Well, welcome to Durban if you’ve arrived here for COP 17. And thank you for having us, if you’re a resident. I arrived from Cape Town on Thursday, with my bike and have been really enjoying finding my way around, even climbing the formidable hill to the Howard College campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where many civil society events will be centred over the next two weeks.
Of course, the two biggest events will be the Multi-faith Mass Rally and Concert at Kings Park Stadium, led by Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu tomorrow (gates open 10am, music from 12.30pm, seriousness from 14h00), and the march on the Global Day of Action, next Saturday Dec 3. (Note that Kings Park Stadium is right behind the more modern Moses Mabhida Stadium).
I’ve added several schedules of events to this website, for the faith communities (pdf), the general public, and others. And here’s a list of all civil society events at Howard College UKZN.
In the last week, we’ve heard that the big polluters have decided to leave any serious action on climate till 2020. Not everyone is taking this lying down. You will have to decide for yourselves in the next couple of weeks whether this event can accomplish anything of substance, whether it is elaborate theatre designed to disguise business as usual for the powers that be, or both.
Richard Black of the BBC has outlined some of the other issues likely to be discussed:
EU plans on aviation, “climate aid” and the West’s past CO2 output are set to be divisive at the UN climate summit. India has tabled a paper arguing that the EU’s plan to include international flights in its emissions trading scheme violates the UN climate convention. Meanwhile, technical analysis for a group of developing countries says Western nations have a duty to absorb CO2 over the coming decades. It also says the West is not living up to promises on climate finance.
If you are an official COP delegate, and want to hire a city bicycle, you can do so for R50 an hour. Since this is approximately four times the cost of daily car hire, this is presumably a novel subsidy to the fossil fuel industry.