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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What story will COP21 tell?

Kiribati King Tide

Everywhere you turn at COP21 there are exciting stories – stories of unprecedented financing partnerships to ramp up renewable energy technologies; stories of global knowledge exchanges on successful strategies for adapting to climate impacts; stories of cities leading breakthrough initiatives in energy efficiency; and more. Behind the scenes, though, in rooms open only to official…
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What’s next and who makes it happen at COP21?

COP21 Comite de Paris

At COP21 on Saturday, December 5, the ADP transmitted the draft Paris Outcome (the Agreement, as we’ve called it all year) and its accompanying Decision to the COP. The text still contains many bracketed phrases (choices to be made), and there are key outstanding issues, such as on long-term goal, the timing of review of…
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Will some be left behind? The significance of climate finance

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 For countries on the front lines of climate change, access, availability, and urgency of funding needs are significant. As an example, rising sea levels in Senegal and Gambia have already impacted agricultural production. Saltwater intrusion into agriculturally productive lands has reduced food production. Further, warming temperatures and resulting increased length of seasons have heightened health…
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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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Research: Current institutions inadequate to address climate migration. Will Paris deliver?

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It is becoming increasingly common knowledge that citizens of island countries are already experiencing climate change impacts such as sea level rise, drought, salt water intrusion, cyclones and more. Earlier yesterday, the New York Times illustrated that well, with an in-depth look at the disappearing Marshall Islands. According to a new study being conducted by…
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Expressing an unmet need: Indigenous plan for funding climate change

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In a room with no name plates, paper table tents with pencil script provided the only identification of the panelists. A small but engaged audience listened attentively and participated fully when the option of question and comment commenced. This side event at the UN COP21 focused on the rationale for the construction of the Indigenous…
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No Climate Justice without Gender Justice

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Today at COP21, a focus for at least one of the meetings was how to achieve transformative solutions for both climate and gender justice. The meeting emphasized gender and economic disparities in developing countries and the fact that climate change does not affect men and women on the same level. For much of the developing…
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Prince Charles addresses COP 21

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Prince Charles spoke at the opening of COP21 this morning. In his address the Prince restated that in March 2009 there were 100 months of business as usual left before irreversible climate change would be the global reality.  He relayed that 80 of those months had now passed. He stated the urgency of the need…
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Religion & Climate Change: How the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change Affects COP Negotiations

Photograph Credit: Islamic Relief

“Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that we are in danger [of] ending life as we know it on our planet.” Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change On August, 18th, 2015, a group of Muslim scholars,…
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COP21: Threat to Public Policy?

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The European Union recently celebrated 30 years of the border-free Schengen Area, a crucial pillar of the European Single Market. Schengen cooperation guards the fundamental right of 400 million E.U. citizens to cross internal borders without being subjected to cumbersome border checks. This guarantee also applies to many non-EU nationals, cross-border commuters, and tourists. With…
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Feet on the Ground: Low-Carbon Travel to Paris

Source: Bike for a Future

“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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The significance of defined consensus

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Given the defined divide in country specific stakeholders concerns, along with the lens of personal circumstances and beliefs, that promotes a heterogeneity of perspective among COP21 participants, the ultimate success in Paris may rely on the establishment of an agreeable definition of consensus. In the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the word “consensus” is…
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