Foreign Policy Blogs


Bonn – The UNFCC has big meetings going on now in Bonn.  The scientific and technological advice wizards as well as the policy wonks, aka the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), have been hard at work since May 7.  There are 2,000 participants from governments, business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions.  Next week, along with the other meetings and workshops, delegates will convene to talk about further commitments under the Kyoto Protocols.  Today, there are in-depth presentations from the three working groups of the IPCC that have been promulgating their Fourth Assessment Report this year. (If you haven't done so, you should consider reading the Summary for Policymakers on the "Mitigation of Climate Change."  I reported on this last week.)  Anyway, here's a good story from the "Washington Post" on these meetings.

A workshop has taken place on urban planning and development, including transportation, and there will be ones next week on energy efficiency and power generation. There are some cool powerpoint slides on the "ecocycle model" (#20 through 34) at "The Sustainable City" presentation from Sweden. This is very green building.  (Check back next week for the completed powerpoint and pdf versions of all of these workshops' presentations.)

This coming December, in Bali, a further major international meeting will be held on what happens after Kyoto expires in 2012.  See this and this from Reuters.

New York , The UN's Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) concluded its fifteenth meeting yesterday.  Again, about 2,000 worthy delegates convened over the course of two weeks to "focus on energy solutions that can fuel development and cut poverty, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions."  You can find a wealth of information on the CSD and these meetings here, including fact sheets and links on such topics as cleaner cooling and cleaner energy for poor households.  The emphasis in the latter subject is on switching from firewood and charcoal to liquefied petroleum gas for cooking and heating.  On this, I have been wondering for years why solar cookers haven't taken off.  They seem to be an ideal solution for many environments and eminently practicable.  See this powerpoint show.  For more information, go to Solar Cookers International.  They've got everything there, including their excellent Solar Cooking Archive.

Heligendamm – June 6-8, this German seaside resort will host the G-8 meetings. Climate change is going to be a big-ticket item on the agenda.  There's a lot of buzz now about how the U.S. is going to try to dilute any pronouncements on climate change at these important meetings. Stay tuned.

Further, Japan has announced that they'll host a major climate change meeting of the G-20 major nations next year.

Plus New York, Again , I've been noting that I'll be covering the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit this coming week.  Also, if you're interested in carbon finance and investment in this area, you might want to come to this event, May 21-23.



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change