Next week, delegates from nearly 200 governments will descend on Durban, South Africa for COP17, the latest round of global climate talks. Hundreds of African activists – farmers, environmental scientists, youth leaders – are travelling by bus from Burundi to Durban in a Caravan of Hope to raise awareness of the impact climate change is already having on the continent.
So what’s at stake for developing countries in the Durban talks? Will recession-hit wealthy states backtrack on promises to finance a Green Climate Fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions? What happens if the talks fail? And, more broadly, what might happen to development prospects if climate change and environmental concerns are not brought under control?
We’ll discuss these issues in this month’s Global development podcast. We’ll discuss the likely outcomes of the COP17 talks and ask what a failure at Durban might mean for development prospects. And we’ll focus on the growing movement for “climate justice”, looking at innovative and experimental ways local communities are pursuing environmental sustainability from the ground up.
We want your thoughts and questions to fuel the discussion. What is there to show from the annual UN climate talks? Is this process working? And what can bridge the divide between developed and developing countries, increasingly at loggerheads over the future of the Kyoto protocol and how money will be raised and distributed for the Green Climate Fund?
John Vidal, the Guardian’s environment editor, will chair the discussion. Ahead of the Durban talks, Vidal embarked on a journey between Africa’s two most industrialised countries – South Africa and Egypt – to explore the unfolding effects of climate change on the continent. He documents this journey in the series Road to Durban.
Last week, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said the global economic crisis is no excuse for countries to delay an international fund to help countries combat the effects of climate change. At the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009, rich countries promised $30bn between 2010 and 2012, and $100bn a year by 2020, to help poor countries adapt to climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Earlier this month, Saleemul Huq, senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), highlighted steps taken by proactive developing countries to address the issue, regardless of whether consensus is reached at global talks.
We are recording the podcast on Thursday 24 November and we would like to incorporate your ideas. Let us know what you think, what issues you’d like us to focus on in the podcast, and what questions you’d like to hear discussed. Post your comments below. As always, we’ll use a selection to shape the discussion.
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