As the COP 21 comes to an end, the main focus of the coverage of Spanish and Portuguese newspapers on Friday (Dec 11) was the announcement that the release of the final agreement had been postponed.
Prominent newspapers from each country El País, El Mundo (Spain) and Público (Portugal) had correspondents at the Summit, while others used texts from news agencies.
The coverage of the developments of the agreement did not differ greatly from one newspaper to another. However, outlets did provide different perspectives on the discussion of climate change in general:
As the climate negotiations in Paris near their final rounds, some might be surprised by rather contradictory developments, which relate to the much discussed 2 degree threshold.
This limit aims to keep warming within 2°C of the pre-industrial average.While the emissions reduction pledges put forward by the countries ahead of COP 21 in Paris were not sufficiently ambitious to keep within this limit, in the final phase of the negotiations many countries wish for an even lower limit: below 1.5 degrees.
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.
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.
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.
Before dealing with environmental news reporting academically, I was involved in the environmental movement personally, since back in the 90s.
I was, for instance, at the World Social Forum which took place during the now sadly famous G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001. I was volunteering as a translator and spent several days actively participating. While there, I had the chance to attend and listen to workshops hosting prominent figures of the so called anti-globalisation movement. Within the movement, at that time, concepts, issues and stakeholders of the sustainability question were defined for an increasingly broad public – an internet-connected public. The discussion was especially relevant for a development-critical, possibly de-growth-oriented perspective. The international and Italian media coverage of that summit in particular, and the discrepancy with my own experience of the events that took place, was one of my journalistic biggest lessons so far.
Pedro is a Brazilian journalist currently working towards his master’s in journalism and globalisation at City University London. His Twitter handle is @pedrohcbarreto
In Brazil, the political turmoil is overshadowing the media coverage of the COP21. This weekend, Venezuela had general elections which received major attention from Brazilian outlets. Nevertheless, all the main newspapers had a special section on their websites dedicated to the conference – they are updated daily with articles written by correspondents, international news agencies and opinion pieces.