COP22/CMA1: Transparent Reflections

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While transparency forms the backbone of the Paris Agreement, COP22/CMA1 did not proceed in a very transparent manner. Nevertheless, parties made progress behind mostly closed doors toward a more transparent future. Additionally, the assistance our observer delegation was able to offer to our service learning partner made this experience especially meaningful. In light of how…
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Reflections: Oasis or Mirage?

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Last night, COP 22 came to a close. After a week of wishing we could get into the negotiations happening behind closed doors, we had front-row seats to the spectacle: what was sure to be an open-and-closed meeting turned into a boxing match between Bolivia and Brazil. Delegates spent the day hashing out decision texts….
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Just Peace through Climate Action

Display at India's COP Pavilion

This year, the COP demonstrated the priority of climate justice by recognizing the first official Climate Justice Day on the UNFCCC Programme. The celebration of Climate Justice Day explored the social dimensions of climate action while elevating the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that led to the Paris Agreement. In fact, COP 22 highlights the…
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Landscape Leaning in Landuse

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Agriculture, the sector humans depend on the most, is also the sector most impacted by climate change. Pests and disease are spreading to new areas. Sea levels rise and contaminate fresh water sources. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, and cyclones are increasing in number and severity, destroying crops before harvest year after year. Increasing temperatures exacerbate desertification….
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Are Human Rights Lost and Damaged?

Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

Loss and Damage (L&D) includes the permanent loss of land, culture, and human life and will escalate existing tensions over increasingly scarce resources. This tension will ultimately incite conflict in many parts of the world. In some places, the loss of habitable land is forcing individuals and families to leave their country, threatening their sovereignty,…
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A Numbers “Crunch” – Trump & The UNFCCC

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Like most every other institution around the globe, for a while now, the UNFCCC has been called on to do more with less. This is clearly reflected in the Executive Secretary’s recent budget presentations that report contributions to UNFCCC trust funds have declined significantly for at least the last 5 years. In fact, 2016 contributions…
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Bridging the Gap between NDC Commitments and NDC Implementation

Lord Nicholas Stern at COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco

During this morning’s Joint High Level Segment, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Cooper Pershing delivered the U.S. National Statement. Addressing the combined meeting of the COP22/CMP12/CMA1, Pershing said, “With the policies already in place, the United States is well-positioned to meet its Paris Agreement targets” and that through current market trends, “the transition to clean…
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Mobilizing the Private Sector to Finance Adaptation

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Today at COP 22 the Japanese delegation hosted a side event at their pavilion about mobilizing the private sector to finance climate change adaptation. The panelists discussed ways to involve the private sector from regional, business, and public policy perspectives. The panelist from Bangladesh, Dr. Saleemul Huq, then present specific examples of how the private sector…
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Backbone of the Paris Agreement has undertones in ICAO’s CORSIA scheme

Jos Delbeke offers his perspective on ICAO's CORSIA at COP22

International aviation emissions are not explicitly addressed under the Paris Agreement, but their successful regulation nevertheless relies on the same elements of transparency and global stocktake as in Articles 13 and 14 of the Agreement. Earlier this fall, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) passed the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)…
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Developing Innovation

Dr. Edward Cameron

With the increasing risks of loss and damage (L&D) associated with the impacts of climate change, all nations are facing unprecedented complications in providing for the protection of their citizens. This burden of meeting this challenge is especially felt by those countries with less access to the variety of resources necessary to adequately innovate unilaterally. These developing…
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Is Time Running Out?

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Referencing the response to climate change at today’s COP 22, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the issue in terms of time.   He stated, “The question is not whether we will transition to a clean energy economy. The question is whether we will have the will power to make the transition in time….
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Implementing Adaptation for Resilient Mediterranean-climate Regions

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One of the side events at COP 22 today presented best practices and case studies for implementing adaptation in Mediterranean-climate regions, with a focus on: consumer behavior; stakeholder and citizen participation; health; and climate policy. The speakers identified ways that sub-national governments can increase adaptation efforts. Surprisingly, few of the case studies involved countries along…
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Subnationals around the world stepping up to combat climate change

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While only sovereign countries can be parties to the Paris Agreement, that fact has not prevented cities, states, and regions from stepping up to take their own climate actions. Several subnational entities have joined groups like the C40 and Under 2 MOU, which create voluntary agreements to reduce emissions and develop more sustainable municipalities. Under the…
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A New Dawn

King Mohammed VI of Morocco, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, COP 22 President Salaheddine Mezouar, and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa wait to greet arriving dignitaries to the first meeting of the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement.

One year ago, parties to the UNFCCC signed the Paris Agreement, expecting it to come into force over the next four years as individual nations went through the slow process of ratification. To everyone’s surprise, the requisite number of nations ratified it, and as of November 4, the Paris Agreement officially came into force. Today,…
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