Getting serious about 1.5°C

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As we reported earlier, the historic Paris Agreement of December 2015 established a long-term temperature goal to keep global temperature increase “well below 2°C” and to undertake efforts to limit that increase to 1.5°C, “recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” The COP21 decision adopting the Agreement included an…
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Obama on Climate Change

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In his weekly address last Friday, President Obama summed up his administration’s record on climate change.  Calling it “one of the most urgent challenges of our time,” he pointed to progress made since 2008.  This includes: clean energy investment (300% increase in wind power, 3000% increase in solar power), lowest carbon emissions from energy in 25 years, continued economic growth,…
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Will the Paris Agreement enter into force this year?

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A  statement released last Friday by the Marshall Islands estimates that it will. It calculates that ratifications – or pledges of ratification – of the Agreement by 58 countries thus far total 54% of global GHG emissions.  As we’ve posted before, entry into force of the Paris Agreement requires ratification by 55 countries representing 55% of emissions….
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Global Goal on Adaptation: work has begun

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The next in our series of posts on SB44/APA1 Work on the Paris Agreement’s (PA) global goal on adaptation was launched by the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) and Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) in Bonn in May. We reported earlier on the global goal here and here. The APA, SBTA and SBI…
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Counting On Big Bucks for Adaptation – More News from SB44

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Financing Adaptation was a big topic in Bonn at SB44 last month (see our SB44/APA1 overview here), and rightly so, with the newly released UN Environment Program (UNEP) 2016 Adaptation Finance Gap Report. The report states that current international public finance flows for adaptation are only one-third to one-half the amount needed right now. Additionally,…
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Loss and damage at SB44 – Whither the WIM?

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While, as we posted last week, loss and damage (L&D) was not on the agendas of the Subsidiary Bodies or the APA at the UNFCCC intersessional meetings held in Bonn, May 16-26, some attention was paid to this important issue. Four side events covered varying aspects of L&D policy and action, both inside and outside…
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The end of gas-fired cars?

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Norwegian Liberal Party MP Ola Elverstuen announced today that Norway’s four leading political parties have agreed on a ban of gasoline-powered cars by 2025. “After 2025 new private cars, buses and light commercial vehicles will be zero-emission vehicles. By 2030, new heavier vans, 75 percent of new long-distance buses, 50 percent of new trucks will…
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Loss and Damage in Bonn (sort of)

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The 44th meeting of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) and the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), held in Bonn, Germany, May 16-26, were full of action. Our delegation report-back started earlier this week, here and here. Key work areas receiving consideration included, for example: preparation for the…
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SB44 – Next Steps After Paris

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During the last two weeks of May, the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathered in Bonn, Germany for their regular midyear meeting.  This session is called SB44, which simply means the 44th meeting of the climate change convention’s subbodies, which include two standing groups, the SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation) and SBSTA (Subsidiary…
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Women Dominate Leadership Positions for UN Climate Change Negotiations

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For the first time ever, women dominate the most influential positions for the UN Climate Change negotiations. This significant change in leadership comports with the Preamble of the Paris Agreement, which states, “[p]arties should when taking action to address climate change, promote and consider their respective obligations…gender equality [and] empowerment of women.” Significantly, Christiana Figueres, affectionately nicknamed the…
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Climate Change News from Across the Pond

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Newsflash #1 France has announced that it might stop importing shale natural gas from the United States because it’s extracted using hydraulic fracturing.  Fracking was banned in France in 2011. Two French utilities currently contract with Houston-based Cheniere Energy, which sells them liquified natural gas (LNG) comprised of 40% shale gas. Notably, this policy debate in France is taking place as the US seeks to step up its LNG…
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Climate Talk Vermont

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Now you too can attend Climate Talk Vermont – Global Ambition, Local Action, VLS’s Earth Day 2016 celebration, thanks to Bob the Green Guy. Co-sponsored with the Vermont chapter of the Sierra Club, this climate change event kicked off with remarks by Aaron Mair, National President of the Sierra Club.  The first panel focused on the global dimensions of…
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Solar Energy Growth Really Heating Up

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News about the increase in solar energy potential and development has been robust across all the climate news aggregators for some time. And, targeted outlets like the U.S-based Solar Energy Industries Association News (weekly) and the Australian-based Solar Daily abound with exciting stories. The overwhelming consensus is that this technology has really caught fire, as…
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Clean cars, clean energy

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This piece in Bloomberg news, The Dirty Road to Cleaner Cars, captures well the conundrum of cleaning up vehicular emissions.  22% of US CO2 emissions come from the transportation sector.  (This number is17% worldwide.) Tesla set records when it launched its Model 3 in April, racking up more than 400,000 reservations for the $35,000 sedan since then. So it’s clear that there…
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