Greening the economy is the key to creating sustainable employment

The Green Economy Group, a coalition of 25 national environmental organisations, has released its own report on Creating Sustainable Employment by Greening the Economy. The Green Economy Group’s report contains recommendations for creating sustainable jobs by ‘greening the economy’. It examines the concepts of green jobs and outlines sectors where there is untapped potential for job creation. ‘The government has recognised that the green economy is a central plank of our economic recovery, but it […]

Comhar published Community Renewable Energy Report

This policy paper explores the status of community renewable energy in Ireland, identifies the barriers to developing community renewable energy and outlines potential options to overcome these barriers. A balanced renewable energy solution for Ireland should be an integrated mix of large, small, community and micro-scale development from various sources. Community based energy generation can play an important part in job creation, local income generation, enhancing support for renewable projects and ensuring community involvement in […]

Is China being used as a scapegoat by countries which are unwilling to make significant cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions?

Written by Fr Sean McDonagh SSC For a number of years the United States and other countries such as Canada, Russia and more recently Japan, have stated that they are unwilling to sign any binding treaty to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions unless China does the same. In support of their position, these countries point to the fact that China is now the number one emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. In 2005, […]

What has happened to the EU’s leadership on Climate Change?

Written by Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC (December 5th 2011) In the early years of the Conference of the Parties (COPs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the European Union along with the Nordic countries was generally seen to be in the vanguard of both climate science and of dealing with the crisis through binding agreements to reduce greenhouse emissions, such as the Kyoto Protocol. Even someone as politically conservative as Margaret Thatcher […]

A Small breakthrough at Durban: Is it too little, too late?

by: Fr. Seán McDonagh,SSC COP 17, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was scheduled to end on Friday December 9th 2011.  At that point there was no agreement on a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol (KP) nor a willingness to accept legally binding cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by the big three emitters the United States, India or China. On Thursday, December 8th 2011 and […]

A Brief History of the Aarhus Convention

The UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters was adopted on 25 June 1998 in Aarhus, Denmark, at the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the “Environment for Europe” process, under the aegis of UNECE. It entered into force on 30 October 2001 and currently has 44 parties including the European Union. The Aarhus Convention has the objective of guaranteeing the rights of access to information (first […]

No Breakthrough at Bonn Climate Change Conference

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC At the end of the Climate Change Conference in Bonn (June 6th to 17th ), Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said that the negotiations on climate change were “the most important negotiation the world has ever faced.” [1] Unfortunately, there was no dramatic break-through at the Bonn conference. Maybe it is too much to expect that the UNFCCC multi-track negotiation process […]

The Bonn Climate Change Conference

By Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC At the end of the first week of the Bonn Conference on Climate Change, the first thing which comes to mind is how little coverage this vitally important negotiation session is receiving the world media.  A favourable outcome from the Bonn Conference is essential if the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is to meet later in the year in Durban, South Africa, is to succeed.   As the […]

UN Climate Talks in Bonn, June 6 to 17, 2011

By Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC The UN sponsored climate change  talks began in Bonn, Germany on June 6th 2011 and will run until June 17th 2011.  These talks will attempt to revive negotiations on various aspect of climate change  so that a fair, ambitious and  legally binding treaty, a successor to the Kyoto Protocol,  can be signed at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change  (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa, later in the year. While […]

Fieldtrip and music: The North Wexford food from the wild and sea shore interpretation for visitors.

[imagebrowser id=2] On Sunday May 22nd ‘World Biodiversity Day’ an international group came down to North Wexford to celebrate. Thirty five visitors came by train, bus and car to N Wexford to celebrate Austrian Maypole day and World Biodiversity Day. The successful day was packed with little testers and tasters as well as music and shore nature fieldtrip. The meal started with wild garlic and wild water cress soup collected locally, the salads contributed included […]

The 19th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) ended in failure

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC Though it received very little media attention the failure of the 19th Session of the UN Commission On Sustainable Development (CSD) to reach an agreement on May 14th 2011, on a series of environmental and development issues is a major set-back for global diplomacy.  The CSD emerged in 1992 from the United Nations Conference on Environment and  Development (UNCED), popularly known as the “Rio Earth Summit.” Since 2003 the CSD cycle […]

The Second Last Day: Is Agreement Possible?

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC (May 11, 2011) Yesterday I gave an account of the intervention at the High Level Segment of the Irish Minister for the Environment Local Government and Community. Other interventions were also important. The Argentine minister spoke for the G-77/China. She stressed the importance of improving transport, especially in rural areas. She also called for the poverty eradication. She challenged transnational corporations (TNCs) to apply the same environmental and health standards which […]

CSD-19-The High Level Segment

Rev. Seán McDonagh, SSC The high-level Segment of the 19th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) began on May 11, 2011, at the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations.  The chairperson Mr. László Borbély, the Minister of Environment and Forests of Romania, opened the meeting by welcoming the ministers from the various countries who have come to conclude negotiations on the themes of the conference. These include transport, chemical, waste management, […]

Tuesday May 10th at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC The discussion on mining continued on Tuesday May 10th 2011, under the leadership of Yvette Banzon Abalos.  She challenged the various delegates to be more focused on the Chair’s text, rather than introducing their own new amendments. There was a long discussion on what is called small scale or artisanal mining (ASM). An agreement was reached that this should “be in accordance with national legislation,” and “subject to national priorities.”  As […]

The Beginning of the Second Week of the 19th Session of the UN Commission on Development

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC May 9th 2011. The second week of the 19th Session of the UN Commission on Development began on Monday morning, May 9, 2011 at 10 am. During the Stock-Taking Plenary on Friday May 6th 2011, the chair, László Borbély, Environment Minister in Romania, congratulated the negotiators for their hard work during the first week.  Under the stewardship of the chairs of the various Working Groups most of the texts on the […]

Will the Vatican Finally Wake Up to the Dangers of Climate Change?

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC During the first week of May 2011, the Pontifical Academy of Science released a report on the potentially devastating impact of climate change. The Working Group which consisted of glaciologists, climate scientists, meteorologists, hydrologists, physicists, chemists, mountaineers and lawyers was co-chaired by Veerabhadran Ramanathan and Nobel laureate Paul Cruzen. Though initially their focus was on glaciers, the study was expanded to include the impact on climate change of anthropogenic emissions of […]

Religion and Sustainable Development

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC In the past, the ascetic tradition of various religions sometimes seemed to be motivated by a denial of the value of the world.  Often salvation was presented as removing humans from the natural world, as if somehow matter itself was tainted, and could not in any way be associated with the world of the spirit. Manichaeism depicted the world as radically deficient and that even the human body is somehow evil.  […]

The End of the First Week of the 19th Session of The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). May 6th 2011

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC We have reached the end of the first week of the 19th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).  The texts for the four themes of the this cycle  – mining, transport, management of chemicals and waste and the need to change unsustainable patterns of consumption and production – have been discussed and changed as a result of interventions from the U.S. EU, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Israel, the Group […]

Call for More Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns in Today’s World

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC The World Summit one Sustainable Development (WSSD) which met in Johannesburg in 2002 called for A 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The 19th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainably Development in May 2011, is also addressing this issue. The scale of the crisis in this area was highlighted by a Report from the WorldWatch Institute called, The State of the World Report 2010. The Report was […]

Understanding the Workings of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) claims that it offers the world one of the most open and participatory intergovernmental processes on sustainable issues.  It believes that the original mandate given at the ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio in the Agenda 21 text was re-affirmed at the UN Summit on Sustainability in Johannesburg in 2002. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development called for CSD […]

Sustainable Development and The Limits to Growth Debate

Fr. Seán McDonagh In my article yesterday, I outlined some of the factors which led to the setting up of The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Even before that global event, a small group of thinkers were beginning to ask the question, whether there are upper limits to the Earth’s capacity to cope with human activity?  One of the first books to systematically address the […]

The Nineteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development May 2 – 13 2011

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC The 19th session of the UN Commission on SustainableDevelopment opened on May 2, 2011 and will continue until May 13th 2011. The word “sustainability” became part of the vocabulary of many missionaries and development workers in the wake of the publication of deliberations of the UN Commission on Environment and Development in a book called “Our Common Future.”  The book is often called the Brundtland Report after the name of the […]

UNFCCC Copenhagen, December 2009

Submitted by Pat Finnegan, GRIAN. UNFCCC Copenhagen December 2009 IEN report

UNFCCC Barcelona, November 2009

Submitted by Pat Finnegan, GRIAN. IEN UNFCCC Barcelona November 2009 report

UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB’s), Bonn, June 2009

Submitted by Pat Finnegan, GRIAN. IEN SB-30 Bonn 2009 report

Submission regarding Regional Planning Guidelines for Greater Dublin Area

Feasta & Smart Taxes 14 St Stephen’s Green Dublin 2 Emer O’Siochru Tel: 086 8267555 Email: emer@smarttaxes.org Submission re Regional Planning Guidelines for Greater Dublin Area. 26.3.2010 Chapter 1: The challenges listed does not include the threat to fossil fuel energy supply and its financial and economic consequences.  The Regional Planning Guidelines should have included considerations of the outcome of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) due to be finalised in June as it […]

Recommendation on establishing farmers’ rights to waste for anaerobic digestion and Proposed Amendment to Waste Management Bill to support anaerobic digestion for maintenance of rural eco-systems

Policy Recommendation by Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability to the Department of Environment Emer O’Siochru & Dara McHugh Smart Taxes 9.4.10 Contents Recommendation on establishing farmers’ rights to waste for anaerobic digestion Proposed Amendment to Waste Management Bill to support anaerobic digestion for maintenance of rural eco-systems Recommendation on establishing farmers’ rights to waste for anaerobic digestion Subject The Case for Establishing Farmers Right or Quota to the Final Processing of Urban […]

Report on the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation ( NASCO ) 2009 Annual Conference, Molde, Norway

Report of Irish Seal Sanctuary delegate to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation ( NASCO ) 2009 Annual Conference, held this year in Molde, Norway. The conference was centred this year in the coastal fishing region of the town of Molde where 25% of Norway’s sea fishermen hail from. Delegates and state representatives of Countries and organisations who are signatories to the nasco North Atlantic convention on wild salmon were among the attendance. These were […]

Report on 61st Annual Meeting of International Whaling Commission

Report on 61st Annual Meeting of International Whaling Commission, 22nd – 26th June 2009, Madeira, Portugal Report by Irish Seal Sanctary. The ISS attended, with assistance from IEN, as registered international observer and submitted a well received Opening Statement. Financial constraints and ongoing need to register independently of NPWS, meant a quick access/exit by economy flights via. Lisbon was necessary, on way out. By independent search we managed to get the conference hotel at c. […]

Seventeenth Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 17)

CSD-17 May 2009 Report by Feargal and Juliet Duff, IEN This year, the CSD-17 focused on Agriculture, Land, Rural Development, Drought, Desertification and Africa within the over-riding context of Climate Change.  The chair of CSD-17 was Minister Gerda Verburg of the Netherlands, and to many participants, having a woman chair the commission was seen as a significant step forward.  The outcome of this meeting was a Shared Vision Statement from the governments represented at the […]