United Nations

Co-Chairing the IPCC Science Process

Valérie Masson-Delmotte (CCYP)

Photo by: Chris Chang-Yen Phillips

This week on Terra Informa, Chris Chang-yen Phillips brings you an interview with Valérie Masson-Delmotte, who is the Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Working Group I. This Working Group is one of three that inform the United Nations and its member countries and deals with the physical science basis of climate change.

We also have some headlines for you about bike-sharing [Link] and some urban agriculture projects in Edmonton [Link 1][Link 2]!

Download episode now.

Download program log here.

COP 22 with Dessima Williams, UN Special Advisor


Heads of delegations at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), which led to the signing of the Paris Agreement. 

First up, news headlines on COP22 in Morocco from Climate Radio, a temporary FM radio station covering the Marrakech Climate Change Conference. Then, an ecobabble from our archives looking back at the 2015 Paris climate talks, followed by Climate radio’s inspirational interview with Dessima Williams, UN special advisor, urging young people to get involved with climate action.


What you need to know about the Paris climate talks

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is held once a year, bringing together members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The 2015 conference was held in Paris, France from November 30 to December 11. This EcoBabble was made leading up to the conference last year, to explain why it would be an especially important conference.

Dessima Williams, United Nations Special Advisor

Exclusive for Climate Radio, Dessima Willams, UN Special Advisor, calls on young people to demand and take sustainable development goals and climate action.

Farewell Kyoto: More on the Doha Climate Talks

Farewell Kyoto: More on the Doha Climate Talks

Earlier this month, representatives from nearly 200 countries met in Doha, Qatar for another round of global climate talks. It was the 18th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The gathering included politicans, diplomats, scientists, NGO workers, and youth delegations from across the world.

As the talks closed on December 8th, delegates agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol for another 8 years, until 2020. But the signatories of this second phase only account for 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Russia have all opted out. The United States never joined Kyoto in the first place.

Join us as we navigate the murky waters of global climate talks. Our guide will be the Canadian Youth Delegation, the group of ten sent to Doha to represent a civil society voice at the talks. Most of the audio for this week’s show is pulled from their recent podcasts, produced by Nadia Kanji.

Download this week’s show

Learn more online!

Doha Climate Talks, Zombees, and Ronald Wright

This week, Terra Informa is at the centre of some big questions. How can Canadian youth help push this year’s UN climate talks in Doha? Has our civilization laid a progress trap for itself? And what’s up with those possessed honeybees?

Doha 2012 Climate Talk sign

The UN climate talks continue in Doha from November 26 – December 7, 2012. (Photo credit: 350.org)

Download this week’s episode.

Canadian Youth Head to UN Climate Talks in Doha

The Canadian Youth Delegation is the voice of the Canadian youth climate movement at international climate conferences. Since 2005, Canadian youth have been present at every major meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Right now, the Canadian Youth Delegation is in Doha, Qatar for the COP 18. Members of the delegation shared their podcast with Terra Informa. The excerpt featured in this week’s show was produced by Nadia Kanji, in the lead-up to the COP18. She talks to Quebec student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, and reflects on the effectiveness of international climate conferences. Follow the Canadian Youth
Delegation on twitter at @CYD_DJC or go to the Canadian Youth Delegation blog.

More information on this storyCanadian Youth DelegationCOP 18, Al Jazeera

ZomBee Watch: Flight of the Living Dead

We all know that zombies aren’t real, right? Well, that may be true…for the most part. Most of us can sleep well at night knowing that zombie attacks and infection are the stuff of Hollywood horror fiction. But for the poor honeybee, zombification has become a very real, very deadly nightmare, and it’s calling some scientists to take action. Zombie honey bees—or ZomBees—are the latest threat to already troubled hives all across North America. To learn more, we contacted Dr. John Hafernik, a professor of Biology at San Francisco State University who’s also the director of ZomBee Watch, a citizen science project that’s trying to track this strange phenomenon. From San Francisco, California, listen to Hamdi Issawi’s conversation with Dr. Hafernik on “the flight of the living dead.” If you’d like to learn more about ZomBees or become a citizen scientist and contribute your own findings, visit ZomBee Watch.

More information on this storyZomBee WatchIssaquah PressThe Bottom Line

Ronald Wright on the Traps of Progress

On November Twenty Third, The Parkland Institute kicked off its sixteenth fall conference in Edmonton, Alberta. The theme was Petro, Power and Politics, and the opening keynote was delivered by Canadian anthropologist and novelist Ronald Wright. Wright is best known delivering a CBC Massey Lecture which he called A Short History of Progress. For Friday’s lecture, Wright drew on this earlier work to discuss our modern environmental crisis, including climate change and loss of biodiversity. To chart our possible future, Wright looks back to examine the collapse of civilisations all across the world. It’s depressing business, and more than one audience member asked the obvious question: is there any hope at all?

As Wright calls it, a little progress is good, but too much progress can be deadly. Over the past few centuries, the whole world has seen so much progress that it boggles the mind. Have we seen too much? Too fast? Progress of the right or the wrong kind? To start to understand Wright’s answer, we asked Terra Informer Trevor Chow-Fraser to walk through the beginnings of the current progress trap humanity—and the planet—are currently struggling to escape.

More information on this story: Ronald Wright’s website, Parkland Institute Conference 2012

Oil Spill Update, Thoughts on Blue Fin Tuna, EcoBabble & The Bicycle Traffic Report

Download This Week’s Terra Informa

Huffington Post Article Describing The Difference Between The Pictures

This week on Terra Informa we welcome a new volunteer, Shannon White, who brings us this selection of environmental news headlines.

Syncrude dismissal bid rejected by judge (CBC News)

Gulf oil spill could effect rules in the arctic (Globe & Mail)

Australia suspends emissions trading proposal (New York Times)

The big environmental news story this week, however, is the continued release of oil from a ruptured deep sea well into the Gulf of Mexico. Terra Informa corespondent Andy Read brings us an update on this alarming situation and what efforts are being made to halt the leak. Andy brings us the latest information as of the 1st of May, however please note that the details of this story are changing on a daily basis. Terra Informa will provide further updates as the situation unfolds.

NASA Satellite Pictures of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

From disaster can come a new direction for US energy (By Edward Luce, Financial Times)

BP Oil Spill Worsens With No Solution in Sight, 210,000 Gallons a Day Spew into Gulf of Mexico (Democracy Now! May 3, 2010)

With summer right around the corner, a lot of people are taking to their bikes. Beautiful weather makes cycling a pretty fantastic way to get around. But what do you do when it rains? Well, no need to ditch your bike on account of a morning shower or even a day-long downpour. Steve talks to our Bicycle Traffic Reporter, Karly Coleman, to find out what you can do to keep cycling fun, even in the rain.

The lexicon surrounding climate change can be pretty complex. Add the united nations to the mix and it can become incomprehensible. Terra Informa corespondent Myles Curry, in another installment of our new Eco Babble segment, defines the main institutions of the United Nations concerned with climate change. After this segment you will never get the UNFCCC mixed up with IPCC and you will be able to talk with confidence to all your friends about COPs and what these organizations actually do.

One of the world’s most highly prized fish, the Bluefin Tuna, is severely endangered. An international meeting of nations held in March decided, however, that the risk of further collapse or extinction of this species did not warrant an international trade ban. In this opinion piece, David Kaczan discusses the reasons for the failure of the ban to pass, and what it means for the Bluefin Tuna.

Disaster for bluefin tuna at CITES meeting (Greenpeace)

This weeks posts on Terra Bloga

Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Update & The Canadian Dimension by Myles Curry

Cleanit green it community composting fundraiser by Andy Read

Download This Week’s Terra Informa