China’s Looks to Improve Transparency on Climate Change

Public participation plays a critical role in environmental discussions. Any good forward-thinking government should act in the best interest of their people. Public participation involves the input of citizens that lead to legislation decision making. Public participation should be a logical step in building trust and holding government officials accountable. Public participation is integral in…
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Not a Happy Camper: Negative Reactions to the First Round of Iterations.

Despite the extreme cold (even for Vermont standards), the negotiations sessions were really heating up today. Yesterday, the secretariat released the first round of iterations–basically edits to the draft text the parties were negotiating during this past week. Theoretically, iterations are suppose to capture all the parties’s options they would have to decide on next week. But…
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BURs: One Small Decision Leads to Surprising Results!

The Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) is a hot topic at COP24. At the conclusion of COP24 is the deadline for all parties to put their heads together, develop, and finalize provisions for the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPG) of the ETF. The MPGs might supersede and replace the current transparency framework called measurement, reporting, and…
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China’s Effort to Limit GHGs

China produces more carbon dioxide than any other country in the world: 10.357 million metric tons per year. To limit their impact on climate change, China includes environmental protection in their Five Year Plan (FYP). The FYP is the country’s blueprint that outlines the policy framework, priorities, economic, and social development goals for the 2016-2020…
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Will the U.S. hand off the Paris Agreement baton to China?

In London today, Myron Ebell told participants at a climate denier conference that the U.S. will pull out of the Paris Agreement: “He could do it by executive order tomorrow or he could do it as part of a larger package.” Ebell is a well known U.S. climate denier who was tapped by the Trump Administration to lead the pre-inauguration…
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NDCs Public Registry – Pandora’s Box – Who would’ve thought?

Today, at the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) second informal meeting related to the development of modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) public registry referred to in Article 4, paragraph 12, of the Paris Agreement (PA), the discussion took an interesting turn of events when the Co-Facilitators,…
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28 countries and almost 42% of global GHG emissions

In the last 10 days, ratification of the Paris Agreement jumped from 25 countries representing a very small amount of global GHG emissions to more than half the countries and 80% of the emissions required to bring it into force. As we blogged last April after the signing ceremony in New York, the magic numbers per Article…
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Coal plant capacity decline worldwide

The Global Coal Plan Tracker reports this week that the “coal plant pipeline” (defined as coal-fired generating capacity in pre-construction planning) dropped 14% during the first half of 2016. This 158 gigawatts (GW) reduction (from 1,090 GW in January 2016 to 932 GW in July) almost equals the EU’s total coal-fired generating capacity.  The report points out significant drops in Asia, with China leading the way…
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US-China Paris Agreement Bilat Blooms

Over the course of the UNFCCC’s 24-year history, the relationship between the US and China on climate change has changed dramatically. Since COP15 in Copenhagen, the gradual movement away from a hard line between developed and developing country obligations has been eased by the two countries’ improving bilateral working relationship. In November, 2014 – just a month before COP20, a pivotal…
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China now sets its cap on energy consumption

China just announced in its 13th Five Year Plan (2016-202) that it will set an energy consumption cap.  Its goal: to improve industrial efficiency and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The consumption cap will be 5 billion tons of standard coal equivalent by 2020.  China also pledged to cut carbon intensity by 18% by the same deadline.  The Five Year Plan nonetheless…
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Cleaning up India’s energy mix

2015 marked the first time that the average Indian was exposed to more air pollution from fine particulate matter than the average Chinese, reports Greenpeace. In response, India has introduced new taxes aimed at cutting pollution and reducing emissions.  The country’s finance minister announced this week a tax of up to 4% on new passenger vehicles.  It’s estimated…
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Are US COP21 pledges in trouble? UPDATE

2/19/16 UPDATE:  Since my post on Monday, Todd Stern, U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, has weighed in.  Speaking from Brussels, where he was meeting with the EU’s Climate and Energy Commissioner, Stern was quoted as saying “it is entirely premature, really premature to assume the Clean Power Plan will be struck down but, even…
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“Legally binding enforcement system … will reassure investors”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Paris this week for the COP21 negotiations, is making the Obama Administration’s case for the new Paris Agreement (or Paris Outcome, as it was renamed last week at China’s suggestion). “A legally binding enforcement system will reassure investors, who have to carry the low-carbon economy beyond…
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COP21 Begins in 24 Hours: Will a Paris Agreement [Decrease] [Solve] [Do Nothing On] Climate Change?

If all politics are local, but greenhouse gases find their way into the atmosphere’s international space, how can the global community act collectively on climate change? In 1992, the solution was to adopt an international treaty. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) declared climate change a “common concern of mankind,” and committed…
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