“That’s what this conference needs to be about—turning words into real action the day the conference is over."
As the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change began today, a group of leading Bangladeshi members of parliament and internationally renowned climate change experts held a press conference in Copenhagen's Bella Center to raise awareness of their country's vulnerability to global warming, and its readiness to put adaptation funding to immediate use.
Overwhelming global interest in COP15 ("Convention of Parties") led to a few glitches as conference attendees descended on Copenhagen over the weekend of Dec. 5-6. On Dec. 1 the organizers announced they were no longer accepting applications from media to attend, having already reached a maximum of 5,000 (later it was announced this was cut to 3500). 34,000 people in all were attempting to participate in the conference, but the Bella Center, a vast, somewhat makeshift conference complex just outside of Copenhagen, has a capacity of 15,000.
Pulitzer Center Student Fellow and environmental journalist Sara Peach will be traveling to Copenhagen in December, 2009 to cover the COP15 UN climate negotiations.
Daniel Grossman, for the Pulitzer Center
Planet Earth's average temperature has risen about one degree Fahrenheit in the last fifty years. By the end of this century it will be several degrees higher, according to the latest climate research. This global warming is caused in part by the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and other so-called "greenhouse gasses" we put in the air as we drive our cars, produce our energy and food, and make, use and discard all the stuff of modern life.
In South Asia—home to a quarter of the world's population, but only 5% of its freshwater resources— development is taking a heavy toll on life's most basic necessity.
The majority of India's water sources are polluted. A lack of access to safe water contributes to a fifth of its communicable diseases. Each day in the booming, nuclear-armed nation, diarrhea alone kills more than 1,600 people.
Jeffrey Barbee, for the Pulitzer Center
Photographer Jeffrey Barbee is in Copenhagen to document the climate talks. He just left Malawi where he learned about carbon trading with respect to Africa's forests, which are being consumed for firewood.
Join Pulitzer Center Student Fellow Sara Peach as she covers the Copenhagen climate negotiations, one of the most important environmental meetings of our time. This December, Sara travels top Copenhagen to meet those who will be most affected by climate change and youth.
Across the globe, many young adults and children worry about the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. They fear that by the time they are middle-aged, the world will be a much warmer, stormier and more uncertain place than it is today.
The world will be watching Copenhagen between December 7 and 18. The Copenhagen Climate Conference is the most important meeting of climate negotiations since the Kyoto conference in 1997. The Kyoto Accord that came out of that conference expires in 2012. Kyoto, it is widely acknowledged, did not succeed in achieving its goal: reducing carbon dioxide emissions. A new regime is needed. Many scientists say humanity must act very soon lest the impacts of global warming become not merely bad but absolutely catastrophic.