Teachers Without Borders

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In the context of climate change, capacity building focuses upon developing the infrastructure, response and communication mechanisms, access to finance, climate awareness, and human capital of developing countries. This in turn enables the countries to meet carbon emission goals and develop sustainably. Developing countries face significant capacity challenges, which frustrate their ability to carry out…
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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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Is Time Running Out?

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Referencing the response to climate change at today’s COP 22, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the issue in terms of time.   He stated, “The question is not whether we will transition to a clean energy economy. The question is whether we will have the will power to make the transition in time….
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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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The Paris Agreement’s Debut: Priorities at CMA1

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On October 5, 2016, the Paris Agreement passed the threshold required to go into force on November 4, 2016. Over 55 Parties to the Convention have submitted their instruments of ratification, accounting for over 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the…
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EU Environment Ministers fast-track ratification of the Paris Agreement

Commissioner Cañete and Slovak minister Solymos spoke of the EU ratification decision historic moment (Photo: Council of the European Union)

The EU Environment Ministers voted on Friday at the extraordinary meeting of the Environment Council a historic decision to ratify the Paris Agreement. The decision proposal was adopted in June by the European Commission, thus starting the ratification process of the Paris Agreement on behalf of the EU, in accordance with the provisions of the…
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Fair and balanced?

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A recent study concludes that CNN viewers see more fossil fuel ads than reporting on climate change. Oil industry advertisements outstripped climate-related coverage by almost 5 to 1 in periods following major climate announcements, according to Media Matters. For example, after reporting that 2015 was the hottest year on record and that February 2016 was the most abnormally…
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Nations in ‘Glass Houses’: The Rules of Transparency

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While not as publicly flashy as the issue of ambition, transparency received a good deal of attention during the negotiations that brought us to the Final Agreement in Paris on Saturday. Parties had to come to a consensus about how exposed their internal policies and actions would be to scrutiny. This is a key point,…
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Clambering Up the Tower of Babel to Reach the Paris Package

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Imagine a room full of delegates from 196 different countries waiting to begin a high-stake negotiation. The cacophonous sound of conversations in dozens of languages reverberates around the room. The meeting commences and then proceeds in English. Delegate after delegate raises concerns and offers ideal solutions to a controversial draft text addressing the problem of…
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Will some be left behind? The significance of climate finance

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 For countries on the front lines of climate change, access, availability, and urgency of funding needs are significant. As an example, rising sea levels in Senegal and Gambia have already impacted agricultural production. Saltwater intrusion into agriculturally productive lands has reduced food production. Further, warming temperatures and resulting increased length of seasons have heightened health…
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Influential strangers: a journey home from COP 21

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At an international meeting it only makes sense that the people you would end up meeting may be across the border from you! However, it is not necessarily expected that your new acquaintance would be across a state border. But the latter was just the case on my ride home this evening from COP21. After…
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The Role of Gender in Climate Politics

Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and other Senate republicans

Climate change is proven – the vast majority of the scientific community, along with many major businesses and nearly every major insurance provider, all agree that climate change is having real impacts on the world today. Most also believe that those impacts are the result of anthropogenic activity. However, the facts about climate change are…
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Feet on the Ground: Low-Carbon Travel to Paris

Source: Bike for a Future

“A challenge that remains is to motivate the many participants of conferences and meetings to reduce their own carbon footprint, especially from travel.” So reads the UNFCCC secretariat’s sustainability efforts web page. Some individuals took this challenge into their own hands (or rather, feet) and are pursuing unconventional travel routes to Paris. First, there are the…
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Mind the [Ambition] Gap

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  When stepping onto the Underground in London, a voice rings out, “Mind the gap.” Perhaps this should also be echoing through the halls of the COP20 venue in Lima, Peru, this week. The pre-2020 ambition gap is often stated in terms of what must be done differently from business as usual to keep GHGs…
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Nations Commit $9.3 Billion Towards Climate Action: Is it enough?

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Yesterday international leaders pledged $9.3 billion towards the United Nations (UN) Green Climate Fund (Fund) at the first Pledging Conference in Berlin, Germany. Formally established in Cancun in 2010, the Fund aims to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. In this way, the capital would help those countries least to blame for, but…
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