Trump’s proposed budget would cut US international climate change work significantly

trump budget

According to Inside Climate News, the Trump Administration’s recently unveiled budget proposal would cut $10.1 billion from the United States’ current international climate work, which represents a 28% reduction from the status quo. It would eliminate the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), which funds all climate-related bilateral efforts, like collaborations with China and India, and contributes to the United Nations…
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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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From INDC to NDC: Diversity in ambitions and fairness

APA1-2 Co-chairs: Sarah Baashan (Saudi Arabia) and Jo Tyndall (New Zealand)

The Paris Agreement requires Parties to communicate their first NDC along with their instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement. However, this requirement is typically accomplished when a Party has communicated an INDC prior to joining the Paris Agreement, unless it decides otherwise. So far, 163 INDCs have been submitted, while…
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Land Use and Methane

As the COP negotiations increasingly look to agriculture, forestry, and other land uses as tools to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate, methanogenesis – the biological production of methane by single-celled organisms – must be taken into account. This methane production is very similar to fermentation, the process used to produce alcohol. In fermentation,…
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Ecological Migration and Migrating Towards Ambitious Climate Change Commitments at COP22

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In 2011, the UN projected that the world will have 50 million environmental refugees by 2020. These are people who need to resettle due to climate change impacts such as drought, food shortage, disease, flooding, desertification, soil erosion, deforestation, and other environmental problems. This past week the New York Times released two stories about the…
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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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Climate Change influences extreme weather events, but by how much?

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  We know that our climate system is changing as global temperatures rise. It is also now possible, in many cases, for science to credibly speak to the influence of climate change on the likelihood and/or the extent/severity of a certain type of event. However, according to a pre-publication version of a new National Academies…
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How “well below 2°C” flew well-below the radar

1.5DegC

On December 12, when the Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus, it contained bold new language on the long-term global temperature goal. Article 2 reads: “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels…” (Article 2.1(a))…
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Fracking: COP21 as “the scoreboard, not the game”

Panel for Side Event on Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground: the International Movement to Ban Fracking

“If you’re looking for good way to heat up the earth fast, poke holes in the earth and let methane pour out.” This is how Bill McKibben of 350.org described hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at today’s side event on the international movement to ban fracking. Sandra Steingraber of EcoWatch pointed out how both methane and CO2…
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Are State INDC Mitigation Pledges Strong Enough?

Image from http://www.unep.org/annualreport/2014/en/climate-change.html

  Today at COP21, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) hosted a joint presentation on the 2015 UNEP Emissions Gap Report. This sixth Emissions Gap Report was published in November 2015. The report assesses country mitigation commitments based off their submitted INDCs. Then it compares…
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Decarbonization or Climate Neutrality? Which is the Better Path to 2°C? Is There Even a Difference?

http://buildingindustry.org/one-million-tonnes-of-co2

In order to keep global temperatures under 2°C, the threshold generally accepted as the best way to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, there must be a limit on cumulative CO2 emissions. For those of you not tracking mitigation negotiations closely at COP21, there is some hot debating surrounding long-term signals maintaining this threshold….
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Saying Goodbye to Cultural Landmarks

Courtesy of Climate Central

Sea-level rise is an unavoidable threat facing our planet in the coming century. Even avoiding increasing global temperatures above 2°C likely wont save us from a twenty-foot rise in sea-level by 2020. This kind of devastating sea-level rise will have disastrous effects on worldwide economies, agricultural, and livelihoods. It will also irreparably change the face…
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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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Animal Adaptation to Climate Change: Looking Through the Lens of the Quino Checkerspot Butterfly

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Climate change affects animals. This is not a new revelation. The first IPCC Assessment Report, released in 1990, discusses how climate change negatively impacts polar bears. But the conversation on animals and climate change often neglects the stories of how animals survive by adapting to climate changed conditions. Many species adapt by broadening their diets…
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