Search Results for Tag: qatar
An awkward position
Klaus Esterluss and Kerstin Schnatz, Doha
They all had to squeeze through: Shoppers and staff from surrounding restaurants moved past a tree made out of cans and tires at Doha’s traditional market area yesterday. 16 year old Mourad Farahat from Egypt and his friends from the organisation „You Think Green“ tried to raise the awareness of passers by for a greener future. Despite having received a permission for setting up their action at a spacious juncture a few meters further down, security guards told them to move the symbolic tree to a very inconvenient area with hardly any space, between a wall and the outside seating area of a restaurant.
By being in this awkward position of Doha’s „Souq Waqif“, the youths shared a fate with the international climate negotiations taking place in the same city that day. Civil society groups watching the international process carefully, are heavily critizising the Qatari Presidency for not showing enough leadership. „Key elements are stalling“ Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network, said. According to Hmaidan, the talks that are scheduled to end on Friday, December 7th, were at „a critical juncture“. The NGO expert is in line with young Mourad, when asking for a global reduction of carbon emissions and more money to help poorer countries adapting to climate change.
DateDecember 6, 2012
Tagscop18, doha, egypt, environment, garbage, Germany, global ideas, market, nature, qatar, shops, souq waqif, trash, you think green
Polluted policies and Robin Hood taxes
Author: Kerstin Schnatz
At the beginning of the second week of climate negotiations in Doha, activists from around the world showed their state delegates how to make the conference a success. Redirecting the flow of money was at the top of the agenda in two actions.
Take it from the rich
Wind farms, solar panels and biogas plants are a great idea to tackle climate change – but they do not come for free. Especially developing countries struggle to raise the money for green energies. On the other hand, those who live in industrialized countries and are thus most responsible for today’s climate change, have much more money. So why not take it from the rich and give it to the poor? In our short video, Tim “Robin” Gore from Oxfam explains the idea of a Robin Hood tax.
Kick out the fossil fuel lobby
According to a activists from SustainUs and the Young Arab Climate Movement (YACM), the industrialized countries should clean up the mess in their own backyards first. Such as Canada who has been awarded the “Fossil of the Day Award” today – in memory of having been the first country ever to have formally pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol.
The negative award for her own country will not surprise Neelam Khare. The student from Vancouver stresses, that Canada could have long taken the lead in changing its own energy production towards renewables, if the influence of the oil industry wasn’t so big. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on lobbying every day and millions “to fund think tanks that publish denialist junk science” to discredit climate change as a real problem.
DateDecember 3, 2012
Loch Ness meets green power
Author: Kerstin Schnatz
Scotland is one of the few nations in the world to have a Minister of Climate Change. We met Paul Weelhouse today at the World Climate Summit 2012 where he discussed the global energy mix of the future. While Qatar, represented by it’s Minister of Energy and Industry, counts heavily on natural gas, Scotland takes a differnt turn. Even though Scotland still is the biggest producer of oil and gas in the European Union and wants to keep this role, the country aims to run on 100% renewables by 2020. To reach this ambitious goal, lots of money and manpower are invested already. Even the mystic sea-monster Nessie takes part in the Scottish developement – but hear and see for yourself.
DateDecember 3, 2012
Tags2020, ambition, climate, cop18, doha, energy, minister, power, qatar, renewable, Scotland, solar, tidal, water, weelhouse, wind
Arabs taking the lead in climate actions
Author: Kerstin Schnatz
Goosebumps were guarenteed today, when 1000 people marched the streets of Doha. It was the first time that civil society groups had organized a climate march in the Middle East. The Qatari government, who has not allowed any sort of civil action like this before in the country, showed solidarity with the activists. Doha is currently hosting the 18th United Nations Climate Summit which is expected to end on Friday, December 7th.
Watch our video from the climate march:
DateDecember 2, 2012
TagsArab, civil society, climate action network, climate march, demonstration, doha, emirate, IndyAct, oasis, qatar, YCMA
1:0 for Bottom Up versus Top Down
Text and fotos by Kerstin Schnatz from Doha, Qatar
Being a monarchy with no elected national parliament up to date, Qatar does not have a history of civil society movements. Despite this lack of democratic history, the emirate currently welcomes civil society delegates from around the world to the 18th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP18) – among them many young people. At Youth Day, youngsters from the Arab world demanded a stronger stance on tackling climate change – in very different ways.
Top down: Qatar’s youth ambassadors
„When I was 18 years old, there was only one flight out of London a week. Now there are seven.“ The Quatari Chairman of the Organizing Committee for COP18, his Excellency Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, highlights new study opportunities for young Qataris – like the young Nasser Bin Marzook, sitting next to him on the panel. Nasser and his three fellow „youth ambassadors“, appointed by the government, look down into an almost deserted audience with a mixture of shyness and pride.
17 year old Nasser is still at school. During his exchange year in the USA, he learned about the problems of acid oceans as a result of CO2 emissions. As Qatar heavily depends on sea water for their freshwater supply coming from desalination plants, Nasser wants to spread the word about this problem in his own country. His fellow youth ambassador’s approach, 18-year old Mariam Al-Nesf, is a different one: „Here in Qatar we have no rainforest – but we have mangrove forests that we need to protect.“ Sahar Al Ansari, 18, a Freshman at Qatar University, visited a village entirely powered by solar energy in Brazil and wishes to bring renewable energies to his home country. In Qatar, electricity is still 100% derived from fossil fuels, despite the sun shining almost every day.
Each of the young ambassadors speaks for about one minute, their statements sound wooden, studied for a long time. Questions from the audience are answered by his Excellency first – afterwards the youngsters are invited to add an aftertought. When asked how exactly the Qatari government is hoping to cut down CO2 emissions he becomes evasive and hints to new research funds for climate change issues.
Bottom up: The Arab Youth Climate Movement
At the same time, downstairs, a joyful, colourfoul crowd of young people have come together for what looks like a soccer game. The Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) is holding their own version of a press conference – a much noisier and more chaotic one. AYCM is the first climate movement the Arab world has seen in history. Hundreds of young activists from Qatar and other Arab countries have joined together in the forerun to COP 18.
These young, energetic people also want to influence the climate negotiations – starting with the host nation Qatar: “Now that they have gotten the world’s attention by hosting this COP, they need to demonstrate that they are about more than beautiful venues and a wealthy gas exporting economy.” Ali Fakhry from IndyACT who helped launching AYCM says. It is a pity that the youth ambassadors appointed by the Qatari government can not hear this pledge. They are still inside the conference room taking a group picture with his Excellency.
Climate March: On Saturday, December 1st, the AYCM organises an historic march for climate action in Doha. The Qatari government, who never in the country’s history allowed any similar kind of action before, expreses solidarity with the activists. GLOBAL IDEAS will be at the march to report for you.
Qatar’s new closeness to civil society: During COP18, the emirate is very eager to stress that it has learnt a lesson from COP18. Media events stating “Qatar’s Commitment to Civil Society Engagement on Climate Change Issues” – being the official title of one press conference – are held almost on a daily basis. The Sunday climate march will prove, how eager the Qatari government really is to support a critical civil society in their own country and the Arab region in general.
Follow our GLOBAL IDEAS Facebook page for recent updates from this year’s UN climate conference and the climate march this Saturday.
DateNovember 30, 2012
Tagsaction, Arab, civil society, climate change, climate movement, cop18, doha, monarchy, qatar, YCMA, youth