We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rich nations balk at liability for climate change damages

Click here to access article from The Economic Times (India).

Let me remind you that the UN meeting on climate change is happening in Doha, Qatar--it's just that US mainstream media decided to ignore it. So, I thought I would report a little bit about what's happening by posting this.
Should the rich world pay for inevitable losses and damages caused by climate change? The question has rocked the ongoing Doha climate talks with the US making it clear that it does not believe in the notion of liability in this case.

...The issue has been raked up here again, with the small developing island nations and the least developing countries (LDCs) clamouring that discussions on the subject mature soon.

The push has got a stiff reaction from the developed world, which opposes liability being attached to them for inaction. Rich nations have also balked at the proposal of paying compensation.
Here is what US negotiator Jonathan Pershing said to the LDC delegates and other environmentalists behind closed doors.
[He] reminded the international green NGOs here that it [the US] pays to bring them to these global conferences.

He said so in a closed-door meeting with the NGO representatives suggesting that they should remember who pays for their presence. TOI
[Times of India] accessed the conversation [with] recordings done secretly.

"We are one of the funders to make it possible for you to be at the table. I hope you recognize that many of you who come to the meetings you do, the US fights for you at every chance to give you a chance to be in this room," he said.