Cristina is a Spanish journalist working towards her master’s in journalism and globalisation at City University, London. You can follow her twitter on: @belda_font
From the beginning of the Paris Climate Summit, the world has expected a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change. Carbon pricing is seen as part of the solution.
Carbon pricing is the cost applied to carbon pollution to encourage polluters to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas they emit into the atmosphere. While no global carbon pricing policy has yet been broadly agreed to, the private sector is doing their homework. The scene has so far been dominated by negotiations about government commitments to reduce their carbon emissions. But there are other actors that are seeking to play a bigger role in the green economy transition: multinationals.
Adrienne Russell (below left) and Risto Kunelius (below right) are part of the MediaClimate research team studying coverage of UN climate summits. Risto is a professor at University of Tampere, Finland and Adrienne is an associate professor at University of Denver.
On Saturday in Montreuil, the site of the “alternative village” set up at COP21, Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein took ExxonMobil to court at what they called “The People’s Climate Summit.” It was a mock trial that was also a significant public event.
My twitter account has slowed down during the second week of COP21. Was it because no one had new stories to tell from Paris? Did my contacts all leave the conference? If so, with what feelings?
As person that hasn’t been to the summit and therefore was unable to directly pick up the notion of the conference, I am going to write down my thoughts gathered from reading the news coverage and features during COP21. I have been overwhelmed with all the information coming from Le Bourget, through seemingly endless media channels – news, features, background stories, blogs, tweets and so on.
I’ve never considered myself a radical youth, a hard-core feminist or any other kind of fundamental advocate. However, being at COP in Paris, I recognized power dynamics that I had for a long time considered things of the past.
I recognized people struggling with antiquated roles that are not visible or formulated but resonated everywhere. I saw women, youth and people from developing countries being marginalized (perhaps inadvertently) by the black-and white masses of the “middle-aged-white-men wearing black”. I am sorry to dig out stereotypes, and my expressions might be a little exaggerated, but my point is, at COP, not all voices are equally heard and considered. Let me describe some of my observations that brought me to these conclusions:
Three publications’ coverage relating to COP212 were examined from yesterday: CBC, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.
On the main page of Canada’s national public broadcaster’s website, several climate stories featured prominently. One article wrote hopefully of an impending climate deal as the conference draws to a close. Some of the apparent 10-15 sticking points on such a deal are:
Whether a fund should be established to help compensate low-lying countries for loss and damage related to climate change.
What temperature should be included as the maximum warming the world should reach: 1.5 C or 2 C or somewhere in between.
How to review and improve national goals for reducing emissions in the future.
“How can contemporary image makers promote new thinking and make a difference in the world?” (Fred Ritchin, Bending the frame)
Since the first day in my photo journalism class, taught by Sarah Schorr at Aarhus University, Ritchin’s quote has not lost its grip on me. How can a single photo in today’s digital media flow, still contribute towards making a change? How can one create meaningful content through a photo project?
Questions, which constantly floated in my head. Thoughts permanently popped up and disappeared again.
As world leaders continue negotiations at COP21 in Paris, apparently close to sealing some sort of deal to fight climate change – the future of nations’ energy production is an essential consideration, if this conference is to result in meaningful change, rather than just an increase in hot air.
A recent study at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research predicted that if we were to burn all remaining fossil fuel below ground, it would melt nearly all of Antarctica’s ice leading to a 50 or 60 meter rise in sea levels. One hopes humanity avoids such a fate.
What is often forgotten in the public discourse on climate change, however, is how regular people around the world make sense of what’s going on in Paris. The teenager in Newark, the student in Madrid or the businesswoman in Pune. It has often times been reiterated that climate change affects every one of us. In this analysis I will shed some light into how climate change is discussed on the “front page of the internet”: Reddit.
Anyone with a passing interest in climate change will know how intractably difficult international negotiations have proved in the past, reaching a low-point at Copenhagen.
Whatever the outcome this week in Paris, the preponderance of ‘square brackets’ in the latest draft document (signifying those issues still to be resolved) indicates that the task remains troublesome. While a scientific consensus on the basics of climate change has been established, a political consensus has been less forthcoming1,2. One reason for this is that climate change is not a uniquely scientific issue, but a public issue involving science3. We need to explore the public meanings of climate change, and allow these meanings to inform the debate around political responses to climate change. I suggest that one way to scratch the surface of such meanings is through the vibrant use of Twitter around the COP21 event4.
From the beginning of journalism, proximity has worked as one of the main news values or criteria for selecting interesting events. This principle was later formulated in the classic handbook written by Karl Warren, for whom the most interesting thing for any human being is himself/ herself and, afterwards, what is closest –eg. family, friends, home or work.
However, the media have often represented climate change as a remote process, with little or no influence in people’s lives. It may come as no surprise that many European citizens think that it is currently affecting only some remote regions of the planet, like the poles -“Okay, ice is melting, but this is not going to change my life in the near future.”