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November 16, 2011

The Sierra Club At COP17 in South Africa

DurbanThe COP17 international climate conference in Durban, South Africa begins November 28, and the Sierra Club will be there. This year we plan to expand our focus at the COP beyond the policy discussions and use the negotiations as a springboard to reach out to the international community to talk about who we are, what we are doing to defeat coal in the U.S., and how we can work together to demand safer and cheaper renewable energy and efficiency that will expand energy access.

To this end, the Sierra Club's volunteer delegation is planning and tabling side events; delegation members will take part in the civil society People's Space of Durban, visibility events, and an official Sierra Club booth inside the conference during the second week.  

In addition to these preparations, the Sierra Club is co-sponsoring three important events in Durban.

  • The first is "Dirty Energy Week" organized by groundWork from November 22-25, which will bring together 150 participants from around the world to strengthen people's struggles against dirty energy and show the bottom-up demand for the cleaner energy and climate proofing of economies. We are happy to co-sponsor this event after working closely with groundWork to oppose U.S. support for the Medupi and Kusile coal fired power plants.

  • Our second event is a side event inside the negotiations with Greenpeace International on November 29 that will focus on the role of coal in the global energy mix. We will focus on our domestic Beyond Coal campaign as well as our efforts to exclude coal projects from the CDM.

  • The third event will be co-hosted by Carbon War Room and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson on December 1 in the Royal Palm Hotel. It will focus on scaling innovative efforts to deliver clean energy access as a part of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All campaign (see our interview with Richenda Van Leeuwen for background).

For more information on the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal work, grassroots activism across the world to call for renewable over new coal development, and the CDM coal scandal, please visit our Durban materials page at http://action.sierraclub.org/cop17

-- Nicole Ghio

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