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Why France's 'gilets jaunes' protesters are so angry by Claude Poissenot, Université de Lorraine 12/04/2018


France's "gilets jaunes" protests of December 1 were marked not only by their anger and violence, but also by the variety of those taking part. The violence of the protests – named after the yellow vests worn by those on the streets – is partly the work of extremist, anarchist groups pursuing illusory political goals. Others involved are casseurs or "wreckers", who’ve inserted themselves in the movement to fight the police and loot stores for the appeal of doing damage and the lure of personal profit.

But it seems that some of the gilets jaunes themselves wanted to fight. Above all, they are expressing their anger out loud.

Many of those protesting feel neglected, oppressed and dominated. For the most part they're employed, but their incomes often don't meet their needs despite the exhaustion they feel from their work. The simple promise of being able to live off one's income is no longer being kept. It's no longer possible for somebody to lead their life as they please, or to make their own choices. How can the ideal of autonomy be achieved if the riches of society aren’t shared out more widely?


All Nations to Enhance National Climate Efforts by 2020 by CVF, 16 December 2018


Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

Statement as Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum by H.E. David Paul, Hon. Minister-in-Assistance-to-the-President and Minister of Environment:

Katowice has responded to the plea of the most vulnerable with the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) under the UNFCCC by sending an unambiguous signal for all nations to deliver new national contributions (NDCs) to fight climate change by 2020 and calling for “the highest possible effort by all”. The more than 190 members of the United Nations have demonstrated that the aims of Paris Agreement are taken seriously by all countries, each of which now plans to take greater action than previously in order to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius target within reach, and to safeguard the most vulnerable.

The conference saw an important step forward, the 1.5 degrees report is now to inform all aspects of the work of the UNFCCC, with a new focus area for the world’s governments established that can promote intensified efforts to keep the 1.5 degrees goal within reach.


Secure Land Rights for Climate Resilience by Karina Kloos, 10 December 2018

Land Rights

The world’s attention this week has turned to Katowice, Poland, where leaders and advocates have gathered to discuss the global climate change agenda at the COP24 United Nations Climate Change convening. Coming on the heels of the grim report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is a profound sense of urgency not only to take more drastic measures to mitigate climate change, but also to bolster efforts to support the adaptive capacity of those most affected.

Worldwide, the consequences of climate change are increasingly evident, and the link to land rights is increasingly hard to ignore. In Central America, a hungry caravan of migrants have left their homes, seeking relief from a protracted drought that has consumed food crops and contributed to widespread poverty.

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