This year’s COP has been surrounded by controversy, corruption and, at the centre of it all, coal. Literally. Conference attendees arrived in Katowice, Poland, a coal heartland, made their way to the conference centre next door to the Coal History Museum and, greeted by a coal miner band, ventured inside to find - you guessed it - yet more coal. Coal under the floor, in the walls and piled up in cages with displays of coal memorabilia, coal soap and even coal jewellery. It is clear that the conference hosts were trying to send a message: they will do whatever it takes to protect their coal industry. 80% of Poland’s electricity comes from coal and their economy is currently reliant on the stuff, but all that comes across from their greenwashing is a weak attempt to portray a city in transition, barely hiding the dirty fossil fuelled reality.
Hot on the heels of the State of the Union debate and just in time for COP24, the Oxford Climate Society’s last event of term was a great discussion on some of the current issues and solutions in tackling climate change. A well-rounded panel consisting of Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science; Thomas Hale, Associate Professor at Blavatnik School of Government; and Radhika Kholsa, Research Director of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — but it’s also the time when we consume the most and produce the most waste. From turkey and all the trimmings, to trees, unwanted gifts, clothes and plastic toys, Christmas and excess seem to go hand in hand.
Taking a few simple steps such as buying local, recycling, making your own presents and avoiding excess packaging can make a huge difference. Here’s ten ethical, waste-free gifts you can give to spread the festive cheer this year while keeping it eco-friendly.
OCS Media and Research Team
The latest in climate science and policy from the OCS team.