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December 07, 2011

The Sierra Club in Durban: Day Ten

While the Sierra Club has been very active in the space outside the negotiations -- building relationships with partners and activists working on the same issues in their home countries, participating in side panels, and staging visibility events -- our staff and volunteers have also been reviewing draft text, writing interventions, meeting with delegates, and delving into the thick of the negotiations though our work with international partners as part of the Climate Action Network (CAN).

At the center of this work is the International Climate Campaign volunteer leader, Fred Heutte, who also serves as the editor of CAN's daily publication, ECO. In addition to Fred, Janice Meier is part of CAN's technology team, where the action has been nonstop. Just this morning, after an euphoric move by both sides to bridge the negotiation gap on the governance of the center and network, the U.S. offered a new proposal that is essentially, in a stealthy way, a step back. Andy Katz follows legal form and flexible / market mechanisms. If you’re not sure what this is, check out his blog for all the latest info and his insights into the negotiations, as well as his most recent update on Compass.

Meanwhile, Steve Herz covers the Green Climate Fund, which all parties coming into the COP expected to establish here in Durban. It is envisioned that the Fund will be the primary vehicle for supporting climate action in the developing world. As the Durban conference winds down, it looks like the negotiations on the GCF are heading toward a successful outcome, and that it is quite likely that the Fund will indeed be created. But will there be adequate long-term funding for it? That's a whole other question ... and one that unfortunately will not be resolved here. But we're hoping that Parties can at least agree to work in the coming year on promising new innovative sources, such as mechanisms to raise funds from the global shipping industry.

While things are getting down to the wire inside the negotiations, we are still working to build relationships and influence delegates from outside. Justin Guay, panelist extraordinaire, sat in on an Energy Sessions panel in the People's Space. Meanwhile, SSC upped the ante at the conference by joining a flash mob to sing in support of the strong position African countries are taking in negotiations -- info and video here.  They also participated in the UN Youth video (above), began planning for Rio +20 with other youth from around the world, and continued their tradition of coordinating with the Chinese Youth delegation at the conference. You can find all the latest updates, pictures and video of the amazing work SSC is doing on their blog.

-- Nicole Ghio

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