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NorthSouthEastWest

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Magnum Photos is one the best known photographic agencies in the world. It is an international co-operative owned by its photographer-members.


© Donovan Wylie/Magnum Photos

INDIA – It looks like war and it is – although they are not soldiers but health workers fumigating the streets of Kolkotta against the number one enemy, the malaria mosquito. Increasing temperatures speed up parasite development in the mosquito, increasing the chance of transmission.


© Alex Webb/Magnum Photos

SOUTH AFRICA – It is not just in ecocity that low carbon solutions are delivering an improved standard of living. This woman from Hluleka, one of the many remote, rural communities in South Africa, gets on with her day knowing she can look forward to a continuous electricity supply thanks to a combination of wind and solar power. Renewable energy is a cheap way of providing power for isolated communities.


© Alex Majoli/Magnum Photos

TANZANIA – Elephants are constantly on the move looking for places to feed and bathe, often travelling long distances to avoid droughts. In Tanzania, more and more are invading the forests of Kilimanjaro as their homes on the plains are drying out. Once in the forest the elephants cause significant damage to a fragile ecosystem already at risk from our changing climate.


© Bruce Gilden/Magnum Photos

MEXICO – Poor people often spend two hours each way getting to work from the outer suburbs of Mexico City. To cut CO2 emissions and other air pollutants the city is converting diesel buses to gas and plans dedicated bus lanes to shorten journeys and encourage more use of public transport.


© Constantine Manos/Magnum Photos

UNITED STATES – Santa Monica’s famous amusement park has its showpiece, the giant ‘Pacific Wheel’ at the end of the pier, driven by electricity from solar panels. California has introduced a law stating renewable energy must be the source of 20% of the electricity sold by 2017. promoting new technologies benefits the economy by helping to create jobs and export opportunities.


© Ian Berry/Magnum Photos

GREENLAND – A lone fisherman picks his way through the sea ice taking an opportunity to explore an area which normally would be frozen solid. The geological survey of Denmark and Greenland has recently recorded falls in the thickness of the Greenland ice sheet of up to one metre (three feet) per month in some areas.


© Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos

JAPAN – Hatchubaru geothermal power station is built on a volcano. Hot magma heats cold water deep underground to produce huge quantities of steam to drive turbines. Everything at the station is computer controlled, although the process is checked and monitored in the central control room.


© Nikos Economopoulos/Magnum Photos

CHINA – Harvesting the rice crop without mechanisation is still the way of life for millions in China’s countryside. Here neighbours help each other with the first steps of the harvest. Recent reports suggest that climate change could cause rice production in China to fall by one fifth by 2080.


© Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum Photos

MARSHALL ISLANDS – The Marshall Islands are a series of coral atolls enclosing vast clear lagoons sometimes many miles across. The atolls once encircled volcanoes which have long since sunk back into the sea leaving these long, narrow curving islands covered in coconut palms. There is usually less than 50 metres (55 yards) between the lagoon and the pacific. Because the people of pacific small island states like the Marshall Islands are so vulnerable to sea level rise, they have come together in the alliance of small island states (aosis), a political alliance which has been a powerful force in the international negotiations on climate change.


© Chien-Chi Chang/Magnum Photos

GERMANY – The German national government has implemented a range of policies to reduce CO2 emissions. The country has embraced the renewables revolution, particularly wind and solar power, with greater enthusiasm than any other. The 30 megawatt wkn windfarm at Zitz-Warchaw in Brandenburg is part of a massive investment which has spawned a new manufacturing industry and is making Germany the largest producer of renewable energy in Europe.

The NorthSouthEastWest exhibition, which is created by The Climate Group in partnership with the British Council, tours the world during 2005 and 2006.

This article appears as part of openDemocracy's online debate on the politics of climate change. The debate was developed in partnership with the British Council as part of their ZeroCarbonCity initiative - a two year global campaign to raise awareness and stimulate debate around the challenges of climate change.


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