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With Durban select as the host of COP17 in 2011, lets focus all discussion that specifically relates to this here.

Durban has already launched a website www.cop17durban.co.za
 

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Planning needed to avoid climate change COP-out in Durban
RICHARD CALLAND - Nov 19 2010 15:56


Perhaps it is Fifa World Cup syndrome -- a combination of complacency and a blasé attitude -- or just South Africans' tendency to wake up late to big things, but at the moment there is absolutely no apparent recognition of the importance, scale and intensity of the event that South Africa will be hosting in a year's time.

The Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- or its shorthand "COP17" -- which will be held in Durban in late November 2011.

Durban the city of choice

The choice of Durban was confirmed by Cabinet with a quiet announcement last week, against fierce competition from Cape Town and Jo'burg.

It would be interesting to know the reason, because there is a whiff of pork-barrel politics about the decision to go with the KwaZulu-Natal city, in spite of the excellence of its International Convention Centre. It is a big deal.

And, like the Fifa World Cup, a fine opportunity. And one that could just as easily be messed up. Just ask the Danes.

"Copenhagen" means something now even to a person with no interest in climate change politics or deal-making. For a year, as the stakes and expectations rose, Copenhagen was constantly in the news in the run-up to COP15 in December 2009.

Those expectations were largely dashed.

No new treaty could be agreed. Instead, a political accord was hastily put together amid great acrimony in the final hours of the conference, as the largest number of world leaders arrived in the small but convivial Danish capital.

Arguably, the presence of those presidents and prime ministers "saved" the occasion, because without the imperative to spare their political blushes, there might not have been any sort of agreement.


CONTINUES BELOW



This is one of myriad small and great choices that will have to be made by the UNFCCC secretariat and Pretoria in the next year: what sort of COP do they want it to be? They will also have to decide how to handle the non-governmental part of the conference.

COP17 the biggy
Again, speak to the Danish. They were "too nice" and gave accreditation to more people than the conference venue could hold (by a factor of four), which led to massive frustration as thousands queued for hours in the freezing cold.

At least Durban in December will be more climatically congenial. But between then and now, in December this year, Cancun, Mexico, will be the host of COP16, for which the expectations are as remarkably low as they were implausibly high a year ago.

Most people who are in, or close to, the climate politics game say that "COP17 will be the big one". Cancun, instead, is intended to offer a road map, an attempt to iron out more of the details that stand in the way of a comprehensive treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

World leaders will not be dusting off their cozzies to visit the Mexican seaside resort. But what about Durban? Should expectations be ramped up or carefully managed? And what lessons can we apply from both Copenhagen and our own Fifa World Cup experience, because COP17 is undoubtedly a "mega-event".

In the case of the Fifa World Cup the host country hosts the event, but Fifa really runs the show. Or at least takes all the big decisions that need to be taken. In the case of UNFCCC, it is slightly different: the host is expected to play a major role in the running of the process.

This is a daunting challenge, given the complexity of the negotiations, not to mention their significance for the future of humanity.

The Danes partly screwed it up. As University of Cape Town academic Harald Winkler puts it in a recent article in the journal *Climate Policy: "The inept chairing by the Danish COP president exacerbated tensions rather than bringing the parties closer to agreement."

In the hot seat
Who will be in the hot seat in Durban? Clumsily, government has had three different environment ministers in the past 18 months: Marthinus van Schalkwyk was replaced by Bulelwa Sonjica, who was summarily dismissed recently and replaced by Edna Molewa.

Was this wise? Molewa has a year to get on top of a massive brief, against the backdrop of negotiations that have a long institutional memory and in which relationships between key individuals are crucial.

One of the criticisms made of Sonjica was that she did not prioritise the international arena, failing to pitch at more than one important multilateral gathering.

In turn, there is talk that Dirco -- the department of international relations and co-operation -- is positioning itself to seize the poisoned chalice and be the lead department for COP17.

Who would be the best person to chair the process and be the face of South Africa for 10 long days and nights?

Who can cajole the Americans and the Chinese into line?

Who can handle the rumbustious G77 firebrands, who use the UNFCCC to tilt at all manner of windmills?

Not to mention the Bolivian-led "Alba" states' grouping, which is offering, with increasing velocity, an alternative vision of climate politics?

These and other questions need to be resolved sooner rather than later if South Africa is not to make a fool of itself in a year's time.
 

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Looks like the massive Centrum Site, which adjoins the ICC and Exhibition Centre sites, will also be utilised for COP 17. This excludes the 20,000 m2 paved plaza of the DEC that is also available for the meeting. The plaza area and Centrum site would be the logical locations for any extension to the current ICC campus given that they are both fully city-owned and already secure (the Centrum site is now full fenced off after recent WC upgrades).

Does anyone have figures for the m2 sizes of Sandton ICC and CTICC?

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The city’s extensive experience hosting large international conferences and events along with its established conference venues, transport infrastructure and abundance of hotel accommodation has positioned Durban as the ideal host for COP 17.

Centrally located and just a half an hour from the King Shaka International Airport, and close to Durban’s beaches and hotels, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) is one of the most advanced conference facilities in the world. It is here that the majority of COP 17-CMP 7 sessions will be held. The ICC has been named Africa’s leading convention centre nine times since 2001 in the World Travel Awards and ranks among the World’s Top 10 Convention Centres. It has also won the award for the most Environmentally Conscious Congress Centre by the European Incentive and Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition.

The ICC is a purpose-built modern convention centre. Its design is such that together with the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC), Arena, and the paved intermediate concourse area, it can accommodate more than 20 000 delegates. In addition, a delegates pavilion will be set up in the adjacent parking area “Centrum Site”. This will increase the venue capacity by a further 10 000 - 15 000 people. This capacity as well as a wide range of other meeting venues in the surrounding area puts Durban in the unique position of being able to offer ample meeting spaces within easy walking distance. This will promote the principles of a “People’s COP” and ensure minimisation of transport-related carbon emissions during the conference.

http://www.cop17durban.com/COP_17/Pages/COP_Venue.aspx
 

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Here's an excerpt of the views of renowned political commentator, Patrick Bond, on Durban's award of Cop 17. He argues (perhaps correctly!) that the COP 17 negotiators shouldn't be offered the unbeatable security that the ICC can offer (and later, outlines why Durban is the most appropriate and symbolic place in SA to host COP 17)...

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So nearly everyone was pleased, a fortnight ago, with the choice of Durban to host the 2011 Conference of the Parties (COP) 17, the world climate summit. Competition was tough. The conference centre in beautiful Cape Town was rejected, according to a guest post on former CT City Manager Andrew Boraine’s blog, because of “the high levels of security required… The CT International Conference Centre (ICC) falls way behind the ICC complex in Durban. You can lock it down completely and keep the over-the-top protesters well away from the high level attendees.”

Boraine, a Johannesburg NGO colleague of mine two decades ago when he helped Alexandra Township civic associations defend their over-the-top protests against apartheid, is now a public-private partnership facilitator. “Cape Town's proposal,” he rebutted, “took into account the need to be able to lock down certain areas for government delegations and VIPs.”

Sorry, I don’t accept the need for to safely insulate these rascals, for last December in Copenhagen I witnessed how badly the VIPs performed when tasked with making binding emissions cuts. Not only were none made but even the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s minor five percent cuts (measured from 1990-2012) were completely undermined.

SA and US presidents Jacob Zuma and Barack Obama joined Chinese, Indian and Brazilian leaders in wrecking the last vestiges of UN democracy and threatening their own societies (especially Zulu and Luo kinfolk who are on the climate frontline), on behalf of the (mainly white-owned) fossil fuel industry and (mainly white) frequent fliers (like myself). Chief negotiator for the G77, Lumumba Di-Apeng, poignantly asked, “What is Obama going to tell his daughters? That their [Kenyan] relatives’ lives are not worth anything?”

At the COP 16 climate summit, lasting through December 11 in Cancun, Mexico, these VIPs definitely need a strong wake-up slap - as activists there gave World Trade Organisation negotiators in 2003 - not a quiet meeting place where they’ll just back-slap.

Actually, the strategy many in civil society considered around this time last year, was what Boraine unintentionally advocated: ‘locking down’ (and in) the world leaders inside Copenhagen’s Bella Centre, so they would finally feel the pressure to sign a real deal, instead of the sleazy Copenhagen Accord.

This would have involved blockades preventing delegates from departing last December 19, the way activists did in September 2000 at Prague’s ancient palace, where SA finance minister Trevor Manuel chaired the World Bank’s annual meeting. The VIPs barely scampered to safety from global-justice protesters, after again doing nothing to reform globalisation.

The plan to lock down the climate-negotiating VIPs in Copenhagen was considered and then abandoned when Danish police turned semi-fascistic. It’s not even an option worth discussing in Durban given that City Manager Mike Sutcliffe regularly denies permission to peacefully protest.

But come to think of it, on 31 August 2001, a march of 15,000 to the ICC led by the late Fatima Meer and Dennis Brutus against a pathetic UN racism conference came close to barging in on the lethargic delegates. Recall the activists’ valid complaints then: no UN discussion of reparations needed for slavery, colonialism and apartheid, and no action against Israeli racial oppression and occupation of Palestine...


...Even in the North’s most left-leaning government, it was all fibbery, as shown when Bank executive directors had a chance to turn down the notorious $3.75 billion Medupi coal loan in April. The Norwegian representative only managed a limp abstention, not the "no!" vote demanded by a South African-led global coalition of 200 concerned groups.

When Nore told the workshop that fifty governments had come to his agency for assistance in managing oil resources, including South Africa, I flashed back to South Durban’s oil grievances:

• massive greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to SA’s emissions of CO2 per unit of per person GDP being twenty times worse than even the US,

• regular fires, explosions, and devastating oil pipe leaks,

• the world’s highest recorded school asthma rates (Settlers Primary) and a leukemia pandemic,

• extreme capital-intensity in petro-chem production and extreme unemployment in surrounding communities,

• a huge new pipeline to double the oil flow from Durban to Johannesburg (already two children were killed after falling into unprotected trenches), and

• an old airport earmarked for expansion of the petrochemical, auto and shipping industries.

South Durban is one of the world’s extreme sites of climate change cause and effect: well-paid managers run leaky-bucket toxic factories by day and escape to plush suburbs by night, and gasping residents either slowly die from the exhaust or wake in fear when the refineries erupt with noxious fumes late at night. Yet thanks to one of Africa’s finest eco-social campaigning groups, SDCEA, the area can become an inspiring site for fighting petro-power and visioning alternatives.

Consistent with a global consensus that whales should be left in the ocean, the only solution to the climate crisis is one that genuinely decent Norwegian community residents, fisherfolk, environmentalists and social activists are promoting in their own petrol-rich Lofoten region. The demand there is identical to one made by South Durban residents fed up with smells far more damaging than the decomposing blubber of yesteryear: “leave the oil in the soil!”

Patrick Bond is on sabbatical from the UKZN Centre for Civil Society, based at UCal-Berkeley Department of Geography. His books include Uneven Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe’s Plunge.


http://www.counterpunch.org/bond11222010.html
 

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Looks like the massive Centrum Site, which adjoins the ICC and Exhibition Centre sites, will also be utilised for COP 17. This excludes the 20,000 m2 paved plaza of the DEC that is also available for the meeting. The plaza area and Centrum site would be the logical locations for any extension to the current ICC campus given that they are both fully city-owned and already secure (the Centrum site is now full fenced off after recent WC upgrades).

Does anyone have figures for the m2 sizes of Sandton ICC and CTICC?
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Certain CT folk have been harping on and on (without yielding any verifiable proof whatsoever) that the decision to award Durban COP 17 was "political", and that CT was far better suited to host the event, largely based on having more 5 star hotels (never mind that most of the visitors / delegates will be from NGOs and low/middle income countries and can't / won't be able afford 5 star accommodation!). These posters have conveniently ignored the fact that the SA government has gone on record as saying that Durban ICC was the best place to host the event based on its size (never mind its superior security offerings).

I thus thought it would be interesting to verify the government's stance by looking at the CTICC capacity breakdown.

The four biggest dedicated meeting / convention venues in the CITCC are the following:

Auditorium 1: 1,170m2 (theatre / classroom configuration can host 1,500 people)

Auditorium 2: 490m2 (theatre / classroom configuration can host 620 people)

Full Ballroom: 1,876m2 (1,980 people can be hosted theatre configuration or 1,296 people can be hosted in classroom configuration)

Full Exhibition Hall (Hall 1-4 combined): 11,399m2 (9,500 people can be hosted theatre configuration or 7,720 can be hosted classroom configuration)

That makes a total of 14,395m2 of event-hosting capacity in the CTICC.

The rest of touted hosting capacity of the CTICC is comprised by including its foyers, restaurants, balconies(!), conservatories, lounges, outside Marshalling Yard, storage rooms(!!!), and small meeting rooms (in this respect, the small meeting / boardrooms are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things considering the numbers that COP 17 will involve).

This can be independently verified:

http://www.cticc.co.za/Files/Attachments/documents/CTICC Capacity Chart 2010.pdf

Compare this to the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC) *ITSELF* offering 9,500m2 of space (never mind the main ICC complex and the ICC Arena), and excluding all the the open courtyards within the ICC campus, which themselves offer **tens of thousands of m2 of meeting space** (tented or open), and *excluding* the adjacent massive Centrum site. All the Durban space occurs within ONE SECURE COMPLEX (including the Centrum site, which is fenced and linked by bridge to the DEC/ICC) and involve no vehicular transportation (although I suspect that non-official side events may be hosted by certain attending parties in other venues, such as the nearby Olive Convention Centre).

Conveniently omitted by the Capetonians is that the CT proposal involved splitting the hosting of COP 17 between the CTICC and *SEVERAL* other meeting venues, including the CT Civic Centre, Artscape, CT Station, City Hall, Good Hope Centre, CT Stadium, V&A Waterfront, hotels and Parliament (never mind that the largest proposed supplemental venue was Goodhope Centre (4,500m2 exhibition style [max capacity 2,500 people in a theatre configuration]), which is is a relatively tatty venue for such a major event, and also located in a relatively run-down part of CT). Thus, the CT proposal would have meant deploying security at all these venues.

When you factor this all in, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Durban proposal made much more (security) and logistic sense, given the probable volatility of the event, even factoring in the city having fewer 5 star hotels than CT.
 

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----------------

Certain CT folk have been harping on and on (without yielding any verifiable proof whatsoever) that the decision to award Durban COP 17 was "political", and that CT was far better suited to host the event, largely based on having more 5 star hotels (never mind that most of the visitors / delegates will be from NGOs and low/middle income countries and can't / won't be able afford 5 star accommodation!). These posters have conveniently ignored the fact that the SA government has gone on record as saying that Durban ICC was the best place to host the event based on its size (never mind its superior security offerings).

I thus thought it would be interesting to verify the government's stance by looking at the CTICC capacity breakdown.

The four biggest dedicated meeting / convention venues in the CITCC are the following:

Auditorium 1: 1,170m2 (theatre / classroom configuration can host 1,500 people)

Auditorium 2: 490m2 (theatre / classroom configuration can host 620 people)

Full Ballroom: 1,876m2 (1,980 people can be hosted theatre configuration or 1,296 people can be hosted in classroom configuration)

Full Exhibition Hall (Hall 1-4 combined): 11,399m2 (9,500 people can be hosted theatre configuration or 7,720 can be hosted classroom configuration)

That makes a total of 14,395m2 of event-hosting capacity in the CTICC.

The rest of touted hosting capacity of the CTICC is comprised by including its foyers, restaurants, balconies(!), conservatories, lounges, outside Marshalling Yard, storage rooms(!!!), and small meeting rooms (in this respect, the small meeting / boardrooms are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things considering the numbers that COP 17 will involve).

This can be independently verified:

http://www.cticc.co.za/Files/Attachments/documents/CTICC Capacity Chart 2010.pdf

Compare this to the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC) *ITSELF* offering 9,500m2 of space (never mind the main ICC complex and the ICC Arena), and excluding all the the open courtyards within the ICC campus, which themselves offer **tens of thousands of m2 of meeting space** (tented or open), and *excluding* the adjacent massive Centrum site. All the Durban space occurs within ONE SECURE COMPLEX (including the Centrum site, which is fenced and linked by bridge to the DEC/ICC) and involve no vehicular transportation (although I suspect that non-official side events may be hosted by certain attending parties in other venues, such as the nearby Olive Convention Centre).

Conveniently omitted by the Capetonians is that the CT proposal involved splitting the hosting of COP 17 between the CTICC and *SEVERAL* other meeting venues, including the CT Civic Centre, Artscape, CT Station, City Hall, Good Hope Centre, CT Stadium, V&A Waterfront, hotels and Parliament (never mind that the largest proposed supplemental venue was Goodhope Centre (4,500m2 exhibition style [max capacity 2,500 people in a theatre configuration]), which is is a relatively tatty venue for such a major event, and also located in a relatively run-down part of CT). Thus, the CT proposal would have meant deploying security at all these venues.

When you factor this all in, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Durban proposal made much more (security) and logistic sense, given the probable volatility of the event, even factoring in the city having fewer 5 star hotels than CT.
Its highly unlikely the venue will be changed.

However, it remains a political decision, given the evaluation rankings (which did not rank Durban ahead of Cape Town) and monetary guarantees required.

The fact that the UN face issues currently with accommodation, also does not mean the venue will change.
 

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Very interesting breakdown roman.. I wasn't aware that the CT proposal involved splitting the hosting between many disparate venues.
 

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Its highly unlikely the venue will be changed.

However, it remains a political decision, given the evaluation rankings and monetary guarantees required.

The fact that the UN face issues currently with accommodation, also does not mean the venue will change.
Mo, provide proof that it was a political decision. So far we've heard NOTHING official whatsoever, all we've had are your rantings on the subject with a supposed "confidential" email.
 

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Its highly unlikely the venue will be changed.

However, it remains a political decision, given the evaluation rankings (which did not rank Durban ahead of Cape Town) and monetary guarantees required.

The fact that the UN face issues currently with accommodation, also does not mean the venue will change.
It is definitely unlikely (although not impossible) that the venue will be changed.

It remains a "political" decision only for certain Capetonians for self-serving reasons. When confronted by objectively verifiable FACTS, as posted above, it makes total common (and logistic / financial) sense to an average person, even accommodation issues factored in (can you imagine the hosting, transportation, and security costs involved in multiple venues for a volatile event? Or are these less important factors than having the most 5 star accommodation facilities??).

As I have repeatedly pointed out (without response), Nairobi (which has less accommodation than Durbs in all accommodation grading categories) hosted COP 12. The UN didn't seem to have a problem with that (and I am yet to see any objectively verifiable proof that the UN has any problem with Durban either). Further, host of COP 15, Copenhagen (which is a much smaller city than Durbs), utilised private home (i.e., not accredited bed & breakfast lodges) to accommodate COP 17 visitors. I didn't see the UN having a problem with that. The UN knew of these issues before they awarded those respective cities the event.

Lastly, scores are not a reflection of how things will eventually pan out. The 2016 Olympic Games bidding process, amongst others, is an excellent illustration of this (where Doha was not even selected to the Candidature phase, despite having scored higher than selected candidate city, Rio de Janeiro, due to logistic factors).
 

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Very interesting breakdown roman.. I wasn't aware that the CT proposal involved splitting the hosting between many disparate venues.
CT *had* to propose splitting the hosting as the CTICC is not big enough to host COP 17 on its own (unlike ICC Durban, which can host the entire event without the need to spill onto other non-ICC venues). Until CTICC is expanded, it will continue to face such constraints for such major (volatile) events.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Its highly unlikely the venue will be changed.

However, it remains a political decision, given the evaluation rankings (which did not rank Durban ahead of Cape Town) and monetary guarantees required.

The fact that the UN face issues currently with accommodation, also does not mean the venue will change.
I've been thinking about this abit while sitting on an 8 hour flight. and you know what, you might be correct. Cape Town may well have been seen as better in its scores. Well done.

BUT, just like the Olympics or commonwealth games, the one that scores the best is not always the one that wins, or is even the best under the circumstances. And if the overriding decision was compactness and space the winner is clear in Durban.

And all this constant reference to politics is stale. Every single event is dictated to by politics, be it people voting in the IOC or other sports events, or the temptations and deals cities offer to get events be they in sport or conferences. One only needs to look at how many incentives Las Vegas constantly offers to attract events.

So yes, say its a political decision, but then every single event decision is so too
 

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It is hoped that this year's momentum to the COP17 will be used to helping the Gov to articulate a real low carbon vision away of the business as usual that it presently tries to protect as much as possible.

This would then align the whole cabinet and people behind a common goal, which would ease the strategy and policy definition. SA could then show to others that it can walk the talk Regards

PL
 

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This city initiative seems most appropropriate given the event...

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A Carbon-neutral COP 17 - CMP 7

Durban plans to use the 2010 FIFA Soccer World CupTM experience as the basis for hosting a carbon-neutral COP 17- CMP 7.

Following a similar process, an initial study would be undertaken to determine the exact carbon footprint of COP 17 CMP 7. An initial estimate that was calculated by eThekwini Municipality’s Energy Office, indicates a likely footprint of approximately 22 085tCO2 eq.

Durban would aim to offset the carbon emissions associated with COP 17 CMP 7 in three ways:

•Firstly through the expansion of existing reforestation projects or the initiation of a reforestation project in a new area from the existing Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Reforestation Project.

Work has already started at Inanda Mountain west of Durban, and a number of other potential sites have been identified.

Based on current estimates, the establishment of a further 100 hectares of forest at any one of these sites would offset the footprint of COP 17 CMP 7.

•Secondly, Durban is in a position to be able to use the five existing CDM projects as carbon offsets for COP 17 CMP 7.

•Finally, Durban would aim to initiate a programme whereby delegates and the countries, companies or institutions they represent, could make a voluntary contribution to offset their carbon emissions.

These contributions would be used either to purchase renewable energy or to fund a part of one of the reforestation projects.


http://www.cop17durban.com/Climate_Capital/GreeningCOP17_CMP7/Pages/Carbon_neutral_COP17_CMP7.aspx
 

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A little known fact is that Durban's award of COP 17 is symbolic and appropriate as the city has previously played host to major climate-related initiatives.

During October 4-7, 2004, Durban played host to a meeting of representatives from organizations and peoples’ movements from around the world to discuss "realistic avenues for addressing climate change".

This, in turn, inspired the creation of a growing global initiative, the Durban Group for Climate Change, now known more commonly simply as the Durban Group (named after the host city, not because its driven by the city or Durban players):

http://www.durbanclimatejustice.org/who-are-we

This 2004 meeting in Durban, in turn, gave rise to two international documents that explictly refer to Durban:

1. A global call for climate justice and a global grassroots movement against climate change:

http://www.carbontradewatch.org/durban/calleng.pdf

and

2. The Durban Declaration on Carbon Trading:

http://www.fern.org/node/3614

http://www.fern.org/sites/fern.org/files/media/documents/document_3614_3622.pdf

Following this, and following the holding of similar regional workshops globally, the city hosted a Workshop on Forest Governance and Decentralisation in Africa, during April 8-11, 2008, in support of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), sponsored by the governments of South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States of America and Germany. One of the important themes covered by the workshop was the impact of deforestation on climate change.

http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/publicat...Durban/papers/Workshop_Forest Gov_Program.pdf


I hope COP 17 inspires revisits to all these initiative given how central the city was in inspiring them. I suspect COP 17 will result in even more such city-linked initiatives. Will be great (free) perpetual exposure and branding for the city.
 

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Summit will cost SA R300m
December 15 2010

It will cost South Africa about R300-million to host the 17th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban next year, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said on Wednesday.

The city of Durban is expected to cover about 25 percent of the cost of the event, she said in response to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance.

The city's responsibilities will include providing the venue, security and marketing for the November 28 to December 9 conference. It will see the next round of negotiations towards a global accord on combating climate change for the period from 2012 when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires.

Earlier this month in the Mexican resort of Cancun negotiators reached a an agreement calling on rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and developing nations to plan to cut emissions, to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Negotiators hope to clinch an encompassing, legally binding accord in Durban. - Sapa


http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/news/summit-will-cost-sa-r300m-1.1001894
 

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Good to city the city's greening initiatives getting international attention...

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COP17 in Durban, South Africa 2011
Part of: Climate change

Climate change Durban, South Africa- The next climate summit, COP17, for 2011 will take place in the South African city of Durban, showcasing to the world how they have adapted their city and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Michelle Lanning, 07/01-2011

With the jump into the new year, 2011 will be the year where the next Conference of the Parties (COP) will be held in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 9. While COP17 will be an important chance to further along those plans and agreements that were reached by all participating governments this past December at COP16, it will also be a chance to inspire a new wave of green activity with new ideas and success stories. South Africa will have an exciting chance to reveal to the world its creative and strategic solutions within Durban and set the stage for other similar projects to take way in many other locations around the world.
Click here to visit the official COP17 website: http://www.cop17durban.com/Pages/default.aspx

The operational government panel in charge of the development of such projects is the eThekwini Municipality. Under the eThekwini Municipality’s Municipal Climate Protection Programme, Durban currently has a few pilot projects successfully in operation. Here is a full list of these projects: http://www.durban.gov.za/durban/services/cleansing/gastoelec/landfill

Here are some things we can look forward to in the coming year:

The Projects

The first and possibly the most successful so far is the Green Roof Project, initiated in 2004. The programme aims to restore unused rooftop spaces into places that can simultaneously help combat global warming and on a smaller scale help tackle some issues with the city's infrastructure. “A strong emphasis has been placed on identifying climate change adaption projects that will improve the resilience of the city to future developmental, social and environmental challenges” the website notes. However uncertain those may be, government officials in Durban are preparing for some of those changes now. According to the project's website, the cornerstones of successfully completing this project are understanding the vulnerability of the city and its people to the impacts of a change in climate in the near future.

Heat Island Effect

The project was inspired by the "heat island effect" and high surface run-off issues that vex the city. The heat island effect describes the phenomenon where a city experiences temperatures higher than surrounding areas not within the city. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, “The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings”. As the climate is pre cursed to change and in many areas warm, there will be a higher demand for energy to regulate building temperatures. Air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions can be expected due to this and the heat island effect will only continue to intensify.

Many parts of Africa already currently face droughts year round. If the climate over Africa shifts, bearing even less rainfall, a resulting food shortage will be eminent. This is one of the aspects the Green Roof Project of Durban plans to address by implementing food growth strategies on city rooftops. City residents would be able to grow their own food locally and sell it locally, creating a sustainable market for the city.

Reforestation

Another project, the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project, was started in 2010, also under the eThekwini Municipality’s Municipal Climate Protection Programme. It is being supported by two local communities; the Buffelsdraai and Osindisweni. The people from these communities are responsible for supplying the project with their own collected seeds and trees. Not only does this project promote restoring the ecosystem back to a healthy medium through carbon offsets from providing reforested habitat with the ability to naturally sequester carbon emissions. Aside from that feat, it also promotes local involvement, improving their livelihood. This project's success can be measured from the 82,000 trees planted and the involvement of 500 community members. The project claims the result will be an offset of several thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 20 year period.

Greenhouse Gases

According to the Kyoto Protocol (Dec 1997), there are six gases listed greenhouse gases (GHG)including: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N20), hydro fluorocarbons (HFC’s), perfluorocarbons (PFC’s) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Methane is produced in landfills as wastes decompose. Methane gas (CH4) is 21 times more capable than Carbon dioxide (CO2) at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Although CO2 is far more abundant in the atmosphere than CH4, it still poses a great threat in terms of the warming planet.

Methane to Electricity

A third project that will be showcased in the COP17 summit meeting is the Marrianhill Landfill Gas to Electricity Project. Based on three landfill sites which are emitting greenhouse gases around the clock , Durban plans to utilize the CH4 gas and turn it into a renewed energy source. Currently, the landfill is producing around 400m3/hr of landfill gas with 0.5 MW of electricity which can be transferred to the city's energy grid. This project complies with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that was proposed for sustainable development and prevent climate warming by way of limiting greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries by the Kyoto Protocol.

Much like the Marrianhill Landfill Gas to Electricity Project, the Bisasar Landfill Site is also involved in transforming methane gases produced from the decomposition processes into usable energy.

Building Momentum

These projects spotlight some necessary adaptations cities around the world may need to incorporate into their existing structural plans in the face of unforeseen changes that will result due to future climate patterns. There are many other locations around the world which have also implemented similar adaptations to their cities or technologies. However, by showcasing what a city in South Africa has done for its people, the hope will be to inspire more projects of similar force to pop up. Collectively, we as a global community need to build momentum in the coming years if we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.


http://www.bellona.org/weblog/1294403601.78
 

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COP17: SA's chance to shine
YOLANDI GROENEWALD - Jan 10 2011 15:16


Last year the World Cup came to South Africa and at the end of this year it will be the United Nations climate caravan that sets up camp in Durban.

Most South Africans aren't exactly cleaning the party chairs and blowing up balloons.

Yet COP17, the 17th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN's annual climate change negotiations, is both a mark of South Africa's growing diplomatic status and another opportunity to shine on the world stage.

Unlike the World Cup final, the impact of which was confined to a particular time and place, the climate talks could shape the future of our world decisively. They are likely to set the framework of the economy of the next generation, determine the way we live and consume, and put an indelible stamp on future social infrastructure.

Past negotiations, particularly the much-hyped round in Copenhagen, have failed to deliver on the mandate to green the future and save the planet. But the unexpected progress in the closing round of negotiations in Cancún, Mexico, last year has raised expectations. Durban could provide the magic the world needs.

With the "Hopenhagen" disaster still fresh in the memory, South Africa's negotiating team is cautious about talking up the Durban jamboree. "The world will get the outcome in Durban it is ready for," South Africa's savvy lead negotiator, Alf Wills, ventured.

The South Africans are not even willing to engage on the possibility of a "Durban protocol", similar to the controversial Kyoto agreement. But deep down, everyone wants the South African gathering to yield a treaty that will cap the carbon emissions of nations, halt climate change and keep temperature rise below two Degrees Celsius, as demanded by science.

South Africa itself is on a heavy carbon diet. Almost 90% of the country's energy needs are provided by coal, of which it has seemingly endless deposits. Although the country has agreed to cut coal use at previous climate meetings, a tough road lies ahead, with more investment in green energy and renewable resources.

When the world arrives in Durban in December, the Medupi coal power station will be near completion and the foundations of the Kusile station may have been laid. Among the Durban delegates will be critics of the World Bank loan to make Medupi happen and the spotlight is sure to shine on South Africa's reliance on coal.


The host nation will come under further scrutiny as NGOs take media delegations on sponsored trips to projects and sites related to the talks.

Organisations such as Greenpeace are not afraid to stage dramatic stunts to embarrass environmental offenders, including scaling a Polish coal-powered station in 2008 to highlight Poland's reliance on dirty energy.

The challenge for the South Africans will be to turn the spotlight away from its current reliance on coal to its plans to become a leader in green energy.

Joanne Yawitch, one of South Africa's main negotiators, told the Mail & Guardian that the key is to build relationships before the conference to engage civil society.

In Copenhagen civil society was enraged at being locked out of the talks because of a lack of space and violent protests erupted outside the conference centre. The pictures of police beating climate activists did not boost Denmark's reputation as a tolerant state.

The activists will be in Durban once again and Yawitch's suggestion is that they should be incorporated as far as possible as allies and participants. Make no mistake, the pressure on South Africa to create an atmosphere conducive to a deal will be huge.

Hosting the climate change talks is an enormous honour but also a huge responsibility. This time round the future of the world is at stake.

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2011-01-10-cop17-sas-chance-to-shine
 

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LOW-CARBON FUTURE
From Cancun to Durban – what’s in store for the next 12 months?
By: Saliem Fakir
14th January 2011

When you land in Cancun, what strikes you most starkly are concrete blocks upon concrete blocks that have taken occupation where lush mangroves once existed.

There are many square metres of hotels squatting along Cancun’s beautiful beach boulevard. Cradling along the main thoroughfare are brand icons of the cement industry – including Cemex and Lafarge – waiting to pour more concrete at the dollar’s beckoning.

Perhaps things have changed since the recession, and where the dollar does not buy as it used to, the flow of concrete has been somewhat stemmed.

Cancun is truly an American tourist resort, and I hope I am not too impolite in suggesting that the noises of concrete and tourists take a tad of the Mexican out of Cancun. You have to go a few hundred kilometres out of town to see, smell and taste the real Mexico.

When the dollar dictates terms, the scale at which things are done can only astound you. You pay one fixed price for a night and you get to eat and drink what you want. One could drink a variety of tequilas like you have never drunk before. It was all part of the contradictions that filled the ambience of the recent climate negotiations in Cancun. Here, cheap carbon-sucking tourism and there, not too far away, the future of the world being negotiated.

Back at the Moon Palace, where the main negotiations were taking place and where American warships could be seen anchored not too far away, Cancun was a success only because it started off a low base after the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen hopelessly flopped.

Cancun, under the skilful tutelage of the Mexican negotiators, needed only deliver any low-base goal and it would be a success. And, indeed, it did.

There is a glimmer of hope, some may say, but we should not be too sure. We are still a long way from a new Kyoto and legally binding emissions reduction targets. This is the challenge left for Durban and a real tough nut to crack.

What Cancun did was to politely expunge the controversial Copenhagen Accord, hatched by a few countries. We have waved goodbye to the botched Copenhagen Accord for now. The work of the Mexicans also ensured that not too many feathers were ruffled.

The Mexicans managed to bring a modicum of respect for multilateralism and the emphasis that no process outside the multilateral system will be acceptable.

Cancun delivered two low-hanging fruits: a global green fund, to be managed in the interim by the World Bank, and a process from Cancun to Durban. The operations of the green fund and how it is to be financed are not clear at the moment.

Following the Copenhagen meeting, United Nations (UN) secretary-general Ban Ki-moon established a high-level advisory panel for global finance (AGF) to figure out how the $100-billion that is needed each year to fund climate action by 2020 can be raised.

The AGF’s report came out prior to the Cancun meeting. The panel consolidated the proposals that have been floating about for some time now with respect to how international finance can be raised to fund climate mitigation and adaptation. These range from the raising of bunker fuels and some sort of Tobin tax to the mobilisation of private capital. But the AGF’s work is caught up in some untidy bits of politics between the Conference of Parties for climate change and the UN secretary-general’s initiative.

The lines have still not been connected between the two processes. The AGF’s work has still to be incorporated into the climate negotiations process.

Whether we will have a second round of the Kyoto Protocol is uncertain, and it does not help that we have a flip-flop on this issue and no sign of strong backing by the very country that gave the protocol its name – Japan.

Currently, the emissions reductions pledged are well below what is required by science. Most people are sceptical that Durban will deliver a ‘required by science’ level of ambition to keep temperature rises below 2 ºC.

For the process up to Durban, there is still the negotiation of a legally binding agreement and the phasing in of a second round of the Kyoto Protocol – both the US and China are key to how this unfolds. Predicting success for Durban is a tough call and seems like mission impossible.

We may well end up like the Doha round of trade talks (as some have suggested) – lots of talking and no real will to commit to any global action. It will be impasse upon impasse until the very thing itself fades from memory – who remembers Doha these days?

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/ar...ts-in-store-for-the-next-12-months-2011-01-14
 

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These are some of the big movers and shakers that could make a visit to Durbs in Nov-Dec 2011. Some big names amongst this group, including several celebs...

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Green giants: the eco power list

We all agree that the planet is in a perilous position. But what is the best way to save it? We name the 20 activists, filmmakers, writers, politicians and celebrities who will be setting the global environmental agenda in the coming year



Lucy Siegle The Observer,
Sunday 16 January 2011


From David Attenborough to Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Town movement, the Observer Ethical Awards has honoured many movers and shakers in ecological and social justice. So it seems fitting to launch our sixth awards by profiling the 20 global figures who'll exert influence in 2011. For those on our list, the coming year might best be described as "take your partners" time, as activists and corporates scramble for power – and we're predicting some unlikely marriages ahead. Commentators have noted that big business is taking an unprecedented interest in the environment and are pushing for conservation capitalism. The really big decisions from the climate-change conference in Cancun have effectively been rolled over to December's summit in Durban when the pressure is on to come up with a successive treaty to Kyoto, and we highlight the likely stars in Durban. It also celebrates those who inform our cultural, political, business and activist lives. From retail to politics, these are the people who will set the tone for how green issues are perceived and how the planet is protected.

ECO ICON: DAVID TAKAYOSHI SUZUKI
The eco warrior's eco warrior, Suzuki is a scientist and author of dozens of books (his latest is The Legacy) who has long been frustrated by time-wasting over the planet's precarious position: "We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone's arguing over where they're going to sit." Now his radical conservation methods are the subject of a film, Force of Nature, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson. Billed as Suzuki's last definitive lecture (let's hope not: he's only in his 70s and the planet could do with him for a good while longer), it also charts how Pearl Harbour changed the course of his Japanese family's history and how Suzuki was one of the first scientists to become a counter-culture folk hero. It is the first green film of 2011 and may turn out to be the most important.

DEFENDER OF THE RURAL POOR: HENRY SARAGIH

There are grassroots organisations, and then there's La Via Campesina. An alliance of small-scale farmers and rural workers in their millions, it has become their most vociferous champion as "peasant farmers" all over the world face down forced evictions because of the rise in agrofuels and monocultures backed by transglobal corporations. It is widely believed that the world is at a crucial crossroads and that without a struggle small-scale producers will disappear. Not if General Secretary Henry Saragih has anything to do with it – as head of the Indonesia Peasant Union, he has also fought the so-called "palm oil barons". As the Guardian's John Vidal puts it: "How this struggle plays out in the next 20 years will determine whether there is any rainforest left intact in southeast Asia in 50 years' time, and possibly the political future of many developing countries."

BIRD-LOVING NOVELIST: JONATHAN FRANZEN

Franzen has given previous hints to a green disposition in his novels – climate change has twice been a minor character – but in Freedom, published last year, the theme was more overt. Protagonist Walter Berglund is "greener than Greenpeace", a professional ecologist who makes a Faustian pact with a mountaintop-mining company in an effort to save a rare warbler. Grist.org (the online resource for ecovists everywhere) was smitten, suggesting that Freedom was the new Silent Spring (Rachel Carson's 1962 book that gave rise to the modern eco movement). "I've moved away from that sort of deep-ecological extremism," Franzen replied. "I started to think: what can we do for wild birds right now? I don't want these particular species to disappear." That's more than enough evidence for him to be crowned the (reluctant) eco novelist.

THE GREEN PRESIDENT: EVO MORALES

The leader of Bolivia's Movement for Socialism has become a self-proclaimed defender of Mother Earth. His dramatic rhetoric was perhaps the highlight of a lacklustre Cancun conference: "We are familiar with the slogan 'Country or Death', but it is better now to talk about 'Planet or Death'." Bolivia's radical position includes a proposal to the UN to make water a human right, and nationalising the oil industry. His critics point out that, while he talks the green fight, his country is dependent on hydrocarbon and extraction industries. Can he prove he's more than hot air?

RE-FORESTING GURU: CAROLE SAINT-LAURENT

Saint-Laurent is a woman with a plan, rather literally. The International Union for Conservation of Nature's senior advisor on forests has headed up a study that maps 1.5bn hectares of potential new forest; that's an area the size of Russia. This doesn't negate the outrage that three-quarters of the world's forests have either been cleared, destroyed or fragmented, with a third lost forever – but restoring forest has big benefits for communities and ecosystems. And this year is the UN Year of Forests. In case you missed it, last year was the UN Year of Biodiversity. Since 80% of biodiversity is land based, and much of that in forests, we hope that this year's choice has double the resonance and double the impact.

CLIMATE CHANGE-BUSTING MAYOR: MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

This year humankind will pass the 7 billion population marker and, as the US Center for Urban Restoration puts it: ''Some time during this decade, a child will be born who will mark humanity's transformation into an urban species – for the first time, more people will live in cities than in the rural areas of the earth." The C40, set up in 2005, brings together leaders of 40 of the world's largest cities to organise a co-ordinated response to climate change. The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is in charge. "Our cities have demonstrated that we are prepared to boldly confront climate change," Bloomberg says. "As mayors, we know that we don't have the luxury of simply talking about change without delivering it." Think of it as a particularly high-end town hall meeting with a very serious outcome.

NGO LEADERS: NNIMMO BASSEY (FRIENDS OF THE EARTH), KUMI NAIDOO (GREENPEACE)

For the first time, the heads of the two most famous planet-saving NGOs, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, hail from Africa: Bassey from Nigeria and Naidoo from the Durban townships. Both have gritty experience as activists. Bassey became an environmentalist after he witnessed the massacre when Nigerian forces opened fire on the village of Umuechem in the Niger Delta, where residents had campaigned against the Shell Petroleum Development Company. "Oil has been the destruction of the Nigerian economy," he says. "It destroys the relation between the people and the state." Naidoo began campaigning against apartheid in education as a 15-year-old. He was exiled in 1987. Years of experience have taught him that "having a seat at the table is very different from being equal voices at the table, and it is very different from being listened to." Come December both men will make politicians listen in Durban.

GREEN RETAILERS: WALMART VERSUS TIMBERLAND

There may soon come a time when you won't be able to buy anything from toothpaste to shoes without knowing the quantity of emissions it's responsible for or how it compares to the hemp version. Big retailers have big plans for green labelling: Jeff Swartz, CEO of Timberland, has already kicked things off with the Earthkeeper boot that minimises your footprint's footprint. Timberland is one of 200 clothing companies creating a giant Eco Index. Meanwhile the planet's biggest retailer, Walmart, has promised to apply eco labels to thousands of product lines. Less impressive for those who think planet saving is about not buying stuff.

ECO FESTIVAL FOUNDER: EDUARDO FISCHER

Eduardo Fischer has been described as the Richard Branson of Brazil, which may or may not be a compliment. As well as owning the advertising group Grupo TotalCom, he is the founder of SWU – Starts With You – a populist sustainability movement. SWU hosts an annual awareness-raising music festival in Brazil which, with a capacity of 300,000, is one of the biggest in the world. Fischer views it as the modern Woodstock. Well, perhaps – if Woodstock had had corporate sponsors including Nestlé.

TREE-PLANTING TWEENIE: FELIX FINKBEINER

Without so much as a Prince Charles picture book, the nine-year-old Felix Finkbeiner announced he wanted to plant 1m trees in his native Germany. Like a junior Wangari Maathai (the Nobel Prize winner who has planted 30m trees), he achieved his goal by the age of 12. Now the organisation he set up, Plant for the Planet, has gone international. In December Felix spoke in Cancun: "We children feel really cheated because such a lot was done for Copenhagen and at the end, what was really achieved there?" Don't mess with Felix.

YOUTH EDUCATOR: ELLEN MACARTHUR

The English sailor has become one of the major advocates for sustainable resource use, and champions the idea of viewing nature as natural capital. She had a Damascene conversion when she was still racing and came across abandoned whaling stations in South Georgia. What did humankind do when the number of whales plummetted? Just moved on to the next resource: oil. MacArthur's Foundation has become one of the leading sustainable educators of young adults.

SUSTAINABLE BUILDERS: BRAD PITT AND WILLIAM MCDONOUGH

"I don't even like the word green," Brad Pitt told historian Douglas Brinkley in a recent interview. But the 13 new homes recently completed by his Make It Right Foundation in the Lower 9th district of New Orleans are undeniably so. Post Hurricane Katrina, Pitt raised funds and teamed up with sustainable-building visionary William McDonough to get these houses built and now, according to the Green Building Council, it's the "most high-performing clean neighbourhood in the world". The self-confessed "architecture junkie" is clearly delighted by the results. "You know, out of all the Lower 9th homes we built, all are producing more energy than they are consuming. They're all pollution-free. This is an amazing story to me. Many of our home owners don't owe anything for energy use. We can prove that low-income and high- performance houses work."

ECO DIPLOMAT: SALEEM H ALI

The pervading fear is that global disputes over water and land-based resources are likely to escalate into conflict. But professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont and experienced mediator Saleem H Ali thinks natural resources have the capacity to unite, not just divide. A fan of peace parks (border regions used to resolve disputes by giving conflicting countries incentives to maintain them), he considers consumption of material goods to be a good thing. "Money from oil wealth can be used to invest in other sectors. And that in turn can yield sustainable development," he told Forbes magazine. He does, however, agree that Nigeria is the exception to this idea. Good – we'd hate him to be in conflict with Nnimmo Bassey.

"LUNATIC" FARMER: JOEL SALATIN

There's a certain rock 'n' roll energy about Joel Salatin of Polyface – a "multi-generational, pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm" in Virginia. The "lunatic" prefix is one he applied to himself (just in case you thought us unspeakably rude), because he is apt to come out with statements such as: "Industrial food never asks whether the pig is happy. The pig-ness of the pig never enters the conversation." But his surprisingly sane beliefs are finding plenty of traction internationally. The debate he has generated goes far beyond the usual "conventional versus organic" conversation (he deems "organic" irrelevant). Ultimately it's all about the soil. "The soil is the only thread upon which civilisation can exist. If a person could ever realise that our existence depends on literally inches of active aerobic microbial life on terra firma, we might begin to appreciate the ecological umbilical to which we are all still attached," Salatin told treehugger.com. "The food industry, I'm convinced, actually believes we don't need soil to live." Which is where the real lunacy lies.

ELECTRIC CARMAKER: ALAN MULALLY, CEO, FORD MOTOR COMPANY

We're reliably informed by everyone that 2011 will be the year of the electric car, which makes a nice change from wondering Who Killed The Electric Car? (as per the 2006 indie documentary). At home the UK welcomes the Plug-In Car Grant, although only three qualifying models are currently on the market. Across the Atlantic, last week's big unveiling by Alan Mulally was his company's new electric Ford Focus. Time to plug in?

HOLLYWOOD'S CONSCIENCE: DEBBIE LEVIN

Twenty years ago Ted Turner and other Hollywood luminaries set up the Environmental Media Association (EMA) to put star power to work on behalf of the planet. It went well; by mid-2000 it was de rigueur to turn up at the Oscars in a Prius. Debbie Levin, who took over the EMA presidency five years ago, has her sights trained on young Hollywood: A-listers under 35: "They are the ones we really want to model these sustainable behaviours we are all talking about," she says. EMA events now feature young starlets such as Rosario Dawson, Amy Smart and Olivia Wilde talking about sustainable solutions and EMA programmes, including the 16 organic gardens it runs around Los Angeles. Levin's plans are for more projects, more stars and more green chatter. "We never stop. While you sleep we're greening the world!" she says.

THE GREEN ROYAL: PRINCE CHARLES

To build on Harmony, his book (and accompanying NBC documentary) on sustainability, His Royal Greenness is releasing a picture-book version for children this year. Naturally his eco efforts in the next few months run the risk of being eclipsed by that wedding. The famous ecological activist Vandana Shiva says: "Prince Charles has been a very courageous man because he has never thought through the throne he will occupy – but he has thought through the planet."

ONLINE ACTIVISTS: AVAAZ

Youthful dissent is in the air. Blame WikiLeaks, the protests against tuition fees, or both. The question is: can environmental campaigns capitalise and rally slacktivists and activists alike? Campaigning global web community Avaaz promises "new nimbleness and flexibility" and claims more than 6.5m active members worldwide. Campaign ideas are polled to a sample group, and only those that get a strong response are "taken to scale". But once up and running campaigns can become "supercharged" in a way the old guard could never have imagined.

THE GREEN GUZZLER: JAY LENO, TALKSHOW HOST

There's deep green and then there's Tonight show host Jay Leno – the proud owner of 240 cars. "The two are not mutually exclusive," he has explained. "You can be interested in the environment and still like cars. And there is a way to just do it sensibly." To underscore the fact, he has made his cars as green as possible. One even runs on tequila, and he recently took delivery of the new electric Chevrolet Volt.

THE (EX) GOVERNATOR: ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Officially the Emissions Terminator has left the building. Arnie effectively outlawed his own Hummer and ignored Washington to commit California to a 25% cut in the state's greenhouse emissions by 2020. Expect the former Governator to become an influential champion of green technology and a wandering eco ambassador. Never has his former catchphrase "I'll be back" seemed more likely.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/16/green-power-list-top-20
 
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