375 NAS scientists speak out

NAS letter

“Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality.” So begins an open letter published yesterday by 375 National Academy of Science members. It unequivocally states that burning fossil fuels have left human “fingerprints” all over the climate system, notably observed in sea level rise, declining Arctic sea ice, and…
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28 countries and almost 42% of global GHG emissions

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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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Financial instruments ignite SCF Forum on L&D risk

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Some sparks flew and some eyes got opened at the 2016 Forum of the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance (SCF), held in Manila last week. The Forum’s exploration of financial instruments for addressing the risks of loss and damage was at the request of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss…
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Coal plant capacity decline worldwide

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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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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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