The weather in Wellington is once again windy, rainy, and stormy – the perfect segue into discussing the COP theme of the day, resilience.
Resilience can seem like jargon, but it actually describes a key aspect of adaptation – how countries and communities prepare themselves against the effects of climate change. In New Zealand, for example, we need to be more resilient against sea level rise. Developed and developing countries often pair up to institute projects that will ensure crops survive, storms destroy fewer buildings, and sea walls protect island nations.
Much of the inequity between developed and developing countries stems from the disparity between how much countries have contributed to climate change emissions relative to how much they will suffer. Developing nations, which most often contribute only the bare minimum of global emissions, are the countries most likely to suffer when the effects of climate change escalate. Resilience initiatives can present tangible ways for developed countries to address the justice issues at play.
Of course, this is something that spans well beyond the above paragraph – climate justice groups dedicate their lives to delving deep into the intricacies at hand. If you want to get a sense of why resilience is so important (on top of everything else), check out this powerful video from Filipino spoken word artist Isabella Borgeson.
As for the actual agreement – the negotiators are feeling the pressure, as they have to have a draft ready by the end of the week. Check out this article from Grist, which explains some of the reasons it’s so difficult to get an agreement finalised, and all the issues negotiators have to wade through.
It has been a fantastic day for divestment, with 350.org announcing that 500 institutions have committed to divest $3.4 trillion in assets from fossil fuels. With more governments and organisations than ever jumping aboard the divestment train, it makes you wonder why on Earth the New Zealand Government voted down the Green Party’s bill to divest our publicly owned assets from fossil fuels!
Green MP Julie Anne Genter was lucky to see Dr James Hansen, prominent scientist, activist, and a bit of a celebrity in the climate world, speak about carbon pricing. Like the Green Party, Dr James Hansen believes cap and trade systems such as New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme are not working, and supports carbon taxes.