Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary
The Challenge for the Climate Action Network
About the Cyberlibrary
The Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary was developed by Mick Kelly and Sarah Granich on behalf of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development, with sponsorship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
While every effort is made to ensure that information on this site, and on other sites that are referenced here, is accurate, no liability for loss or damage resulting from use of this information can be accepted.
Developing countries have always been under-represented in the official climate change negotiations. This can be explained by a lack of resources, including the financial means to attend, but also a lack of knowledge of the process and the issues discussed and a lack of capacity to organize themselves and to be acknowledged.
This state of under-representation was the same for both Southern non-government organizations (NGOs) and official negotiators when the Climate Action Network (CAN) was established in 1989. Sixty-three NGOs from 22 countries, under the guidance of Greenpeace International and Environmental Defense (now the Environmental Defense Fund), decided to establish CAN as a network for NGOs who share a common concern for the problems of climate change. Today, CAN claims to be the main speaker on behalf of environmental NGOs, and increasingly also development NGOs, in the international climate change negotiations.
For the least developed countries, adaptation is inevitable and, therefore, emphasized as a priority by CAN’s Southern members. This view is not, however, reflected in CAN’s agenda nor in its activities in the negotiations. The Network claims to speak on behalf of all its members, but there is an observable lack of responsiveness to the interests of Southern NGOs.
This problem traces back to structural and agency-level barriers within CAN that complicate Southern inputs and, therefore, Southern demands. Barriers at the structural level include a lack of internal funding to invite Southern NGOs to negotiations, poor quality internal communication that often leads to ignorance of Southern demands, failure of coordination at and between negotiations and, finally, the fact that time dedicated to regional node activities has particularly benefited Northern CAN nodes.
At an agency level, unequal experience and knowledge of the climate change process often puts Southern NGOs in the background at negotiations. A history of powerful and charismatic leadership and informal ties within the network also inhibits Southern involvement and the possibility for Southern NGOs to influence the agenda.
Many of these issues can be overcome in order to increase Southern representation. One suggestion would be to invest in internal capacity building, crucially strengthening the regional nodes. CAN must be self-critical and aware of the deficiencies within its network. Awareness and criticism of one’s own institutional assumptions is key towards ensuring a successful and sustainable future.
General Electric plans to cut solar installation costs by half
Project 90 by 2030 supports South African school children and managers reduce their carbon footprint through its Club programme
Bath & North East Somerset Council in the United Kingdom has installed smart LED carriageway lighting that automatically adjusts to light and traffic levels
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Public Gardens Association are mounting an educational exhibit at Longwood Gardens showing the link between temperature and planting zones
The energy-efficient Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers hotel is powered by renewable and sustainable sources, including integrated solar photovoltaics and guest-powered bicycles
El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, plans to generate 80 per cent of its energy from renewable sources
The green roof on the Remarkables Primary School in New Zealand reduces stormwater runoff, provides insulation and doubles as an outdoor classroom
The Weather Info for All project aims to roll out up to five thousand automatic weather observation stations throughout Africa
SolSource turns its own waste heat into electricity or stores it in thermal fabrics, harnessing the sun's energy for cooking and electricity for low-income families
The Wave House uses vegetation for its architectural and environmental qualities, and especially in terms of thermal insulation
The Mbale compost-processing plant in Uganda produces cheaper fertilizer and reduces greenhouse gas emissions
At Casa Grande, Frito-Lay has reduced energy consumption by nearly a fifth since 2006 by, amongst other things, installing a heat recovery system to preheat cooking oil