Friday, November 30, 2012

Russia said it won’t join the second commitment to extend the Kyoto Protocol. The Russian vice Prime Minister confirmed that his country will not sign on to the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol. He told that Russia will announce its emissions reduction targets next week but they will not be attributed to the Second Commitment Period which Russia strongly opposes. It implies that Russia will lose the chance to take part in Joint Implementation projects on Climate Change in the future.

The move will have a negative effect on both the economy and low-carbon development in Russia. At the UN Climate change Conference in Durban two years ago, a group of 40 odd rich nations had agreed to cut by 5.2 percent their emissions below 1990 levels by the end of 2012 and to set up a $100 billion Green climate Fund to help the developing nations in climate change issues.

Neither of the two have fructified yet.
Japan has already stated that it won’t join the Second commitment and wants a fair, effective and transparent deal in which the emerging economies should also share the emission reduction cuts.

US has said that it won’t increase earlier commitments to cut emissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. New Zealand has also said that it won’t be a party to second commitment but would like to be involved in climate change talks.

It leaves only European Union, Australia and several smaller countries which account for less than 15 per cent of global emissions as the only parties ready for second commitment.

The BASIC countries led by Brazil, South Africa, India and China have said that the responsibility for the outcome of Climate Change talks depends on developed nations.

Day four at the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Doha was dedicated to the role of youth in the issues related to climate change. Experts and delegates from participating nations underlined the importance of involving and motivating them to prepare the world for a safe and secure environment.

The President of the Conference of Parties, COP-18, Qatar’s former energy minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah appreciated the contribution of the youth towards making world a cleaner and greener place to live in and said if UN doesn’t support them, whom will they support.

UNGA votes to recognize Palestine as non-member observer state

UN General Assembly has voted in favour of granting the upgraded status of Observer state to Palestine on the lines of Vatican.
India was among the 138 countries which voted in favour of the resolution while there were nine votes against the move led by US and Israel. 41 countries abstained from the voting.
The change in status from Observer entity to Observer State means Palestinians can now co sponsor the resolutions at UN. They can access membership of additional UN bodies like the International Criminal Court where they can try to put Israel on war crime charges.
The Palestinians believe that the upgraded status would also help their claims for an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem which was captured by Israel in the 1967.Our correspondent reports that the voting and the reactions on the Palestinian resolution for an upgraded Observer State status was on expected lines.
Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned this was the last chance to save the two state solution He said that there is an urgent and pressing need to end Israeli aggression and Palestine won’t forego its inalienable right.
The Israeli Ambassador to UN Ron Prosor said the resolution was one sided and undermines the peace process. He told that peace can not be imposed through UN and the only way out is the direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
The US Ambassador Susan Rice told that the resolution was unfortunate, counter productive and would create further obstacles in the path of peace.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Mooon urged the two sides to work for a lasting peace through negotiations while living side by side peacefully.Atul K Tiwary, AIR Nrews, Dubai.
The United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has slammed a UN vote granting observer state status to the Palestinians as unfortunate and counterproductive.
She said the resolution just passed at the United Nations places further obstacles in the path to peace, reiterating that the only way to Palestinian statehood was through direct talks with Israel.

Egypt parliament passes draft of new constitution

 Egypt, the parliament passed the draft of the new constitution defining the roles and responsibilities of the executive, judiciary and legislature. A marathon session of parliament which lasted for sixteen hours each of the 230 articles of the new constitution were read and voted upon by the Islamist and Salafist MPs.
The liberal ,secular and leftist opposition along with minority Coptic Christians boycotted the proceedings of the house.
Under the Egyptian law, the draft has to be ratified now by President Morsey and put up for a nationwide referendum within 30 days.
In a televised interview, President Morsey said that it would be expedited in time since Egypt needs a constitution to have a properly elected parliament, an independent judiciary, and a President who executes the law. He defended his decisions as a step to save the revolution that toppled Mubarak regime.
The newly formed National Salvation Front ,an umbrella of liberal,secular and leftist opposition and youth revolutionary movements has criticized the move as hasty and ill conceived.
In a statement it alleged that the regime is trying to impose a constitution monopolized by one trend and is the farthest from national consensus, produced in a farcical way.
The parliament decision is being seen as an attempt to pre-empt a court ruling that could dissolve the constitution drafting body.
The Supreme Constitutional Court was due to give its ruling on the dissolution of the constitution assembly and the upper house of parliament on Sunday.
Analysts say it may further aggravate the tensions between the Government and the opposition which has been demanding scrapping of the Presidential decree which granted sweeping powers to President Morse

Indian economy grew by 5.3 per cent in the July-September period of the current financial year (2012-13), pulled down by poor performance of manufacturing and agriculture sectors, showing persistent signs of slowdown.
The gross domestic product had expanded by 6.7 per cent in the same period of last fiscal.It had grown by 5.5 per cent in the first quarter (April-June) of 2012-13.  During the three-month period ended September 30, the manufacturing sector grew marginally by 0.8 per cent, against 2.9 per cent growth in the same period of 2011-12, according to data released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) today.

Farm sector output expanded by just 1.2 per cent in the July-September period this fiscal against 3.1 per cent in the same period last year.  The economic growth in the first six month of this fiscal (April-September) is 5.4 per cent, lower than 7.3 per cent growth clocked in the year-ago period.  In the July-September quarter, trade, hotels, transport and communications segment also witnessed lower pace of growth at 5.5 per cent compared to 9.5 per cent expansion in the same quarter in year ago

In the wake of Loksabha Speaker's mandate to hold debate and voting under Rule 184 on FDI in Retail in Lok Sabha, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) while cautioning the political parties particularly those who were earlier opposing and now supporting FDI by way of a couplet " Raat Ki Baat Sitaron Ne Gagan Bech Diya-Chand "o" Chandni Ki Lasho Ka Kafan Bech Diya. Aaj Adhikar Tumhe Phool Chuno Ya Kaante- Phir Na Kehna Ki Baharon Ne Chaman Bech Diya" and asked the political parties to give away their suspensive role and while clearing their positions, they should announce their opposition to FDI in Retail.
In the above couplet the "Sitare" is used for Govt and "Gagan" is used for economy while Chand -Chandni is signifying the vibrant retail trade of the Country. The Couplet also caution the people that they should execersie their right in the way which leaves no scope of regret. The CAIT said that by bringing FDI in Retail the Govt has put on stake the future and livelihood of crores and crores of people invloved in farming, trading, hawking, earning through small industry or transporting goods.Undoubtdly, the issue has now linked with the Votes and it will be of much importance to see the choice of Politicians whether it devolves on Multinational Companies or on domestic people. The outcome of such choice will certainly have major impact on future of the Country and that of political parties.
On the other hand, the stance of DMK to support the Govt has evoked a sharp response amongst the trading and other sectors which leads to a major rally of Traders held yesterday at Coimbatore and led by Tamilnadu Traders Association Federation President Mr. Vikram Raja who while criticising the DMK has demanded that DMK should withdraw its support from UPA Govt and demostrate its strong stand of opposing FDI in Retail. An environment of back biting is being emerged across the Tamilnadu and traders are planning to hold protest demonstartions against DMK all over the State in next days.
The CAIT while continuing its nationwide SMS campaign against FDI on second day today take the political parties like DMK to the task. The sms says " Pehle Virodh aur Ab Samarthan Ye Kaisi Manmani Hai-FDI Se Hoga Hamare Vote Ka Nirnay Humne Ab Ye Thani Hai". This sms has been sent in thousands to organisations of trade,farmers,hawkers, small industries,transporters etc. with a advise to further forward to their members and general public with a request to send it further. Accordingly several lakhs of sms have been exchanged during the day all over the Country. The sms is proving to be an effective tool for expressing dissent and in making public opinion.
The CAIT further said that to expose the dirty picture of "Jugaad Rajneeti" (manipulative politics), the traders will hold protest march, Dharna and will burn effigy of "Jugaad Rajneeti) on forthcoming 4th December all over the Country. Consultations are going with leaders of all other sectors of retail trade to transform a protest environment in the Country by 4th December.
Obama - Biden Naresh --

More than 1 million supporters took our survey last week, sharing feedback on their 2012 campaign experience and how they'd like to see us move forward. While we're still sorting through all of the responses, I wanted to share some initial results:

-- An overwhelming majority of survey respondents reported feeling welcomed and included, that their time was used effectively, and that there was a clear understanding of how their work directly helped re-elect President Obama.

-- Among those of you who volunteered at least a few hours, a majority went into a field office, though many of you got involved instead through the campaign's online tools such as Dashboard and the call tool.

-- About 1 in 10 survey respondents are interested in running for office at some point, using their organizing skills to continue fighting for real and lasting change. That level of political engagement is inspiring.

-- Almost half of all survey respondents forwarded campaign emails, and more than one-third communicated with friends on Facebook -- both great ways to pass along information about the President's positions and plans, as well as opportunities to get involved.

-- Nearly 80 percent of survey takers want to keep volunteering, primarily around the President's legislative agenda.

Many of you shared comments and personal anecdotes. Here are just a few that made me smile:
"When our field office opened, my husband, 12-year-old daughter, and I were there almost every day. My daughter and I even took a leadership role -- she was our tally captain! This is the kind of experience that changes your life. My children not only have a better understanding of the political system but also have a firsthand experience of how community engagement can make a difference. On Election Night, they felt that difference. They were so excited for the President because they had a sense of ownership -- they had personally helped him achieve the win. On Election Night, I truly believed we were all winners." -- Kerry, California

"It made me feel good to see the enthusiasm of volunteers at the local level (who become friends) ... great to see teens through seniors, men and women, any race and faith all working together for something we believed in (even if we weren't there for the same issues) ... it assured me I was doing the right thing..." -- William, Virginia

I feel more confident as an individual -- I can make a difference in election results! I was talking about this with my son today, he's a public school teacher, and he has new faith in our electoral system also! Let's keep doing it -- this is democracy as it should be!" -- Andrea, California
There's a lot more to be proud of -- check out this blog post for some other incredible numbers on the work you all did in the field.

And here are a few comments from supporters like you about the road ahead. We fought for the chance to continue moving our country forward for the next four years, and it's up to each one of us to follow through on this remarkable opportunity:
"This organization has tapped into the enthusiasm of Americans that were previously on the sidelines of the political process. These Americans are now fully engaged and aware of the policies that are being advanced that will impact their lives and the lives of future generations. They are excited, ready, and willing to do whatever is within their power to influence policy makers to pass legislation that reflects and responds to the issues of our times." -- Rita, Virginia

"Create an engaged community of people that keeps the momentum alive and ensures that progressive policy is implemented at local, state, and national levels. Community here is the operative word! Build and enhance local organizing groups. Would be happy to be included in a local group and lead such a group." -- Merida, Illinois

"Don't let the energy of the re-election slip through your fingers. This is a very powerful network of people." -- Joel, Texas
We're going to put your survey responses to good use. Over the next month or two, a team of campaign staff from across the country is working on a project to document and analyze the work we did over the past 19 months, identifying both strengths and areas for improvement. Our goal is to pass along what we've learned from the 2012 campaign.

You're the reason President Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012, and your input from surveys and calls is crucial to this project. So please stay tuned. We're putting together a final report that will be available to the public, so that your voices continue to shape the future.

Our work is far from done -- you helped make sure of that. President Obama, as always, is counting on us to help pass his agenda and continue to make this country a better place for every American.

There's more to come. Thanks for all you've done and will do.


Jeremy Bird
National Field Director
Obama for America
Media Advisory   

   Worldwatch Institute Travels to Doha, Qatar for COP18  

The Worldwatch Institute's Alexander Ochs sits on 
panels and roundtables which will address the state of global climate negotiations and the development of renewable energies; solutions to increase global energy access; creating low-emission economies; and sustainable energy roadmaps in small island nations
Contact: Supriya Kumar,, (+1) 202-745-8092, ext. 510. 
Government provided incentives for transitioning to a low-carbon economy- trade implications

When:          Saturday, December 1 - 9.00-11.30 a.m.
Where:         Retral Al Rayyan Hotel, Dafna, Diplomatic District, Doha, Qatar
Who:            Alexander Ochs, Climate and Energy Director, Worldwatch Institute
Organizers: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (RSVP required)

Developing Building Blocks of a Global Mitigation Architecture

When:            Saturday, December 1- 14:00 - 18:30
Where:           Hotel InterContinental Doha (room "Al-Diwan") on Al Istiqlal Street, Doha, Qatar
Who:              Alexander Ochs, Climate and Energy Director, Worldwatch Institute
Organizer:      International Climate Initiative of the German Ministry of the Environment (RSVP required)

What: Sustainable Energy for Island Economies - A High Impact Opportunity

When:              Wednesday, December 5 - 11:30 - 13:00
Where:             Side Event Room 8, Qatar National Convention Center, Doha, Qatar
Who:                Alexander Ochs, Climate and Energy Director, Worldwatch Institute
Organizers:      Vision 20/30, in partnership with Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL), United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Worldwatch Institute, and others.

The Conference of Parties
At the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, informally known as the Earth Summit, 154 countries signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By ratifying this treaty, these signatories demonstrated their commitment to stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. As of May 2011, the treaty had an additional 194 parties. 

Since 1995, the parties to the convention have met annually in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to evaluate their progress in combating climate change. This year's event, COP18, will bring government representatives, international organizations, and civil society leaders to Doha, Qatar. Here, attendees will work to advance the mandates of the original Convention, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 2011 Durban Platform, and further develop various COP action plans implemented in previous years. 

Worldwatch Climate and Energy Director Alexander Ochs and members of his team will participate in several events at the conference. They will offer insights from their experiences advising governments around the world in their transitions to sustainable economies. Their upcoming work will take them to countries throughout Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, China, Europe, India and North America where they will help key policymakers identify feasible low-emissions development strategies. 

On Saturday, December 1, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development will host a Roundtable Discussion addressing government policies which provide incentives for a shift towards a low-carbon economy, and the possible trade- and trade policy implications thereof. Panelists will discuss whether the current rules provide the flexibility countries need so as to design effective policies for climate change action. Worldwatch's Alexander Ochs will draw upon the recent REN21 Renewables Global Status Report 2012 and share insights from policy assessment work that Worldwatch has conducted with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as well as individual countries when working with them on their energy strategies.

Also on Saturday, December 1, the International Climate Initiative (ICI) will host a networking and knowledge sharing workshop bringing together representatives of projects financed by ICI that supports climate mitigation around the world. Participants will share experiences among the ICI project community, discuss ideas, approaches and open questions, reflect on challenges and technical developments as well as identify good practices and recommendations. Ochs will share lessons learned from Worldwatch's Sustainable Energy Roadmap projects in the Caribbean.

On Wednesday, December 5, the Climate Institute, along with other partner organizations including the UN Foundation, the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the World Bank, and the Worldwatch Institute, will host a panel to showcase some of the leadership initiatives by island nations, and programs by the international and regional organizations in support of these island economies. Ochs will share insights from Worldwatch's Sustainable Energy Roadmap work in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica, as well as for Caribbean Community and Common Market.

Ochs will also be taking part in meetings hosted by the International Climate Initiative where he is a member of the International Advisory Committee, the Low Emissions Development Global Partnership (LEDS-GP) where chairs the Energy Platform, as well as the Climate Knowledge Development Network and the International Council for Sustainable Energy. 

Visit the  Worldwatch website for more information about its Climate and Energy Program. 

Note to Journalists: For more information on these events or any other interviews relating to COP18, please contact Supriya Kumar at or at +1 (202)745-8092, ext. 510. Or you can contact Alexander Ochs directly in Doha (UTC+3) at +1 (646) 812 6252.

About the Worldwatch Institute:
Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C., that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. The Institute's State of the World report is published annually in more than 18 languages. For more information, visit Worldwatch's Climate and Energy Program aims to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy based on sustainable use of renewable energy sources in concert with major energy-efficiency gains, sustainable agricultural practices, and low-emissions transportation. The group reports regularly on its work on the Institute's Re|Volt blog at

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