Tag Archives: UNFCCC

Payment for ‘ecosystem services’ and the ‘green economy’: green-washing or something new? (K. Wilkinson)

Author

Kate Wilkinson

Keywords

ecofeminism, green economy, payment for ecosystem services, ecosystems, environment, capitalism, free market, economics, REDDES, REDD+, UNFCCC, ITTO, forests, natural resources, gender, participation

Abstract

Using an ecofeminist critical analysis, this paper examines the extent to which two forest-related ‘payments for ecosystem services’ (PES) schemes maintain a mainstream anti-nature and exploitative conceptualization of human/nature relationships. It does so by integrating various ecofeminist themes to analyse the two PES schemes and to assess the extent to which they can protect women and nature while marketizing and commodifying the environment. The author examines the justifications for integrating PES into a green economy, including the proposed benefits resulting from the implementation of PES, and safeguards ensuring the inclusion and participation of local communities. The author concludes that an ecofeminist examination highlights the inherently exploitative nature of PES and its continuation of the currently exploitative free market paradigm.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 168-191

Paper

Payment for ‘ecosystem services’ and the ‘green economy’: green-washing or something new?

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The Case for Enhancing Climate Change Negotiations with a Labor Rights Perspective (K.H. Regan)

Author

Katherine H. Regan

Keywords

International Climate Change, Labor Rights, International Legal Framework, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, Human Rights

Abstract

This Note argues that to ensure an equitable and sustainable solution to climate change a labor rights perspective must be incorporated into the climate change debates. Part I summarizes the current international legal framework for climate change and outlines the analogy between a human rights perspective and a labor rights perspective. It also summarizes the international framework for labor rights and its current limitations as an enforcement tool. Part II provides a brief overview of the role of labor rights in a globalized economy, and argues that because of this role, the international dimensions of climate change, and the similarities between a human rights -based perspective and a labor rights -based perspective, a natural nexus exists between labor rights and climate change. It then explores current domestic efforts to link labor rights and the environment and examines the recent growth in green jobs. Part III outlines ways in which labor rights through the International Labor Organization (“ILO”), in spite of the limitations of the international legal framework, can be used practically to help address the expected negative consequences of climate change for those marginalized sectors of the labor workforce.

Citation

(2010) 35 Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 249

Paper

The Case for Enhancing Climate Change Negotiations with a Labor Rights Perspective

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Right to Carbon or Right to Life: Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change (S. Kravchenko)

Author

Svitlana Kravchenko

Keywords

International Environmental Law, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, ICJ, Human Rights, Global Warming, Access to Information, Public Participation

Abstract

Human rights form a central part of the thought system of many people in the world, including those in the United States. The enforcement of “rights” in the legal system does not, by itself, change government policy, but the embedding of rights in our thought systems can. I want to ask whether the concept of human rights has a role to play in changing minds–and more importantly, hearts–in our political system. The reason that I focus on hearts is that changes there are more permanent; and where the heart goes, the head tends to follow.

If we come to see human-caused global climate change as violating fundamental human rights–as something as unacceptable as other gross violations of human rights–perhaps we can make the breakthrough in our politics that is essential. Perhaps we can rescue ourselves from the planetary emergency that Al Gore, in the quote above, sees so clearly. Perhaps we can overcome the limitations of human nature that Aristotle saw so clearly more than two millennia ago. Perhaps that which is “common to the greatest number”–the precious planet that sustains our lives–may come to have not the least care, but our loving care, bestowed upon it.

Citation

(2008) 9 Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 513

Paper

Right to Carbon or Right to Life: Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change

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Greening the Grid: Implementing Climate Change Policy Through Energy Efficiency… (T. Duane)

Author

Timothy Duane (University of California)

Keywords

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), climate change policy, greenhouse gas, GHG, CO2, Climate Change Era, California, United States, Climate Change

Abstract

Climate change policy has crossed a tipping point over the past five years: there are now widespread calls for action on the problem after decades of debate about whether climate change is happening, whether it is human-induced, and whether it is a significant problem that we need to deal with seriously. Nowhere does this have more profound ramifications than in the electric utility industry. Nationally, electricity generation accounts for 41% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil-fuel combustion while the transportation sector accounts for 33%. These two sectors therefore account for three-fourths of all CO2 emissions in the United States. Any U.S. strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions therefore requires a serious reduction in GHG emission from the electricity sector. This is especially important to the extent that increased electrification of the transportation sector is pursued as a strategy for reducing either GHG or other air pollutants in that sector. This Article evaluates policy options and recommends principles to guide policy design and implementation for the transition to the Climate Change Era for electricity regulation, industry structure, and generation technology choice. It describes the primary institutional forums and tools that will affect the electricity sector’s response to climate change, as well as to the obstacles that impede an economically efficient and environmentally responsible response. In particular, this Article demonstrates that an integrated regulatory approach is required to encourage significant investment in energy efficienc, renewable generation, and new transmission. This investment will further the climate change policy goals necessary to stabilize global temperatures. Moreover, lessons from California’s extensive experience promoting significant improvements in energy efficiency and investments in renewable generation capacity show how both the states and the federal government have important roles to play in this transition. State policy innovation is a key component of future electricity sector regulation regardless of the outcome of international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or the passage of new climate change legislation by the U.S. Congress. This Article offers a set of implementation lessons important for greening the grid through energy efficiency, renewable portfolio standards, and strategic transmission system investments.

Citation

(2010) 34 Vermont Law Review 711

Paper

Greening the Grid: Implementing Climate Change Policy Through Energy Efficiency, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Strategic Transmission System Investments

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Scales of governance and environmental justice for adaptation & mitigation of climate change (W. Adger)

Author

W. Neil Adger

Keywords

Climate change; governance; UNFCCC; international co-ordination; sustainable development; risks; vulnerability; interdisciplinary development.

Abstract

Global climate change is a significant challenge to structures of governance at all temporal and spatial scales, particularly in the area of managing natural resources. Advances in understanding of the nature of observed and future climate change has led to a realisation that significant future impacts are inevitable and increased efforts towards understanding the process of adaptation to the threatened impacts are required. This paper examines the issue of scale of governance relevant for adaptation. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary mechanism for co-ordinating international action on the threat of global climate change. The Convention process perceives adaptation as a further rationale for international transfers, in this case to compensate for and prepare for potential or realised impacts. This approach can be justified by recourse to the idea that enhancing sustainable development will enhance adaptive capacity and that planned activities are a key part of overall adaptation. But many adaptations to climate change will be spontaneous actions to perceived and actual risks in the environment. Thus institutional and economic parameters determine the underlying vulnerability and adaptive capacity of societies. I therefore argue that an understanding of adaptation processes allows interventions and planned adaptations at the most appropriate scales. I illustrate these arguments with reference to adaptation in agriculture and outline the insights from interdisciplinary development studies that can inform the climate change debates.

Citation

(2001) 13(7) Journal of International Development, 921-931.

Paper

Scales of governance and environmental justice for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

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