Press release * 18th April 2014 * For immediate release
Fourth Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion marked with Refreshed Tate Modern Audio Tour
It was four years ago this Sunday (20th April) that the Deepwater Horizon exploded killing eleven workers. The subsequent spill and clean up operation devastated ecosystems, wrecked the health and livelihoods of communities and brought the company within days of bankruptcy.
To mark the anniversary and honour the victims Platform is releasing an updated version of the Tate Modern alternative audio guide which takes issue with BP’s controversial sponsorship of Tate galleries.
As Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for an Apartheid-style boycott movement against fossil fuel companies and their funders in order to tackle climate change, Tate’s relationship with BP is becoming increasingly untenable.
By Phil England for The Independent, 31 March 2014
The publication today of the latest IPCC report on the projected impacts of a warming world is the latest in a long line of wake-up calls. Last November’s report on the physical science of climate change made clear that we are currently following the scenario with the highest risk – and we need to make a break with business as usual if we are to avoid the worst impacts. So what would it look like if we took climate change seriously and acted to keep global warming below 2C?
Professor Kevin Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre – the UK’s leading climate policy research unit involving the collaboration of eight different universities – says that if we followed the science through and honoured the commitments we’ve made internationally, the EU would need to double its projected emissions cuts by 2030 – from 40 per cent to 80 per cent. This would mean revising the targets in the UK’s Climate Change Act and starting to make at least 10 per cent annual cuts in our greenhouse gas emissions immediately.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science launched a great piece of clear communication around climate change this week entitled What we Know. The website, report and collection of short films highlight the risks of climate change and how we can minimise them by taking action. Their key messages are:
1. Climate scientists agree: climate change is happening here and now.
2. We are at risk of pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts.
3. The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost. And there is much we can do.
By making informed choices now, we can reduce risks for future generations and ourselves, and help communities adapt to climate change.
“We are in danger of losing sight of some glaringly obvious truths about this exceptionally wet and stormy winter.” - Phil Rothwell, Head of Flood Risk Policy at the UK Environment Agency until December 2013
In the last post we looked at the clear link between climate change and the UK flooding. Here we discuss what we know and what we don’t know about the extent to which you can blame (or attribute) the exceptional run of storms that led to the widespread flooding, on (or to) climate change.
All weather events have a climate contribution
As Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research argues in Climatic Change, asking whether a particular weather event was “caused” by climate change is the wrong question:
All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be (…) no events are ’caused by climate change’ or global warming, but all events have a contribution.
“It is fair to say this is consistent with what we think about climate change and it’s fair to say that the scale of the impacts will have been exacerbated by climate change.” – Kevin Anderson (BBC Newsnight, 17 February 2014)
Is there a link?
A week ago most newspaper reports on the exceptional run of storms in the UK made no mention of climate change. A week later, a new analysis by Carbon Brief shows that the proportion of flooding stories that include a mention of climate change doubled from 7% to 15%. The researchers also found that stories discussing the link between the two were getting greater prominence – including front page leads in The Guardian, The Observer, New Statesman and The Spectator.
While it’s good that a link is being made more frequently, there are still those (including many MPs and professional deniers and dismissers) who continue to exploit apparent equivocation in scientific statements in order to argue against the need for taking action.
This is the first in a series of two posts which aim to clear the fog. Here we present evidence for the clear link between the flooding and climate change. The second post will explore the extent to which extreme weather events can be attributed to climate change.
Flooding is a long-predicted climate change impact for the UK
Now published at Ceasefire Magazine.
In 2011 Anjali Appadurai gave a powerful speech at the UN climate talks on behalf of the youth of the world. She hounded negotiators for their lack of ambition, broken pledges and betrayal of future generations. In an exclusive interview with Ceasefire, she reflects on the incremental progress made in Warsaw in December, why a colonial attitude and corporate interests are holding us back, and on the solutions and strategies that can take us forward. Appadurai continues to track the negotiations with Third World Network and Earth in Brackets. You can view her 2013 TEDx talk and follow her on Twitter.
Phil England (PE): What’s at stake at the UN climate talks?
Anjali Appadurai (AA): With climate change I think we’ve really underestimated the gravity of the issue. The continued reports coming out from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are slowly helping to cement the idea that this has more consequences for the global community than any other problem we’ve tried to solve at the UN. What’s at stake is a global agreement which would not solve climate change in itself but would provide a legal framework within which solutions could be created and implemented.
PE: What is your overall sense of the progress made at the latest round of talks in Warsaw in December?
Videos of all the presentations given at the Radical Emissions Reductions Conference in December at the Royal Society are now available here. Here are the framework-setting opening speeches by Corrine Le Quere and Kevin Anderson, followed by Naomi Klein‘s keynote speech.
Here’s our interview with Pierre Friedlingstein – one of the lead authors on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report – which we were unable to fit into our October programme on Solutions. Here he explains some of the key findings of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report on the physical science of climate change.
This afternoon (Thursday 21 November) an estimated 800 members of civil society organisations at the UN climate talks staged a walk out today to highlight the lack of action by rich countries who are captured by vested interests. The unprecedented alliance of groups involved in the walk out included Oxfam, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, 350.org, International Trade Union Congress, Action Aid and the Philippines’ Peoples’ Movement on Climate Change.
Climate Radio speaks to leading figures from civil society about their views on the latest round of UN climate talks. In the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda (aka Haiyan) will negotiators finally wake up and agree an emergency action plan to save the planet? Or do citizens need to escalate their challenge to political elites captured by vested interests?
Climate Radio asks veteran delegate Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth about the prospects for a meaningful outcome. Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South tells us about her experience of the Super Typhoon and how Yolanda graphically illustrates the need for a Loss and Damage fund to help poor countries deal with a crisis they did little to cause. Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid explains how we can divide up the remaining safe emissions budget using principles already agreed in the founding UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The programme also includes Philippines negotiator Yeb Saño‘s moving and historic speech on the opening day when he declared he will fast for the 12 days of the talks “until a meaningful outcome is in sight.”
- Sign the Avaaz petition
- Cancel Philippines illegitimate debt
- Donate to the Friends of the Earth in the Philippines