In the early morning of Saturday, 18th November, at 6.50 a.m., the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference came to an end – half a day after the originally planned closing plenary. Difficult negotiations about finance for developing countries and enhanced Pre-2020 actions by developed countries delayed the process.
Bula! (Fijian for: Hello – and much more)
On Monday, 6th November 2017, the 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference convened in Bonn and I am honoured to be part of it. Via oikos Vienna, I am sharing some of my experiences from this unique international conference, where 197 parties meet annually to combat climate change. In this post, I want to start off with this year’s agenda of the COP23 and introduce myself.
This year the oikos Central Eastern Europe (CEE) Meeting took place in Baku, Azerbaijan and therefore finally satisfied Anna’s wish to visit the place ever since she planned on going to the Baku Summer School the first time about five years ago. The topic of this years’ CEE meeting has been Leadership in Sustainable Urbanization. Being ignorant uninformed Europeans not really knowing much about countries located East to the Black Sea but not yet as far as the Middle East we couldn’t really relate this topic to Baku. So we figured we have to make our way over to see what this was all about. With basic travel guide knowledge (Melanie) and most adventurous jumping into the unknown (aka Anna most times too confused to get informed beforehand) we got to Baku a few days in advance in order to get acclimated, snoop around by exploring sites and local cuisine.
Students from many different countries (Germany, India, Austria, Italy, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ukraine – just to name a few) with different backgrounds and different points of contact with the garment industry gathered in a small town in the west of Germany past March for the oikos winter school 2017, with this year’s topic “sustainability in the fashion industry”. Two of them from Vienna: Sonja, blogger of the sustainable fashion blog “Fesches Mascherl” and me.
Overall, one could say that energy usage and consumption are linked to their prices. Energy prices are to a wide extent interconnected and as a result usually when one energy production source experiences price increases other energy sources also increase. This fact explains some kind of positive correlation between different energy sources, which can be observed while analyzing the historical data and complex interactions of the coal gas and oil markets. Energy prices are very volatile and do not necessarily only depend on demand and supply but also on political and economic decisions. As such, energy prices are complex and dependent on a wide variety of politico-economic determinants.
Seen as the probably greatest solvable problem on the planet hunger affects the lives of over 840 million people who go to bed hungry every night. That fact leaves us with a number of 795 million people undernourished. The vast majority of those people live in developing countries. Neither unusual nor very surprising large-scale problems like hunger affect mostly the weakest, but most important part of our society and our future – the children. Poor nutrition causes nearly half of the deaths of children younger than five years old, which sums up to 3.1 million deaths each year. One in four of the world’s children suffers stunted growth, mostly due to hunger and malnutrition. Just in Africa 23 million primary school-age children have to attend classes hungry. Those overwhelming and dramatically high numbers of human suffering display the inequity and ineffectiveness in the global production and distribution of human kind’s basic need – food.
Vandana Shiva was born in India in the 1950ties where she already learned from her parents, who left their jobs to become farmers, about the importance of the land. She finished her PhD in quantum physics in Canada and continued in inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy when returning to India.