Judy Lumb's

Africa Blog

COP-17 Afterthoughts


Being Here

Last Night

CJN Press Conference

Country Reports

Actions and Security

High Level Sessions

Major Issues

First Week Ends

World Day of Action

Decision-Making Process

Preliminary Actions



Occupy Earth

Issues Arising

Opening Ceremony

Rally - Bishop Tutu

Getting there

A Leading to go to Africa


Africa --- December 2011 - April 2012

Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-17) Durban, South Africa, November 28 - December 9, 2010


Working together to save tomorrow today.

COP-17COP-17 Meeting Room


23 December 2011 --- Going through leftover COP-17 materials I find I have more to say that I didn't get to in the rush of the conference. Click here for more information on new sources of funding for climate change responses.


11 December 2011 --- I had to leave before it finished, but I can see the direction it is heading. Click here for my take on the outcome.


10 December 2011 --- We are all waiting for the resumption of the last session of the COP, time to be announced. Undoubtedly you will get many reports of the outcome here in Durban. I will add my version after the final is announced. But what I can provide at this point is a description of what it is like to be here. Click here for that.

9 December 2011 --- We thought it was going to be the last night, but after gaveling the few decisions that have already been made, all from the first week, they suspended the COP until tomorrow morning at 10 am. It seems that the developing countries are blocking that bad agreement that was proposed. For more on the issues and rumors, click here.

9 December 2011 --- Climate Justice Now had a Press Conference at 6:30 pm tonight that was webcast on the UNFCCC website <unfccc.int>. It may still be there. Look for "on-demand." They were deploring the proposed agreement that came out this morning. There will be no second period of the Kyoto Protocol at Durban, but negotiations are to go on all year with the approval at COP-18 in Qatar. CJN speakers recommended that developing countries block this agreement. For more detail click here.

8 December 2011 --- I have been to most of the Country Reports. While the Ministers are negotiating in closed sessions, the open sessions involve each country giving their statement. It was my favorite part in Cancun, so I went to most of them. It took three days for all 193 countries plus Palestine to report.

Each country described their individual experiences with the effects of climate change. The only countries that didn't mention serious problems were the industrialized countries that emit most of the greenhouse gases. Click here for more details, including transcripts of the Belize, U.S. and Venezuala reports.

During the country reports there were two demonstrations, "Turn your back on Canada," and a woman shouting a speech against the U.S. All were led out of the room by police. Click here for more details on these and other demonstrations inside the Conference.

6 December 2011 --- The Ministers have arrived and today was the opening ceremony for the high level segment of COP-17. The dignitaries spoke, the Executive Director of the UNFCCC, President of COP-17, President of South Africa, and UN Secretary General. Then several Heads of State spoke, most of whom were representing groups of countries. They were speaking to the Ministers, explaining their group’s agenda, so the issues became a little clearer. All were very compelling and several represented the most vulnerable countries, so the urgency and importance of a positive result from Durban was emphasized. As usual, click here for more details if you aren’t too tired of reading this and have the time.

6 December 2011 --- Summary of the major issues: Basically the industrial countries that have caused the problem do not experience so much adverse effects from climate change now, and what they do experience they have the resources to address, so they do not feel so much urgency. In contrast, developing countries that did not cause the problem are experiencing serious adverse effects and do not have the resources to adapt, so they feel a great urgency for action. The major issues involve the question of a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, which ends at the end of 2012, goals for emissions reductions, carbon offsets, and financing of developing country needs. Click here for more detail.

5 December 2011 ---My summary of the first week: a few agreements are finalized on minor issues, and much negotiating work has been done. But there doesn’t seem to be much progress on the major issues. Everyone awaits the results of the high level meetings with Ministers this week. Today’s detail includes an explanation of the structure and function of each part of the UNFCCC, and some of the minor agreements completed. Click here for COP-17 Structure and Function. Click here for COP-17 Structure and Function.

4 December 2011 --- It is now midnight on Saturday night that finishes the first week, so it is a marathon night which will go until the work is done. The first week involves decisions on technical, organizational, and financial issues, as well as preliminary negotiations on political issues. More detail later today on what came out of the first week. The second week is the high level negotiations at the ministerial level. Some heads of state will be here.

4 December 2011 --- World Day of Action was a march through the streets of Durban of many, many people, the 99% expressing themselves. I positioned myself on a balcony so I could get an overview and then joined the march. Click here for a slideshow.

3 December 2011 --- Before heading out to the march I want to share a bit on the controversy on the decision-making process of the COP-17. Click here to read more.

2 December 2011 --- Tomorrow (Saturday, Dec 3) is the big march, so today there were several actions to build the momentum for it. It was all very uplifting for me. Click here for more details and photos.

But then I went to the briefing by the U.S. Head Negotiator, Jonathan Pershing. He was very slick, almost manic. He has it all worked out in his head how the U.S. can make a positive contribution despite the restrictions placed on the team due to the political realities. I came out of there depressed because it all seems so impossible, so unfair.

2 December 2011 --- Mitigation: In contrast to Adaptation, Mitigation refers to avoiding the effects of climate change altogether, reducing carbon emissions so that the change is averted. The pledge in Copenhagen was vaguely stated as a range of 25 to 40% reduction by 2020, but that was not legally binding. Developing countries are calling for 40% reduction by 2017 and 95% by 2050. According to current science, this is what is required to keep the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees C. Click here for more on Mitigation.

1 December 2011 --- A new emphasis on Adaptation to the effects of climate change was important in Cancun because many developing countries are feeling serious effects of climate change already. They need help adapting to the new reality from the developed countries that owe them a debt from historical benefits from carbon emissions.

I am going to the Adaptation sessions and reporting back to the Climate Justice Now group at the morning meetings. Last night I went to a side event for the Adaptation Fund because it included a presentation by Sharon Ramclam, Director of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) of Belize because PACT is accreditted as a National Implementation Entity. Click here for more on Adaptation.

My Internet is back, so I can upload photos from Occupy Earth. I have heard Quakers are involved and got another hint. The People's Assembly yesterday began with an explanation of hand signals and the first was the Quaker alternative to clapping as a signal of approval. Click here for more details and photos.

30 November 2011 --- I am keeping up with the Climate Justice Now (CJN) coalition, which involves many organizations. We meet each morning and someone is assigned to go to each official meeting and report back the next morning, so that is very helpful. There are a very few opportunities for Civil Society to make "interventions" (give statements) at plenaries. There are no "actions" going on in the meeting space as security is very tight. Some delegates who participated in actions in the past were denied badges this time. The Occupy Earth space is just across the street. I went to their assembly this afternoon and have some photos, but can't upload now. I hope all Occupy movements are holding COP-17 in the Light! Click here for a beginning list of issues arising.

28 November 2011 --- Today COP-17 was officially opened with the outgoing President Patricia Espinosa, Foreign Minister of Mexico, turning over the reins to incoming President of COP-17, H.E. Ms.Maitte Nkoana-Mashabane, who is also the Foreign Minister orhercountry, South Africa. As in Cancun, we have a woman in charge and again she emphasized that the process would be inclusive and open. Click here for more details.

27 November 2011 --- I spent the most of the day at the stadium where there was a free concert and rally sponsored by a coalition of all the Faith groups, featuring Bishop Desmond Tutu. It made me even more conscious how important is the U.S.'s stubborn resistance. I'm going to send emails to U.S. media asking them to cover COP-17, and to the White House. Click here for more details.

26 November 2011 --- It took six planes and three days of flying, but I am now in Durban, South Africa. Click here for details and photos.

31 October 2011 --- My leading is to go to Africa for five months bracketed by two events, COP-17 in Durban, South Africa in Dec, and World Gathering of Friends in Kenya in April, 2012

Jan 2012 - Mar 2012 I am volunteering with the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI). AGLI requires that all volunteers raise funds. If you are led to contribute to this effort, put my name in the memo line and send a check to AGLI/FPT, 1001 Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104. Thanks!