Event Coverage

Speaking out on climate change: COP17 in quotes

“The next major wave of deforestation is already happening and it’s happening in Africa.”
Shares
0

Most popular

Photo courtesy Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig/flickr.

DURBAN, South Africa (14 December, 2011)_ Some have described the global climate change negotiations as one of the most ambitious initiatives ever undertaken by mankind. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, speaking at COP17 in Durban, characterised it as a giant effort to write “a global business plan for the planet” with a triple bottom line: mitigation, adaptation, poverty reduction. Here we compile the best, and worst, of what was said on forests during the two-week talkfest in South Africa.

On the negotiations:

“Is this the future we want? A world of out-of-control climate change? The answer is clear, even if the exact path is not.”

Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General

****************************************************************** 

“In honour of Mandela: it always seems impossible until it is done. And it is done!”

Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary 

****************************************************************** 

In this chaos, leave the room better than you found it.”

Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

******************************************************************

“Let’s be clear, as the delegates say as a precursor to most speeches, the deal that has been done in Durban is not good for the future of the planet, or the poorest and most vulnerable people. Negotiators have sent a message to the world’s hungry: ‘Let them eat carbon’.”

Oxfam Statement

******************************************************************

“We have a final challenge from (Wangari Maathai): to keep the trail blazing, to keep our energy up, to keep up negotiations, but most importantly to make sure that everything that is happening here is getting translated, in Africa and the developing and developed worlds.”

Judy Kimamo, Green Belt Movement

******************************************************************

On Africa’s forests:

“The next major wave of deforestation is already happening and it’s happening in Africa.”

Bob Scholes, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa

******************************************************************

“The disappearing forests, the overgrazed rangelands, and conversion to crop agriculture of grasslands and wetlands that had served as drought refugia … all have diminished the resilience of the system.”

Helen Gichohi, African Wildlife Foundation

******************************************************************

“Politicians here just talk and talk, they start taking action only when a bottle of whisky is put on the table, a good and expensive bottle of whisky.”

Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

******************************************************************

“It is the people who must save the environment. It is the people who must make the leaders change. So we must stand up for what we believe in and we cannot be intimidated.”

The late Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Laureate

******************************************************************

On integrating forests and agriculture:

“Forests cannot be sustained if people are hungry …we have no other choice if we are to rise to the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050 without destroying the planet.”

Rachel Kyte, Vice President of the Sustainable Development Network, World Bank

******************************************************************

“We need to establish a UNFCCC work program on agriculture to consider climate adaptation and mitigation.”

Caroline Spelman, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

******************************************************************

On REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation):

“Like love sometimes, a REDD agreement is near yet so far away. But as I said I don’t give up until everyone gives up.”

Tony La Viña, REDD+ facilitator

******************************************************************

“This has been an astonishing success story. REDD+ has been so far the biggest success story of the climate negotiations… For Norway, I think the main lesson learnt is that we need to be more able to take risks, and more daring. Because there are numerous reasons why this may fail or how it can be criticized.”

Erik Solheim, Norwegian Minister for the Environment and International Development

******************************************************************

“We are seven years into REDD and we’re still looking at what the options are. We’re not making the hard decisions.”

Louis Verchot, Principal Scientist at CIFOR

******************************************************************

“If we can do something to influence deforestation we can have a greater effect on everything than has happened so far under the Kyoto Protocol. This challenge is worth the effort.”

Bob Scholes, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa

******************************************************************

“If we had an agreement on finance, we would have more political will.”

Raymond Lumbuenamo, National Director of WWF Democratic Republic of Congo

******************************************************************

“The past two years have seen considerable donor contributions to multilateral REDD+ initiatives … the concept is gaining hold more broadly.”

Kenneth Andrasko, World Bank Carbon Finance Unit

******************************************************************

“We think that there are some pockets of optimism around those few carbon trade schemes that are emerging – California, Australia and potentially others that signal that they want international REDD to play a role in those markets… Everybody is waiting for those policy signals to emerge.”

Brer Adams, Macquarie Bank

******************************************************************

“Getting ready for REDD+ is a big investment for developing countries, and they need long-term financial commitments from developed countries to assure them that REDD+ is the right development path to take. Without this, investing a lot in the development of national-level REDD+ programmes may become difficult to justify.”

Kristy Graham, Overseas Development Institute

******************************************************************

“For REDD to work, we need to bring down the transaction costs of getting carbon to market.”

Helen Gichohi, African Wildlife Foundation

******************************************************************

“As I started looking at the content… I realize that we’re flying blind into this. There’s very little experience of safeguards in the world that’s directly related to REDD. And it’s actually better if we have the experience first before we detail the guidance.”

Tony La Viña, REDD+ facilitator

******************************************************************

“[As time goes on], there is a new instrument, a new demand, a new tool, and forested countries are saying ‘you are stretching our capacities’. Whether [these demands] are coming from the UNFCCC, whether it is coming from multilaterals, whether it is coming from NGOs … these things are raining on them and they cannot cope.”

A senior UN official

******************************************************************

“Unless you offer a viable sustainable alternative livelihood to the actors, then any other intervention is really going to just displace or postpone deforestation.”

Erin Sills, Senior Associate with CIFOR

(Visited 144 times, 1 visits today)
Topic(s) :   Climate talks REDD+ Peruvian Amazon
More in Climate talks
See all on Climate talks or REDD+ or Peruvian Amazon
Most popular