UU-UNO at UN Climate Change Working Group

By UUA International Resources

On August 17th, 2011, the climate change work group held a session to discuss preparation for the COP-17 meeting (17th Conference of the Parties), which will be held from November 28 - December 9, 2011 in Durban,South Africa. The COP-17 meeting will bring together representatives of the world's governments, internationalorganizations and civil society in a dialogue that will seek to advance the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as other environmental protective measures. Many events are scheduled to take place in tandem with this meeting, such as a youth conference and an interfaith rally; this will be the last UN-sponsored climate change meeting before a scheduled 2012 conference inRio. Rio+20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, will be held inRio de Janeiro,Brazil, on June 4-6, 2012. The conference will focus on two main themes: 1) Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication UU-UNO DirectorBruce Knottsand UU-UNO Intern Anunay Swaroop attended last week's work session where numerous environmental concerns were raised: Nuclear pollution, the world-wide prevalence of nuclear power plants, the destruction of indigenous land inBrazil, and the usage of genetically modified crops. In times of food scarcity, one of the questions raised was, should new hybrid crops, which pose a threat to our environment while simultaneously improving crop yield, be used? Questions like these blur the line between morality and environmental protection. UN agencies estimate a world-wide temperature increase of 5 degrees Celsius.  Previous estimates of a 2.5 degree Celsius raise predicted dire consequences to earth’s climate system; the current estimate is double that of previous estimates. Current pollution levels of 390ppm are close to reaching what were previously unthinkable levels. We need to act on individual, community, national and global levels to show that global warming is happening, and, to find ways to adapt to it. Transferring to a green economy without delay is a critical piece of the puzzle. The UU-UNO will be partnering with other NGO’s such as the Ethical Union and the Brahma Kumaris to raise awareness via press releases and e-mail campaigns around the critical issue of climate change. This effort, in particular, aims to rally youth and young adults; those who stand to inherit an environmentally uncertain and unstable future.

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