How “well below 2°C” flew well-below the radar

On December 12, when the Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus, it contained bold new language on the long-term global temperature goal. Article 2 reads: “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels…” (Article 2.1(a))…
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Fracking: COP21 as “the scoreboard, not the game”

“If you’re looking for good way to heat up the earth fast, poke holes in the earth and let methane pour out.” This is how Bill McKibben of 350.org described hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at today’s side event on the international movement to ban fracking. Sandra Steingraber of EcoWatch pointed out how both methane and CO2…
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Are State INDC Mitigation Pledges Strong Enough?

Image from http://www.unep.org/annualreport/2014/en/climate-change.html

  Today at COP21, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) hosted a joint presentation on the 2015 UNEP Emissions Gap Report. This sixth Emissions Gap Report was published in November 2015. The report assesses country mitigation commitments based off their submitted INDCs. Then it compares…
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Decarbonization or Climate Neutrality? Which is the Better Path to 2°C? Is There Even a Difference?

http://buildingindustry.org/one-million-tonnes-of-co2

In order to keep global temperatures under 2°C, the threshold generally accepted as the best way to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, there must be a limit on cumulative CO2 emissions. For those of you not tracking mitigation negotiations closely at COP21, there is some hot debating surrounding long-term signals maintaining this threshold….
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Saying Goodbye to Cultural Landmarks

Sea-level rise is an unavoidable threat facing our planet in the coming century. Even avoiding increasing global temperatures above 2°C likely wont save us from a twenty-foot rise in sea-level by 2020. This kind of devastating sea-level rise will have disastrous effects on worldwide economies, agricultural, and livelihoods. It will also irreparably change the face…
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The Role of Gender in Climate Politics

Climate change is proven – the vast majority of the scientific community, along with many major businesses and nearly every major insurance provider, all agree that climate change is having real impacts on the world today. Most also believe that those impacts are the result of anthropogenic activity. However, the facts about climate change are…
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Feet on the Ground: Low-Carbon Travel to Paris

“A challenge that remains is to motivate the many participants of conferences and meetings to reduce their own carbon footprint, especially from travel.” So reads the UNFCCC secretariat’s sustainability efforts web page. Some individuals took this challenge into their own hands (or rather, feet) and are pursuing unconventional travel routes to Paris. First, there are the…
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Animal Adaptation to Climate Change: Looking Through the Lens of the Quino Checkerspot Butterfly

Climate change affects animals. This is not a new revelation. The first IPCC Assessment Report, released in 1990, discusses how climate change negatively impacts polar bears. But the conversation on animals and climate change often neglects the stories of how animals survive by adapting to climate changed conditions. Many species adapt by broadening their diets…
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Climate change is still “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”

Two recent reports add to the growing call for linking climate change laws with public health. From the U.K., the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change followed up on its 2009 announcement that global warming “is the 21st century’s greatest threat to human health” by issuing a new report last week that also labels…
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Why New England Fishermen Should Care About COP21

Below is an extract from a post on TalkingFish.org, a blog of the Conservation Law Foundation.  Annie Warner, a third-year law student at VLS and a member of the law school’s COP21 observer delegation, wrote it. The original post may be found here. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) highlights the connections between climate change and fisheries….
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“Well, I’m not a scientist either, but . . .”

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama picked up climate change deniers’ well-used “I’m not a scientist, but” phrase, and turned it on its head. “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist,…
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