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Asean Affairs   27 November  2012

UN Climate Talks: Critical Phase

By Alex Rafalowicz,  ClimateJustInfo

DOHA, Qatar - Today was day one of the UN climate conference as it kicked off with an ongoing battle over the rules of the international climate controls from now until 2020.
Recognizing that this is the critical decade to stop runaway climate change, representatives from civil society groups around the world spoke at a press conference giving context to the main players in the negotiations.
"Without a rules-based system for finance and emissions targets, people living in poverty will feel the worst of climate-related impacts that are getting increasingly severe."   Brandon Wu, Senior Policy Analyst, Action Aid USA said.
"The US has obstructed the creation of this system, and is trying to dismantle some of the rules we do have. With a new Obama administration taking office, it's time for the US delegation to change course - otherwise, suggestions of US leadership in Doha will be like a mirage in the desert." Brandon Wu, Senior Policy Analyst, Action Aid USA said.
 "Doha is a crucial turning point to address the planetary emergency of climate change. With the current lack of specific targets, adequate finance or real commitment, we are condemning ourselves to a terrifying 6-degree future." Meena Raman, Negotiation Expert, Third World Network said.
 "If the EU were really the climate leaders of the world, they would call for a legally-binding, ratifiable continuation of the Kyoto Protocol with science-based targets. Instead, they continue to cheerlead for discredited carbon markets with gaping loopholes." Kate Dooley, Forest specialist, at FERN said.
"China has made a commitment to a rules-based system, but so-called 'global leaders' are backtracking on their existing commitments, If we don't build a science and equity-based regime now, post-2020 may be too late." - Dale Wen, fellow at International Forum on Globalization said.
 "When it comes to setting ambitious targets for emissions reductions or providing finance for climate adaptation, the US and the EU are cheating on their commitments by calling for loopholes, flexibilities and conditions." - Meena Raman, negotiation expert, Third World Network said.
Civil society organizations have  expressed increasing concern that Doha comes in a crucial year for the UN process to be able to yield a global, science-base, principled and legally-binding agreement on climate change from now until 2020.

•    Third World Network is an independent non-profit international network of organisations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, developing countries and North-South relations.

•    IFG is a North-South research and educational institution composed of leading activists, economists, scholars, and researchers providing analysis and critiques on the cultural, social, political, and environmental impacts of economic globalization.

•    Action Aid is a non-profit organization working towards poverty eradication through long-term solutions.

•    FERN is a European NGO focused on forests and forest people's rights at the European level.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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