COP22 Begins Today

L to R: Amy Pickering, Tori Scozzaro, Roxana Mastor, Beth Bootz, Hannah Solomon

This morning at 10am GMT, COP22/CMP12/CMA1 kicked off with an opening ceremony that included a local drumming corps.  About 10 hours later, it closed with a welcome reception filled with lutes and violins. In between, the opening plenaries of the three major governance groups – COP22 or the 22nd meeting of the Conference of Parties to…
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UPDATE: India signals Oct. 2 ratification of Paris Agreement

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Yesterday’s edition of the New Indian Express reported Prime Minister Modi’s announcement that India will ratify the Paris Agreement on October 2. Not only is this ratification timed to celebrate the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, but it will come in ahead of the EU’s fast track ratification date of October 7.  While this newspaper says…
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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

US CHina ratification

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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Coal plant capacity decline worldwide

global coal plant tracker

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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Obama on Climate Change

obama weekly address

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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The end of gas-fired cars?

oslo downtown

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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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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Climate Change News from Across the Pond

france frack

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

climate talk vermont

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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Clean cars, clean energy

electric car

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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US energy use of coal drops big

EIA coal drop

The US Energy Information Administration reported last week that US power plants reduced their use of coal by almost 30% during the past nine years.  In 2015, 739 million short tons of coal were burned to produce electricity, down from a 1.045 billion short tons in 2007, the peak year. Coal use also fell in nearly every state. States with the largest…
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Survey says . . .

political survey results

A new study by Yale and George Mason universities of US registered voters and their attitudes about climate change reports some consistent results:  Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be convinced that human-caused global warming is happening and to support climate action by elected officials. But the studies’ authors dig deeper to show more nuanced shifts in public opinion about climate change.  As they…
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