The Cancun Agreements

Agreements were made. This is important. The process did not fail and the UNFCCC will continue in the long term quest to achieve internationally binding targets.  I have seen several achievements consistently mentioned in the media. (1) Commitments made by global economies for 2020 were recognized/the Copenhagen Accord was adopted, (2) a global environmental fund…
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Nicholas Stern of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change talks about the impact of agriculture on deforestation




Rob Walton gets mixed reviews on Walmart’s progress

In a conversation with Achim Steiner (Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme) & Peter Seligmann (Chairman and CEO, Conservation International) Walton describes progress Walmart has made in the sourcing of their products. Given the focus on Indonesia at this COP, Walton describes how Walmart stopped sourcing palm oil from recently deforested areas – such as…
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Check out this line-up

Being on the CIFOR (center for interntational forestry research) listserv, I was invited to a very special, 400 people – including press, event… Advancing REDD+: New Pathways and Partnerships By Invitation Only *    *     *     *     *     *     * Special honored guest: His Excellency Ban Ki-moon – Secretary-General of the United Nations And other distinguished…
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UN starts seriously working with cities.

My very last “low-level” side event, I ended with some positive news about progress in cities throughout the world. Not only are cities making progress, but they are starting to get recognition and assistance from the international community. The representative form the World Bank said, “We realize we need to partner with cities” For the…
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Dan and I were e-introduced to Elizabeth Burleson from USD Law School by Betsy Baker. The three of us were able to meet in person at Cancunmesse and had an opportunity to exchange thoughts on the COP. Prof. Burleson was one of many observers who told us that in the specific negotiations she observed, delegates were working from different…
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Mountain Adaptation

The Minister for the Environment of Chile, Javier Garcia, introduced a side event on mountain adaptation by talking about the importance of mountains. ½ the world’s water supply and ½ the world’s biodiversity hotspots are in mountains.


wikileaks at COP 16

It is  impossible to know how the wikiLeaks regarding the US strategy during COP 15 will affect the outcome of COP 16. There are certainly more disussions about democratic process and trust. Not only have the WikiLeaks affected the level of trust, but they have also distracted some delegates from the work at hand. Even during side…
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LULUCF (Lu-Lu-C-F) Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry: what will COP 16 do about unaccounted emissions from logging?

During the first commitment period of the KP, countries are only required to voluntarily account for emissions from logging. This means that countries can determine their own baselines, including the use of a baselines based on future instead of historical data. There are several options on the table to decide how to account for forest…
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Forest Day panelists believe an agreement may be reached on REDD+

Forest Day started off with a  speech by President Calderon, who said we must “empujar todos” (“push all”) towards a REDD+ agreement. An agreement on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is predicted by many high level panelists to be one the biggest outcomes from COP 16. “REDD + is an enormous prize within…
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The “Uhn”

  After COP 15, the level of frustration is so high many people are asking whether this process is worth the billions of dollars and energy going into it. The best overused quote of the conference so far: “A little less conversation, a little more action” – Elvis.