Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are threatened by Rising Sea Levels, Climate Change, Energy Security, Food Security and Water Security. This blog will attempt to post articles and reports that may be useful to these vulnerable states around the globe.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Will President Obama Seize the Moment for Action on Climate Change?
Superstorm Sandy changed the U.S. political zeitgeist on climate change virtually overnight.
When BusinessWeekruns a cover blazoned with "It's Global Warming Stupid" and politicians start breaking their "climate silence," you know the jig is up. President Obama acknowledged as much in his acceptance speech, when he said he wanted to "pass on a country that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."
The question is, where we go from here. Are Americans now prepared to accelerate action to slow climate change? Or will a new fortress mentality take hold? And I mean that quite literally. One commentator recently suggested surrounding lower Manhattan with retractable walls, begging the question of where all that displaced water would go.
As the dust settles from the election, the president will come under increasing pressure to make good on his promise, through both domestic action as well as taking a more cooperative stance at the UN climate negotiations. Much will be written about this in the weeks to come.
In the meantime, he might take some inspiration from some of the many transformative solutions being put into practice elsewhere. The good news is that there are many such examples, so many that the United Nations climate agency launched an initiative to celebrate some of the most exciting, inspiring stories they could find. "Momentum for Change" is a platform for encouraging and celebrating innovative action -- designated as "lighthouse" activities -- either to reduce climate change, or to reduce its impacts.
In 2012, the initiative focused on the urban poor. To qualify as lighthouse activities, projects needed to not only address climate change, but also to improve the lives - both socially and environmentally - of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the community. They also had to demonstrate their catalytic potential for long-term transformational change, which meant that they had to be capable of being repeated elsewhere, and could be scaled up over time. More