Protestors as Nonparty Stakeholders

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Today at COP23, the United States Climate Action Center event “America’s Pledge on Climate Change,” had speakers that included Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Sustainability, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, California Governor Jerry Brown, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They reassured the world that America’s Paris contribution would be met regardless of inaction at the…
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Equity Takes Center Stage in Global Stock Take Discussions

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In determining the modalities, procedures, and guidelines for the Global Stock Take under Article 14 of the Paris Agreement, equity is the name of the game. Parties joining the first informal consultation on the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement on November 7, 2017 have repeatedly mentioned the need for considering the impact…
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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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The GCF – Can We Count On It?

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In 2009, as we reported earlier, developed country Parties to the UNFCCC committed to jointly mobilize $100 billion/year by 2020 to help developing countries address their climate change needs. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) – the designated heavy lifter for this goal – was created by COP16 in 2010. Its purpose is to fund developing…
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Climate Justice may be Blind, but it isn’t Mute.  

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Several concepts and phrases have been bantered around for inclusion in the Paris Outcome document. Most of it centers on the differences between the wealthy nations and those who are not.  “It’s [the issues are] about differentiation, equity, and climate justice.” – India’s Environmental Minister – Prakash Javadekar. While much of the talk has centered…
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Civil Society keeps the heat on for climate ambition

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As countries seek to arrive at a mutually acceptable text for the Paris Outcome this week, there is a lot of focus on ambition to reduce emissions, and on financial support to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. In fact, these are among the key high-level political issues that must be resolved….
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CAN International flashes climate movement’s teeth on Day 1

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  CAN (Climate Action Network) International’s COP21 opening press conference this morning delivered strong words for the leaders and negotiators. (CAN International is a recognized “network of NGOs working on climate change from around the world.” Member groups well known in the U.S. include 350.org, Union of Concerned Scientists, World Resources Institute, and World Wildlife…
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Outside the ADP negotiation rooms

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Some days at UNFCCC negotiations, the glass looks more full outside the negotiating rooms. Given the 4am revisions of the negotiation texts, meetings today started off slowly.  The ADP gathered in the late morning to acknowledge the new text, send the G77 and other negotiating groups off for coordination on it, and announce the afternoon and evening “spin off…
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Conservative Backlash to the U.S.– China Climate Agreement

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The United States–China climate change agreement announced this Wednesday already faces strong resistance in the U.S.  As detailed here, the U.S. and China, which combine to produce nearly half of the world’s emissions, struck a deal to strengthen their reduction commitments. The U.S., which has already pledged to reduce emissions by 17 percent below 2005…
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The road from Bonn to Lima (by way of Copenhagen this week)

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Looking back on last week’s ADP2-6 special session, it would be easy to echo the notes of pessimism that pervaded Saturday’s press reports.  RTCC (Responding to Climate Change) commented after last Thursday’s stocktaking session that “much work remains” in the session’s last two days and noted the frustrated ADP Co-Chairs “offering government negotiators a stern reality check.”…
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Over 400,000 Come Together in NYC for People’s Climate March

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Yesterday over 400 thousand people marched through the streets of New York City yelling, singing, drumming, and clamoring for climate change justice. The march made the front page of the New York Times as the largest single environmental gathering in history, but across the world yesterday cities came together: 30,000 in Melbourne, almost 5,000 in…
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Chinese citizen suit on air pollution

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When looking at the local factors that can shape a UNFCCC state party’s “nationally determined” contribution or commitment, litigation looms large in the U.S.  Exhibit A: President Obama’s decision to use his executive branch authority to implement his Climate Action Plan.  Although he intends to deliver on the U.S. promise to reduce its GHG emissions 17% below the 2005 baseline, the President still…
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COP19 RINGOs Calling

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Beth Martin, Engineering and Science Director / Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University in St. Louis, is working to pull together a list of RINGO students and advisors who attended this year’s COP and/or are interested in sending students and advisors to future COPs. Beth writes: “The idea of pulling together a network is to better enable…
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