Who provides the science behind climate change warnings?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific body tasked to evaluate the risk of climate change caused by human activity. The panel was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), two organizations of the United Nations.

The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President of the United States Al Gore.[1]

The IPCC does not carry out research, nor does it monitor climate or related phenomena. A main activity of the IPCC is publishing special reports on topics relevant to the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),[2] an international treaty that acknowledges the possibility of harmful climate change; implementation of the UNFCCC led eventually to the Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC bases its assessment mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific literature. [3] The IPCC is only open to member states of the WMO and UNEP. IPCC reports are widely cited in almost any debate related to climate change.[4][5] National and international responses to climate change generally regard the UN climate panel as authoritative.[6]

The summary reports (i.e. Summary for Policymakers), which draw the most media attention, include review by participating governments in addition to scientific review.[7]

Leonie Joubert, a South African author, wrote a very easy to read book about climate change – if you are looking for more information, it is a great read, available in book shops – quote the ISBN number Scorched   (ISBN 978-1-86814-437-2)


Climate Change and Energy – the South African perspective

In January, 2012, Liziwe McDaid and Lynette Munro of the Green Connection were asked to prepare two lecture sessions on South African environmental issues as part of a summer school course presented to a group of American students from Mary Washington University, Virginia, USA.  Given that COP17 had just taken place in South Africa, Liziwe presented some reflections on how climate change will impact on South Africa and whether the outcome from COP17 are likely to have an impact on the lives of South Africans.

For more information, read Prof Harald Winkler’s blog –  and click on Bending the curve back to multilateral agreement on climate change or read Scorched by Leonie Joubert – ISBN 978-1-86814-437-2)


Articles, News & Events

Commemoration of nuclear disaster in Fukushima

In March 2012, South African NGOs commemorated that it had been one year since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.  There were a number of talks and presentations, art exhibitions etc held around the country.  The Green Connection participated in a panel discussion debating the pros and cons of nuclear energy for South Africa.

For more information on nuclear energy in South Africa, go to:, ,

For a detailed analysis of international nuclear industry, see Nuclear Power in a Post-Fukushima World, 25 Years After the Chernobyl Accident –

 In March 10th 2012, The economist published an article on nuclear energy:

“They allowed their enthusiasm for nuclear power to shelter weak regulation, safety systems that failed to work and a culpable ignorance of the tectonic risks the reactors faced, all the while blithely promulgating a myth of nuclear safety.”

Read full article here….



Earth Awareness

IES Abroad (Institute for the International Education of Students) provides courses for international students visiting South Africa.  Liziwe McDaid and Lynette Munro from the Green Connection are faculty at IES, offering an environmental management course focusing on environmental justice issues within the sustainable development sector.

In January 2012, Liz presented a short talk on Going Green to this year’s IES students.  The talk covered some of the environmental challenges facing South Africa and how students might play their part in turning problems into solutions.