Climate Change and Climate Justice

Posted on Updated on

The NGO Committee on Sustainable Development and NGO Committee on the Status of Women cordially invite their members and guests for a talk with

Tricia Callender

Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Thinx Inc.

November 18, 2021; 4pm CET online, Zoom

Tricia is Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Thinx Inc. Before that she was Anti-Racism/DEI Leader for NGO CSW and Global Coordinator of the Civil Society Advisory Group to UN Women Generation Equality Forum. She is a data-driven organizational transformation, change management and DEI strategist with experience in large global organizations including UNICEF, UNDP, The World Bank, financial institutions in Asia, and tech companies in the USA, Africa, Asia and Latin America. After completing her doctorate with a focus on migration in South Africa, she remained in South Africa for 5 years working with the UN on migration, refugee protection, gender equality, and racial equality. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University in 2013. She has also studied at the University of Cambridge (UK) and Yale University.

To join please follow the link or use the Zoom credentials:

Statement COP26: Challenges of Climate Change

Posted on Updated on

4 October 2021, Vienna; download the statement here

An NGO statement to the 2021 UN climate change conference, COP 26, in Glasgow

For many years the scientific community, the Member States of the United Nations, and civil society have discussed the impact on our planet of climate change and identified measures needed to protect the world in which we live.

To date, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have convened 25 conferences. They have signed and ratified decisions, protocols and agreements on the reduction of CO2.

Measures and actions to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change need to be taken without delay. The undersigned NGOs admitted with Observer Status by the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC and joined by other NGOs in Consultative Status with the United Nations thus urge the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC to act promptly on the following challenges:

1) Mitigation

The scientific community worldwide should coordinate research and innovation so as to draw up procedures to reduce CO2 emissions. Systems need to be developed that are sufficiently robust to operate under varying conditions, e.g., excessive drought or flooding, changes in flora and fauna due to rising temperatures, and the loss of biodiversity. The ultimate aim should be to halt global warming and achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

2) Adaptation

Recent months have shown that the impact of climate change is palpable on every continent and in every region, and is driven by the physical environment, such as mountains, oceans, and permafrost. Therefore, local decisions are critical to effective adaptation to changing weather and climate conditions. The regional focus should be on planning, land use, settlements and infrastructure, as well as forestry and agriculture. The global rise in temperatures and the related changes in the spread of disease pose an inordinate challenge for public health systems. Moreover, it is evident that with regard to energy systems, limiting changes to electric vehicles alone will not suffice.

3) Participation and cooperation

Action plans for adaptation may result in significant changes to regional patterns of settlement and lifestyles and may have a disproportionate effect on marginalised populations including minorities, women and children. New formats for democratic participation are thus called for. They should be so designed as to inform all stakeholders and secure their participation in the decision-making processes. Only if the consistency of such measures is upheld can aims be reached ensuring that the most marginalised groups do not bear the brunt of the climate crisis.

On the international level, UN cooperation in particular needs to be reliable and accountable. International treaties and conventions must be respected, reports must be verifiable, obligations implemented without delay, and enforcement transparent. Matters would be improved where an international panel set up empowered to monitor progress independently and make reluctant states confront their responsibilities.

4) Financial frameworks

The costs for all necessary measures and actions will be very high, yet far lower than the costs of damages incurred in the case of “business as usual”. Countries should provide sustainable, long-term financial plans, which may require modifying tax systems. An international fund – administered by the UN – should provide assistance to the developing countries.

The challenges posed by climate change are global and cannot be successfully met by countries or regions in isolation, and even less by competition between nations. Cooperation and transparency are critical and indispensable to solving climate change.


The statement is also supported by CoNGO

Submitted by NGOs in Observer Status with the Conference of Parties of UNFCCC:

  1. Association pour le Développement Durable (ADD)
  2. Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD)
  3. Haiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation, Inc. USA
  4. International Council of Women (ICW)
  5. Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.
  6. Nurses Across the Borders (NAB)
  7. UNANIMA International
  8. Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)
  9. United Methodist Church—General Board of Church and Society (UMC-GBCS)
  10. VIVAT International

Endorsed by NGOs in Consultative, Associated and Observer relations with the United Nations:

  1. Abraham’s Children Foundation
  2. African Action on Aids (AAA)
  3. Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS)
  4. Arab Society for Academic Freedoms(ASAF)
  5. Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs
  6. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  7. Asociación Latinoamericana para Los Derechos Humanos (ALDHU)
  8. Association of Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand
  9. Awaz Centre for Development Services (AwazCDS-Pakistan)
  10. Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI)
  11. Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO)
  12. Congregations of St. Joseph
  13. Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute (CBCI)
  14. Dianova International
  15. ECPAT-USA
  16. Election Network in the Arab Region(ENAR)
  17. GCS International
  18. Global Action on Aging (GAN)
  19. Graduate Women International (GWI)
  20. Initiatives of Change
  21. Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate
  22. International Alliance of Women (IAW)
  23. International Council on Environmental Economics and Development (ICEED)
  24. International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)
  25. International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
  26. International Federation of Women in Legal Careers (FIFCJ)
  27. International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
  28. International Inner Wheel (IIW)
  29. International Presentation Association, The (IPA)
  30. International Progress Organization (IPO)
  31. Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)
  32. League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS)
  33. Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV)
  34. Pan Pacific South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA)
  35. Pax Romana
  36. Servas International
  37. Sisters of Charity Federation
  38. Society for International Development (SID)
  39. Socialist International Women (SIW)
  40. Soroptimist International (SI)
  41. Temple of Understanding
  42. Tiye International
  43. Universal Peace Federation (UPF)
  44. Verein zur Förderung der Völkerverständigung
  45. Women’s Federation for World Peace International (WFWPI)
  46. Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO)
  47. Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
  48. World Association for Psychological Rehabilitation (WAPR)
  49. World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ)
  50. WUZDA Ghana
  51. Zonta International

The statement above was drafted and finalized by the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development in Vienna and was officially endorsed by the following NGO members with ECOSOC consultative status: Graduate Women International, Initiatives of Change, International Inner Wheel, International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Pax Romana, Servas International, Soroptimist International, Society for International Development, Socialist International Women, Verein zur Förderung der Völkerverständigung, Women’s Federation for World Peace International, Women’s International Zionist Organisation, and World Union for Progressive Judaism.

30th CCPCJ Side Event

Posted on Updated on

30th SESSION of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

Tuesday May 18th, 1.10 – 2p.m. CET, online

Zoom Link

Meeting-ID: 811 4864 169
Kenncode: 478023

Environmental factors as an important trigger for migration

Reconsidering the definition of smuggling migrants in the context of (transnational) environmental disasters and hazardous legacies

Environmental factors influence migration in important ways, shaped by local economic, sociopolitical and cultural conditions. The root causes of environmental migration are often deeply intertwined and closely connected to sustainable development issues. Experts will present actual research data and share experience at the grass roots level, followed by a discussion on understanding the links between environmental change and migration, which disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, in particular women and girls.

PANELISTS

Roman Hoffmann, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis with affiliations at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Farai Maguwu, Director of Centre for Natural Resource Governance (cnrgzim.org), PhD candidate at the Wits School of Governance

MODERATOR

Sharon Fisher, President Soroptimist International

Q&A

Biographies

Roman Hoffmann is a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis with affiliations at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Vienna and

degrees in sociology and economics from the University of Munich. In his applied research, he studies the impacts of climate change on populations and resilience to environmental stress with a focus on climate adaptation and migration. He has served as a consultant for UNIDO, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), and several non-governmental organizations.

Farai Maguwu is devoted to improving the governance of natural resources in Zimbabwe. Human Rights Watch honoured him with the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism. He was also honoured by Rapaport, a clean diamond campaigner, for protecting artisanal diamond miners in Zimbabwe‘s Marange region. In 2012 he

founded the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (cnrgzim.org), which researches and documents human rights abuse and illicit trade in minerals. Farai is a PhD candidate at the Wits School of Governance. He holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European University Center for Peace Studies, and a Master in Peace and Governance from Africa University.

Sustainable Development Committee

The focus of the committee is on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. It provides a forum for NGOs interested in discussing and analyzing the work of the UN intergovernmental bodies in the field of sustainable

development, as well as the related activities of the Vienna-based UN organizations. It encourages new initiatives and seeks inputs into civil society’s contribution to the 2030 agenda of the United Nations.

CSD Talk 27 April 2021

Posted on Updated on

Some are Hazardous Environmental Legacy Sites, some are Monsters: Why sustainable development needs to include environmental crime

The Committee on Sustainable Development cordially invites its member organisations to a talk by Prof. Verena Winiwarter (BOKU) on Hazardous Environmental Legacy Sites

WhenTuesday, 27 April 2021
Time6:30 – 8:30 pm
Zoom-LinkLink
Meeting-ID843 4442 0182
Kenncode882737

About Verena Winiwarter

Professor of Environmental History at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt since 2007, transferred to BOKU 2018 with the Institute of Social Ecology. She holds a PhD in Environmental History (1998) and a venia legendi in Human Ecology (2003) from University of Vienna. Since 2016, she is a full member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW), Chairperson of the Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies, and co-founded the European Society of Environmental History. Her main research interests comprise the history of landscapes, in particular rivers and the environmental history of soils and legacy sites. Her 2014 co-authored book “Umwelt hat Geschichte. Sechzig Reisen durch die Zeit” was elected as Wissenschaftsbuch des Jahres in Austria and Umweltbuch des Jahres in Germany and is now in its 3rd imprint. In 2013, she was „WissenschaftlerIn des Jahres“ in Austria and in December 2019 she was awarded the “Preis der Stadt Wien für Geisteswissenschaften”.

Book recommendation

Abena Dove Osseo-Asare. Atomic Junction: Nuclear Power in Africa after
Independence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 296 pp.
$32.99 (paper), ISBN 978-1-108-45737-8.
Review

UNODC Statement by the CSD

Posted on Updated on

The Committee on Sustainable Development has drafted a statement for the upcoming UNODC Crime Congress in Kyoto, Japan form 7 to 12 March 2021. It is open for support of member organisations until 17 February 2021.

UNTOC Side Event: Linking Criminal Justice and the SDGs

Posted on Updated on

Together with SIW, GWI, SID and CoNGO the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development has organized a Side Event for the upcoming UNTOC COP10. The title is “Linking Criminal Justice and the SDGs in a New Way: Corruption creates wicked legacies at hazardous sites” and it will be an online event, taking place on October 15th 2020 from 10am – 10:50am.

Sustainable Legislation and Climate Change

Posted on Updated on

The environmental law is a success story of the regulatory law. The Austrian law § 16 WEG 2002 (Wohnungseigentumsgesetz, Condominium law) is not. To increase the energy efficiency, I wanted to install (as a landlord of a shop), a heat exchanger in the ventilation of the air conditioning. One of the owners in the house was against. I wanted to buy an electric car and install a wall box to charge the car. All 100 owners must agree to these projects, – it’s hopeless. Many of the judges do not take into account in their judgment the problem of climate change, even if the home-owners are not disadvantaged by the measures to increase efficiency.

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Youth – make it better!

Posted on Updated on

Our youth skips school and demonstrates instead. They complain that the Austrian government is doing too little delaying climate change. Politics is not easy, but undoubtedly they could do more. Today’s Youth in Austria, for the most part, is materialistic and demanding: they should limit their needs under the motto – Make It Better!

Roland Leithenmayr VFV

Migration Paradox

Posted on Updated on

Professor Hein de Haas points out the misunderstanding that development aid in countries prevents migration. Indeed, the development in the poorest countries, for instance in Sub-Sahara Africa, will almost inevitably lead to more migration, because it increases capacity and aspiration to migrate. “…therefore, future immigrants in Europe might increasingly come from sub-Saharan Africa instead of Turkey and North Africa.” (1)

Klaus Woltron doubt that migration of needy refugees in wealthy countries does diminish poverty in the world. The population continues to grow dramatically without contraception. The growth of population in developing countries is greater than the number of migrants. Woltron complains that the Catholic Church does not support contraception and fears that the high birth rates of Muslims in Europe strengthen political Islam. The most effective measure is to raise the standard of education enabling to increase the standard of living considerably; however, the higher standard of living will cause higher energy consumption, higher emissions, and waste – a vicious circle. (2)

Judith Kohlenberger examined that population growth in Africa is based less on increasing fertility but on falling child mortality. She endorses that Europe enters into a partnership with Africa to promote education and circular migration. Kohlberger says that a complete stop of the African migration to Europe would be neither realistic nor sensible, so she rejects the closure of escape routes. Both sides, Europe and Africa, would benefit from circular migration. That is legal work, study and (dual) education in Europe employing work-, or student-card coupled with a voluntary return after a few years. (3)

Experts like Jeffrey Sachs and Juliette Lyons debate the negative consequences of aid. It has left developing countries in a worse place than before. Africa as a whole receives around $50 billion of international assistance annually. Instead of improving the living conditions of the 600 million people, the aid makes the rich richer, the poor poorer. It hinders economic growth in the region. Unfortunately, foreign aid strengthens corruption in countries where it is already widespread. Another consequence is aid dependence, – vast sums of money collected on foreign aid are not applied to promote local business, but used as “free” money at their disposal (4).

The international community is devoted to assisting developing countries such as Africa in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through significant increases in foreign aid spending.  However, experts maintain different opinions about additional aid in meeting the SDGs. To moderate the different opinions is the application of tools used in Project-Management: Payments for Progress linked to additional aid to clear evidence of progress achieved ensuring that aid pays only for real, measurable achievements (5).

Sanjay G. Reddy R. warns that the foreign debt of Sub-Saharan-Africa has doubled between 2008-2016 to more than $ 450 billion. This high debt threatens the UN Sustainable Development Goals (17 SDGs) in this region seriously. So far, there is no mechanism to combat this debt crisis effectively. “… it is time to legislate and implement principles …”. Klaus Woltron doubts that the industrialized countries are in a position – given their massive debts – to eliminate the misery in developing countries (5).

 (1)“Development aid does not prevent migration,” Making It, Number 25, page 13. Hein de Haas, Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam and founding member of the International Migration Institute (IMI) of the University of Oxford.

(2) Klaus Woltron, Wie viele Menschen trägt die Welt? Krone Bunt, Sonntag 3. März 2019. Woltron was former leader of multinational companies, industrialist, business philosopher and author.

 (3) Judith Kohlenberger, Ein kompletter Stopp der Migration aus Afrika ist nicht sinnvoll, gastkommentar@wienerzeitung.at. Kohlenberger is Research Assistant at the Institute for Social Policy of WU Vienna and member of the Querdenkerplattform Wien-Europe – www.querdenkereurope.at

(4) Juliette Lyons, Foreign aid is hurting, not helping Sub-Saharan Africa, Le Journal International, 13. October 2014. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyonsjuliette/

(5) Owen Matthew Barder, Payments for Progress: A Hands-Off Approach to Foreign Aid, Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 102, 24 Pages Posted: 2 May 2007, Center for Global Development, Date Written: December 2006

(6) Sanjay G. Reddy, Warnsignale in Subsahara-Afrika, Südwind Magazin, Nr.11-12/November 2018. Sanjay G. Reddy is a lecturer in economics at the New School for Social Research, New York.