‘All eyes on Paris’: climate talks in a heightened security context

For the past few weeks, all eyes have been on Paris because of two major events. The first is the seven coordinated terrorist attacks that hit the French capital on 13 November, killing 130 ordinary citizens, left many in shock, and led to an outpouring of messages of solidarity from around the world. Second, Paris…

COP21: How can climate-friendly innovation flourish in developing countries?

For low carbon development to work well, innovation is crucial. Both technological hardware like solar panels and grids, and social and institutional structures, need to change as the world looks towards a lower-carbon future. At a side event at the COP21 climate conference on Tuesday, Dr Rob Byrne (STEPS Centre/Sussex Energy Group) talked about how…

COP21: how can Southern Africa cope with El Niño?

Today COP 21 opens in Paris. Over two weeks a new climate deal will hopefully be agreed. It is a critical juncture for humanity. As high level officials discuss options in these negotiations, many people around the world are already living with climate change and uncertainty. In Southern Africa, the effects of what is expected…

How to ensure governments stick to their Paris climate commitments

More than 146 countries covering 87% of global greenhouse gas emissions have now submitted their national pledges to tackle climate change in advance of the major climate summit in Paris. These are known as Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions. Note the language: these aren’t commitments and are only “intended”. Since collectively these INDCs would still leave us…

Why climate negotiations should tackle ‘technology injustice’

Climate change is already causing harm to vulnerable people and will continue to do so. If we accept that mitigation and adaptation alone cannot avoid all the adverse impacts of climate change, this means that there will be some unavoidable consequences. This has led to the concept of ‘loss and damage’ appearing in global climate…

Spectacular cynicism: Seeing Indonesia’s fire and haze from the margins

Guest post by Zachary Anderson, University of Toronto Recently Indonesia was hit by massive forest fires, which were largely ignored by the Western media, despite their severe scale and impact. I feel moved to respond to George Monbiot’s recent opinion piece in the Guardian about the disaster, as well as comments on social media asking…

Why are some people so keen to link climate change and terrorism?

Friday’s murderous attacks in Paris came just over two weeks before the start of the COP21 conference on climate change. A crisis meeting was held on Saturday morning to determine whether the event should go ahead, with a swift resolution to continue, under heightened security. Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary, tweeted “Of course #COP21…

The Anthropocene, control and responsibility: a reply to Andy Stirling

By Johan Rockström (Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre). This post is a slightly edited version of an email response and follows a blogpost by Andy Stirling on the Anthropocene, and Laura Pereira’s comments on Prof Stirling’s post. I tend to place myself in between the two of you, Andy and Laura. The Anthropocene is nothing more…

Exploring ‘dynamic sustainabilities’ in the Anthropocene

In this post, STEPS Summer School alumnus Mathew Bukhi Mabele explains plans for a session on ‘Exploring ‘dynamic sustainabilities’ in the Anthropocene’, which will feature at the 6th Annual Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference at the University of Kentucky, on February 26 – 27, 2016.   Jacob Weger and myself were very lucky to participate at the 2015…

El Niño predictions signal urgent need to prepare for Rift Valley fever epidemics in eastern Africa

Recent climate predictions suggest East Africa may be in line for an epidemic of Rift Valley fever (RVF) – an infectious disease which can hit people, their livestock and livelihoods, and national economies hard.