As with most issues, there are differing views and responses regarding climate change throughout the world. These differences between nations will likely play a great role in how COP23 carries out. For our purposes, we will be exploring three nations: Fiji, Germany, and the United States.
Fiji is a small island nation in the Pacific and is the president of COP23. Fiji has placed the emphasis of COP23 on vulnerable nations. Climate change threatens the very livelihoods of the Fijian people. Ocean acidification negatively impacts marine ecosystems and rising sea levels combined with increased storm patterns increase coastal flooding, harming agricultural land, and increase susceptibility to foo- and water-borne illness. As a small island nation, Fiji is one of the smallest producers of carbon emissions but suffers some of the greatest effects. Already, Fijians are relocating their communities and moving to higher grounds to escape rising waters. Fiji is very actively involved in developing policy for sustainable development, and has pledged to move to completely renewable resources by 2030. Additionally, Fiji strongly advocates international efforts in combatting the effects of climate change.
"Unless our world acts decisively to begin addressing the greatest challenge of our age, then the Pacific, as we know it, is doomed" -Frank Bainimarama, Fijian Prime Minister & COP23 President
Germany is known for its innovation. Germany is working very closely with Fiji to serve as the geographic host of COP23. This is not the German government's first time hosting the COP (COP1 was held in Berlin). The city of Bonn, the home of COP23, serves as a UN hub for sustainability, housing 19 UN agencies that all deal with global issues related to the climate with an additional 150 international organizations in the area. Additionally, North Rhine Westphalia, the state in which Bonn is located, is the most populous state and a hub for protection. The state is transitioning into a green economy, and plans to showcase these developments in a series of excursions throughout the time of the conference. Germany as a whole has greatly incorporated renewables into its energy scheme and continues to further this by expanding on renewables and replacing nuclear energy with other renewable resources.
"...climate change is accelerating. It threatens our well-being, our security, and our economic development. It will lead to uncontrollable risks and dramatic damage if we do not take resolute countermeasures" - Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
The United States is in a unique situation at this Conference of Parties. We are one of just two countries that are not signers of the Paris Agreement. When it comes to climate change, the United States are very much divided. We are the only country with significant denial of climate change and the government of Florida, the state most susceptible to the impacts of climate change, has placed bans on the terms "climate change", "global warming", and "sustainability". In the midst of these waves of such strong climate denial, there is a push to get the US to COP23 in alternative ways. The ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is working to sponsor 7 delegates from throughout the United States to attend COP23, turning to crowdsourced funding to assist in travel costs. The current situation in the US can easily be described as confusing and disheartening, and the world will surely be looking out to see how the US participates in the COP.
Climate change denier in contrast to climate change march participants. (sources: legal-planet.org and slate.com)
"Think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -all challenges that know no borders- the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them" -John F. Kerry, former US Secretary of State
"Healthy debate is the lifeblood of American Democracy, and global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. The debate is far from settled" - Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Jessica was partially supported by NSF award number 1259896
24/10/2017 04:29:03 pm
The controversy surrounding this issue can be seen as both beneficial as well as problematic. The controversy is beneficial because it draws attention from the general public as well as those involved in the government which allows more time and energy to be put into this crucial issue. Although there is this benefit, the controversy can be detrimental to this project because the United States is not behind it as a whole which causes the United States to be unable to effectively participate in the conference. In order to be able to make an impact as well as it is detrimental to the United States handling of the issue because they are at a cross roads an effective plan can not be put into place.
25/10/2017 02:13:57 pm
I like how you highlighted the effects of climate change in three different locations, as well as how the country views climate change. I found it interesting that Florida has bans on even the words associated with climate change, especially when they are in a location that will likely be affected by climate change. The country of Fiji represents why climate change is a problem, while Germany shows the innovation and sustainability they have designed to combat the issue, while the US has chosen to not take a stand in this important topic. It certainly will be interesting to see what happens at this year's conference, as far the US is concerned.
25/10/2017 06:29:19 pm
We all have seen how the world is being affected by global warming. I think if all countries do something to prevent this essue there would be a much better chance to save lives and the ecosystems. Germany and Fiji are working together to serve as the geography host of COP23 but the United States is staying out of this conference. If we work together everything Is possible.
5/11/2017 09:27:40 am
I found this blog very interesting as well as very informative. I liked how 3 different nation's perspectives and situations were highlighted. It is unfortunate that Fiji suffers so greatly from the effects of climate change when they are so actively involved with efforts to combat these effects. It is great to see a nation like Germany working with Fiji to serve as the geographic host of COP23. Germany is putting forth great efforts to combat climate change with their transition to a green economy and replacing nuclear energy with other renewable resources. I hope the United States can look towards a nation like Germany to realize that climate change is a real issue in today's society and is something that we as a nation need to address. It was very shocking that Florida of all states put a ban on those terms. However, it is great to see some effort from local governments to attend COP23. I will be interested to see if the United States is represented at this conference.
15/11/2017 01:15:59 pm
The significant difference on views of global warming is large in part due to the great differences in countries. You can’t really compare Fiji to the US in the fact that the US is a much larger global power with a much stronger energy production industry than Fiji. In addition to that feel that the great difference in views on the topic is due to the fact that people are resilient to change and want to keep things close to what they know, they don’t want such drastic change on such a big topic, that essentially being the reconstruction of modern power production. How do you feel we can open the eyes of the bigger countries, mainly the US on this growing global problem?
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