Bonn/Fiji COP 23, Revisiting Paris, and the Smoking Gun…

(Originally published on Medium on December 1, 2017:

Bula! Vinaka! Talanoa!

Twelve days of intense presence, meetings, and dialogue, ending for me with a deep sense of awe. My respect restored for the work of the country delegates (Parties) and their teams (working through the night until 7am on the thirteenth day), even more so for the myriad groups, initiatives, movements and organisations present at the conference telling their stories of activism, already busy being the change for a climate resilient world.

“Bula”, “Vinaka”, and “Talanoa”, a heartfelt and warmly expressed gift of language from the Fiji Islands, hosts for this COP 23: “Bula”: Welcome (also the word for “Life”), “Vinaka”: Thank you, and “Talanoa”: Let’s talk, with deep listening and respect to arrive at a consensus. These three words might be making a bigger contribution to the process than we are ready to admit. 

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Green Holidays? Welcome to a more Sustainable Mallorca!

By Christer Söderberg, Palma May 9th, 2017
(this blog appeared first in the “Mallorca LOOK” July 2017 edition)

Vacation time is the opportunity to rest, recharge your batteries, and enjoy some refreshing distractions from the routines of daily life. With this end in mind, Mallorca offers many inspiring ways to enjoy your holidays, and leave a small environmental footprint, if any at all. Also known as a “carbon footprint”, it’s the sum of carbon emissions our way of living leaves behind.

A normal European family leaves a carbon footprint of between (approx.) ten and fifteen tons/person/year. The USA, Canada, and Australia top the charts at (approx.) 20 tons/person/year. As a comparison, on the other side of the spectrum, Ethiopia has a per capita carbon footprint of 0.03 ton/person/year, while India’s is 1.16 ton/person/year and China’s is 4.58 ton/person/year. *

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Mallorca Going Organic!

By Christer Söderberg, July 30, 2017
(this blog appeared first in the October 2017 edition of “Mallorca LOOK” magazine)

There is a growing awareness for the value of organically grown food, both for personal nutritional purposes, as well as for the safeguarding of our environment.

On Mallorca you can find no less than five weekly organic Farmers Markets – “Mercat Ecológic” (see list below). There are also 170 stores and businesses selling organic produce, and while the Balearic Islands boast no less than 29,000 hectares of organically certified (or in the process of being certified) productive land (9% of the total surface)[1], roughly 95% of the food sold on the island is imported. Besides adding a considerable cost to foodstuffs for the transportation, processing and packaging; the ships, airplanes and trucks cause considerable pollution to an already overburdened and stressed island ecosystem – and what is imported is not all organic.

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