GRID Polar Division News

Not the Time to COP Out

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Nobel peace prize nominee, gives a public lecture on global climate change and impacts for local communities, on the eve of the 3rd day of climate change negotiations in Durban. 

Sheila Watt-Cloutier. Credit:

Sheila Watt-Cloutier is an Inuk climate change advocate and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Entitled "Not the Time to COP Out", her lecture on the human dimensions of climate change marked the second day of the international UN COP-17 climate change negotiations in Durban, South Africa.

As a former international Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Watt-Cloutier has worked extensively at the UN level to advocate on behalf of Inuit, who are disproportionately affected by climate change. She was amongst the first to link climate change within a human rights framework and as a result was co-nominated with Al Gore for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

"Sheila's perspective - as an environmental, cultural, and human rights advocate - will help us all to better understand climate change, its impacts, and what's at stake if the world fails to mitigate climate change".

The lecture has global resonance as it comes at the beginning of COP-17 (November 28th - December 9th, 2011), the seventeenth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is the final opportunity for global governments to agree on a binding international framework to address climate change that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012. 

Sheila has been speaking about the links between the Arctic and other vulnerable regions, like the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) for a number of years. In 2005, she helped launch the Many Strong Voices Programme at UNFCCC COP 11 in Montreal, Canada.  MSV links the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. It is co-coordinated by GRID-Arendal and CICERO-Oslo.

Adapted from 

Video courtesy of Isuma Tv

Thursday 01 Dec 2011