COP Day Date of publication
17 11 8th December 2011

A Time of Change – Asia’s Dominance at COP 17

With China shaping up to be the world’s leading 21st Century economy, it is no surprise to find the Asian giant at the centre of attempts to plot a route out of the tangled tactical web that is COP17, writes BBC environment correspondent, Richard Black. It’s probably no exaggeration to say that if China decides to make a deal, a deal will be made; and the reverse is also true… More


Responsible for the Past; Responsible for the Future – Asian Countries’ Climate Positions

Producing a comprehensive climate agreement at Durban was always far beyond the horizon with developed countries like the United States, Canada, Japan and Russia insisting on major developing country emitters from Asia to take binding commitments, writes Felix von Geyer. Since the climate talks started in earnest, the world is a far different place than in 1992 and any post-2012 agreement needs to reflect this reality… More


Choosing the Pathway to Sustainability?

Critically assessing the Earth’s natural ecosystems helps to explain why we are experiencing financial upheaval, biodiversity loss, desertification, climate change, migration, poverty and disparity, writes John Liu. The worldwide discussion on climate change and sustainable development has strayed far from natural ecology and now heads towards politics and markets. This shift fails to inspire confidence because of a continuation of the business as usual scenario. Allowing nature to participate in the discussion illuminates a clearer pathway to sustainability; and this requires looking at our problems from an ecological perspective… More


Challenges and Realities in the Wake of a Global Deal

Despite the absence of a global framework on climate change, leading companies are striving to do what they can to support the global low-carbon agenda, writes Dr. Jeanne Ng. Energy efficiency measures, carbon reduction targets, and the MRV of environmental performance have been integrated into the operations of many responsible businesses. While these steps have contributed to mitigating climate change, the world has reached a point where certainty at the international policy level is required to unlock the massive amounts of funds needed to turn a low-carbon, resource-efficient vision into reality… More


Climate Finance: One Source won’t fit all

Money is central to meeting the climate challenge, writes David Lansley, World Vision The centrepiece of global funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation is the Green Climate Fund (GCF). It is intended that, by 2020, the GCF will have the major share of the $US100 billion agreed to at COP16 last year. This may well not be enough, but ensuring any money gets into the GCF’s coffers (or even getting the GCF up and running) is a key issue at Durban. .. More

Grassroots Women at COP 17

If you had passed by a particular conference venue in the north-western suburbs of Durban a couple of weeks ago, you may have been struck by the sound of strong voices – women’s voices – singing in unison and harmony. But this wasn’t choir practice, writes Sally Wilkinson, GenderCC. This was the Grassroots Women’s Conference on Climate Change, taking place on 24th and 25th November in Durban… More

ITUC questions UN’s Decision to hold COP 18 in Qatar

The ITUC is calling on the UN to review its decision to host COP18 in Qatar, writes Philip Pearson Migrant workers, who make up a 94% majority of the Qatari workforce, lack basic labour and human rights, are systematically exploited, often work in health threatening conditions, and may be expelled for forming a trade union. Qatar is also the world’s largest per capita emitter and has been a barrier in climate negotiations… More

Profile: Mary Robinson

Nationality: Irish
Country of residence: Ireland
Current Position
: President, Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice

Impact of Climate Change on Children

Governments are convened at COP 17 to negotiate a new climate regime that will hopefully protect today’s children and future generations from increased climate change and associated impacts, writes Jazmin Burgess, UNICEF UKMore

Durban: A very personal Plea

In January 1898, Émile Zola famously published an open letter to the President of the French Republic entitled “J’Accuse!” This piece is emphatically NOT in this mind set! It is not meant to point the finger of blame ? if anything the analogous heading would be “Je Supplie!” It is a humble personal plea to one of the most important and influential Parties in the UN climate change negotiations not to inadvertently cause the baby to be thrown out with the bathwater at the Durban Climate Change Conference, writes Dr. Benito Mueller, Oxford UniversityMore

Podcasts: Outreach Live at COP17

Interviews from: Water, Climate and Development Day:

  • H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, African Union Commissioner
  • And Ms Nomcebo Manzini – Regional Director for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, UN Women


Quote of the day

The rich countries that already use most of their own hydropower potential have systematically blocked Africa’s efforts to do the same, even though currently less than 5% of Africa’s potential is being exploited.

Mike Muller, Global Water Partnership’s Technical Advisory Committee

Outreach is a multi-stakeholder magazine which is published daily at COP17. The articles written are intended to reflect those of the authors alone or where indicated a coalition’s opinion. An individual’s article is the opinion of that author alone, and does not reflect the opinions of all stakeholders.

Outreach is produced by:

Outreach is made possible through the generous support of:



Country of residence: U.K

Current Position: Head of International Climate Finance Negotiations for the UK.

What propted your early interest in the environment?

About ten years ago, I read a book called Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming by Tom Athanasiou and Paul Baer. It’s a short accessible summary of the science of climate change, and the scale of the challenge. I defy anyone to read it and not feel the urgent need to do something about climate change.

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