in Copenhagen to sign a new global climate agreement which would succeed the present Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012. This agreement would address both mitigation through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to the impacts of climate change that can no longer be avoided.
In the perspective of humanitarian actors, it was crucial that an agreement at the Climate Change Conference COP15 would take into account the humanitarian impacts of climate change. The Red Cross/Red Crescent movement was actively engaging to ensure that the voices of the most vulnerable people who suffer most from the consequences of climate change were heard.
Unfortunately, already halfway 2009 it became clear that the negotiations were too complicated to lead to an agreement text in Copenhagen, However, driven by the urgency of the problematics more than 120 heads of state, among which those of the most powerful countries were prepared to come to Copenhagen to draw up a political agreement in an effort to smoothen the path to reach an agreement in Mexico by the end of 2010. However, Copenhagen did not bring the inspiring stimulus to a worldwide approach to tackle the climate problems many hoped for, and all worldleaders acknowledged this as such immediately. More reason to work even harder towards a climate agreement in 2010.
The Copenhagen Accord can be downloaded by clicking here (pdf, 161 kB). It is also possible to find all decisions made at COP15 here . In December 2010 the UN climate negotiations will take place in Cancun, Mexico. More information can be found here
Go here for the homepage of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The IFRC and the Climate Centre and the UNFCCC COP14 negotiations in Poznan, 1-15 December 2009
Mr. Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of the IFRC, joined the delegation. Within the Inter Agency Standing Commission (IASC), that established an informal climate change taskforce, we are investing in a coordinated approach with the main humanitarian actors in the field to bring one joint message.
I. The message we brought
The message we brought to COP14:
1. Ensure that UNFCCC institutional enabling environments and regional supporting mechanisms for knowledge sharing, capacity building and technology support, link to and build on existing networks, mechanisms, tools and capacities for disaster risk reduction while integrating these into development planning at international national, sectoral and local levels.
2. Raise the profile of humanitarian concerns in the negotiations and develop text on protecting human life, ensuring security of populations and reducing the costs of disaster response and recovery through systematic reduction of disaster risks.
3. Substantially scale up contributions for disaster risk reduction action as an essential componentof adaptation and ensure its integration into development planning and policies . Ensure that the criteria for funding are fully consistent with the principles of the Hyogo Framework.
News from the IFRC Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre delegation COP14:
- Newsflash 1 (pdf, 121 kB): Impressions from Poznan.
- Read the press release : Volunteer spirit must be harnessed to fight fast-changing crises by the IFRC.
- Newsflash 2 (pdf, 103 kB): Impressions from Poznan.
The IFRC and Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre submitted or presented the following papers:
- Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies and Risk Management Practices (pdf, 184 kB): Critical Elements for Adaptation to Climate Change, submitted by The Informal Taskforce on Climate Change of te Inter-Agency Standing Committee and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
- "Early Warning, Early Action" (pdf, 728 kB): A handbook of the IFRC on the Red Cross/Red Crescent answer to rising climate risks.
IV. Background information
- UNFCCC Factsheet: the need for adaptation (pdf, 50 kB): Defining adaptation, adaption needs and current efforts under the UNFCCC
- Newsletter issue 12: Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, issue 12, November 2008
- The UNFCCC website on adaptation
- Copenhagen COP15 website
- The official UNFCCC website
- The Polish host country website
- The IFRC website