Science and Adaptation: Prevention is the Key

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COP23 is significantly emphasizing the impact of extreme weather on climate change adaptation. This issue is even more prevalent with the major weather events that have occurred in the past several months: intense hurricanes in the Caribbean and the southern United States, flooding in South East Asia, and severe drought on the West Coast of…
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Food Sovereignty: An Adaptation and Mitigation Tool

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When nations recognized the need to mitigate climate change by finding ways to reduce carbon emissions, emissions from the agriculture sector were not readily considered a priority.  In fact, some claim that parties intentionally kept agriculture off the negotiating table in terms of mitigation because… well, everyone needs food.  Furthermore, global population growth and a…
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Climate Change “Refugees” in Hot Water

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Direct effects of climate change such as droughts, floods, rising sea levels, and hazardous weather events have immediate and lasting impacts upon displacement of communities. For example, five reef islands in the remote Solomon Islands have already been deemed uninhabitable due to sea level rise and erosion. Since 2008, approximately 22.5 million people have been…
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Small Island Developing States Fishing for Adaptation Solutions

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For Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Fiji, climate change adaptation requires immediate action. As my colleague Val analyzed previously, fish stocks are depleted and international tensions are rising as each nation attempts to protect the fishing economy it still maintains. When the Ocean Conference met in June of 2017, participants recognized the crucial role oceans play as…
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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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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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Mobilizing the Private Sector to Finance Adaptation

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Today at COP 22 the Japanese delegation hosted a side event at their pavilion about mobilizing the private sector to finance climate change adaptation. The panelists discussed ways to involve the private sector from regional, business, and public policy perspectives. The panelist from Bangladesh, Dr. Saleemul Huq, then present specific examples of how the private sector…
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Developing Innovation

Dr. Edward Cameron

With the increasing risks of loss and damage (L&D) associated with the impacts of climate change, all nations are facing unprecedented complications in providing for the protection of their citizens. This burden of meeting this challenge is especially felt by those countries with less access to the variety of resources necessary to adequately innovate unilaterally. These developing…
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Implementing Adaptation for Resilient Mediterranean-climate Regions

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One of the side events at COP 22 today presented best practices and case studies for implementing adaptation in Mediterranean-climate regions, with a focus on: consumer behavior; stakeholder and citizen participation; health; and climate policy. The speakers identified ways that sub-national governments can increase adaptation efforts. Surprisingly, few of the case studies involved countries along…
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LDCs – Concern, yet hope, entering Week 2 of COP22

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At the end of the first week, many were expressing concern that Marrakech’s purported COP of Action wasn’t measuring up for the world’s most vulnerable countries. Yesterday morning, Least Developed Countries (LDC) Chair, Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, identified troubles on key issues of ambition, adaptation / loss & damage, and climate finance. In particular, he noted…
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End of Week Wrap-up: Adaptation

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The first week of COP 22 wrapped up today. Throughout the week I tracked a number of adaptation items under the UNFCCC. This post summarizes the developments of a few of these items. In all, Parties were engaged and prepared to move forward towards implementation. Regarding several agenda items, developing countries stressed the inclusion of support…
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NDCs Registry Update: Pandora’s box remains closed

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Yesterday,  the Parties reached a conclusion on the NDC registry. But it was a procedural conclusion, with the substantive discussion to take place at SBI46 in Bonn next May. Even so, it still took additional SBI informal sessions to come to agreement:  the registry agenda item had been limited to three sessions, but the Parties’ disagreements on the…
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Human Health and Climate Change

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Yesterday, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) held the 10th Focal Point Forum on Health and Adaptation under the Nairobi Work Programme. The meeting was an opportunity for UNFCCC national focal points, Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) focal points, and health experts to discuss emerging health issues resulting from climate change. Discussions also…
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Young and Future Generations Day at COP22

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Away from the negotiation sessions, contact groups, informal discussions and other exciting diplomacy exercises, COP22 devoted its fourth day to young and future generations. This focus explored the intergenerational equity dimension of climate justice. The principle of intergenerational equity is concerned primarily with the distribution of “public goods” and “public bads,” as expressed by John Rawls’ definition of…
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It’s a Small (Virtual) World: Using VR as a Knowledge Sharing Tool

Source: Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab

Yesterday, during the Informal Consultation on the Nairobi work programme (NWP) the Secretariat provided an update of progress made since SBSTA 44 back in May. In the report, the Secretariat highlighted the success of social media efforts to-date, which included a video interview series designed to raise awareness on the importance of working with vulnerable communities. What if…
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