Climate Action Network

the climate action network (CAN) is an international network of over 365 nongovernmental orga nizations working toward the building of collaborative and individual actions and programs designed to combat and minimize human-induced impacts leading to climate change. Established in March 1989, the network has seven regional offices located in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

The vision of the network is to "protect the atmosphere while allowing for sustainable and equitable development worldwide." Based on the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) reports, the network has developed a comprehensive agenda for achieving change. The network is trying to keep global average temperatures as far below a two-degree rise as possible. The network calls on governments to commit to a global objective to maintain global temperatures at this level. While advocating this action, the network is also researching how to achieve this goal without compromising development needs. The network has developed a three-track approach to addressing the issue of climate change. The Kyoto track targets developed countries, the greening track targets developing countries, while the adaptation track targets the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

The Kyoto track uses the legally binding instruments of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol to drive greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The Kyoto Protocol contains mandatory provisions for the reduction of greenhouse gases by Annex I (industrialized) countries. Obligatory, dated targets, emissions-trading programs, and compliance mechanisms are vital components of the protocol.

In accordance with principles of historical responsibility and equity, only industrialized countries will be subject to these commitments. However, as developing countries industrialize, they will come under the purview of the protocol's mandatory provisions. The Kyoto track will spur the rapid development of sustainable technologies by industrialized countries, which will then be transferred to developing countries in the greening track.

The greening (decarbonization) track involves the rapid introduction of clean, sustainable technologies to developing countries in order that they may reduce their current emissions and follow a low-carbon path to development. The ability of these countries to develop in a sustainable way is largely dependent on the provision of technical and other assistance from industrialized countries. The greening track applies to all developing countries, except the least-developed countries, whose emissions are negligible, though they are provided incentives to participate, if they so desire. The emissions reduction and clean development goals vary according to the capacity of individual developing countries.

The adaptation track is designed to assist the most vulnerable counties (for example, small island states) in anticipating and limiting the effects of climate change. Industrialized countries bear the responsibility of providing assistance to these countries and, in the case that some consequences of climate change cannot be mitigated, the responsibility for compensation. Countries that receive assistance in the adaptation track may also participate in the other tracks, if circumstances permit.

The network has adopted this three-track system because it is committed to the principle of historical responsibility. This system calls on governments and countries that have historically contributed the most greenhouse gases to take responsibility for their actions.

While all countries have equal access to the atmospheric commons, different countries suffer disproportionately from the effects of global warming and climate change. This is particularly the case for developing countries. This three-track system is also based on the inter-generational principle, calling on nations to think about future generations and their right to have equal access to, and to live within, the atmospheric commons.

SEE ALSO: Alliance of Small Island States; Developing Countries; Kyoto Protocol; Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs).

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Climate Network, www.climatenetwork. org (cited September 2007); Oxfam, "Adapting to Climate Change, What's Needed in Poor Countries and Who Should Pay," Oxfam Briefing Paper (v.104, 2007); Anna Reynolds, Warning from the Bush, The Impact of Climate Change on the Nature of Australia (Climate Action Network Australia, 2002).

Melissa Nursey-Bray Australian Maritime College Rob Palmer Research Strategy Training

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment