Closing the UNFCCC Gender GAP?

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The Gender Action Plan, with its apt acronym – GAP – was on the agenda earlier this month at the UNFCCC intersessional meetings in Bonn, Germany. And, rightly so. Women’s equal and meaningful participation in the development and implementation of effective climate policy is an agreed goal of the Parties to the Convention. Since COP7…
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Wheels of climate change policy roll on in Bonn

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While angst about the pending Trump decision on the Paris Agreement (PA) remained a subtext of the annual intersessional climate meetings that wrapped up last week in Bonn, Germany, the technical work trundled on. More than 3,300 (negotiators, observers [including a VLS delegation], plus secretariat and other agency staff) participated in: the 46th sessions of…
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UK clean energy milestone

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The United Kingdom generated 100% of its power from sources other than coal last Friday.  This day made history, the first time since 1882 that the UK had not relied on coal for electricity production for a continuous 24 hours. National Grid spokesman Sean Kemp told the New York Times that this marks “a kind of end of an era.”  Coal consumption…
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New U.S. public opinion data on climate change contradicts Trump Administration policies

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At the same time that the Trump Administration is moving to rescind the Clean Power Plan and other EPA rules on climate change, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication reports that 7 out of 10 Americans support limits on CO2 emissions by coal-fired power plants. Huh? Bob Inglis, a former Republican congressman from South Carolina, sums up…
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Trump’s proposed budget would cut US international climate change work significantly

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According to Inside Climate News, the Trump Administration’s recently unveiled budget proposal would cut $10.1 billion from the United States’ current international climate work, which represents a 28% reduction from the status quo. It would eliminate the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), which funds all climate-related bilateral efforts, like collaborations with China and India, and contributes to the United Nations…
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Will the U.S. hand off the Paris Agreement baton to China?

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In London today, Myron Ebell told participants at a climate denier conference that the U.S. will pull out of the Paris Agreement: “He could do it by executive order tomorrow or he could do it as part of a larger package.” Ebell is a well known U.S. climate denier who was tapped by the Trump Administration to lead the pre-inauguration…
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U.S. climate change resources

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If you’re trying to find U.S. climate change information that was deleted from government websites beginning on January 20, 2017, I recommend going to the following sites: Adaptation Clearinghouse (Georgetown Law Center), which has archived and reposted numerous U.S. government resources on climate change adaptation. Way Back Machine (project of Internet Archive, a non-profit library of books, music, films, and…
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Adaptation and Climate Resilience – Help Wanted

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A recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) half-day seminar – Climate Change Adaptation Investments and Measuring Effectiveness – considered a pressing suite of interrelated issues. As Timmons Roberts of Brown University (one of the moderators) stated, “[t]his seminar is not an academic exercise.” Developing countries urgently need climate change adaptation help and they want and…
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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

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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?

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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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