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

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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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Just Peace through Climate Action

Display at India's COP Pavilion

This year, the COP demonstrated the priority of climate justice by recognizing the first official Climate Justice Day on the UNFCCC Programme. The celebration of Climate Justice Day explored the social dimensions of climate action while elevating the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that led to the Paris Agreement. In fact, COP 22 highlights the…
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Bridging the Gap between NDC Commitments and NDC Implementation

Lord Nicholas Stern at COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco

During this morning’s Joint High Level Segment, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Cooper Pershing delivered the U.S. National Statement. Addressing the combined meeting of the COP22/CMP12/CMA1, Pershing said, “With the policies already in place, the United States is well-positioned to meet its Paris Agreement targets” and that through current market trends, “the transition to clean…
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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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A New Dawn

King Mohammed VI of Morocco, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, COP 22 President Salaheddine Mezouar, and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa wait to greet arriving dignitaries to the first meeting of the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement.

One year ago, parties to the UNFCCC signed the Paris Agreement, expecting it to come into force over the next four years as individual nations went through the slow process of ratification. To everyone’s surprise, the requisite number of nations ratified it, and as of November 4, the Paris Agreement officially came into force. Today,…
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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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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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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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COP21: The Gathering – What are we willing to trade?

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There are many analogies used to describe the climate negotiations, some of which – including fractals, webs, and dances ­– have been referenced right here on this blog. At this stage of the negotiations though, another metaphor comes to mind: that of trading card games. With the initial deadline for an agreement hours behind us,…
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How will we measure success in Paris?

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After observing the first week of COP21, it is clear that reaching agreement is not the measure of success in Paris. Everyone from the Executive Secretary to heads of delegation have expressed confidence that all Parties can agree on a final outcome. In fact, at the closing of the ADP plenary, ADP Co-Chair Ahmed Djoghlaf suggested that we…
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Will the Dark Cloud Over EPA’s Clean Power Plan Rain on Paris?

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Last month, EPA published the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the most ambitious and controversial rulemaking in the history of the Clean Air Act, and set off a flurry of litigation as many Republican lawmakers urged states to challenge the rule. The Clean Power Plan is EPA’s first attempt to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing…
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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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A Woman Saving the Planet

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This week’s New Yorker leads off with a “Reporter at Large” article by science writer Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction), The Weight of the World: Can one woman get the U.N. to save the planet?  While ostensibly about UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres – answering the subtitled question, “can [she] persuade humanity to save itself?”…
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Climate diplomacy

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Scott Moore, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, published a thoughtful op-ed on current U.S. climate diplomacy in yesterday’s Diplomat.  On the heels of the recent mission to India, and last November’s US-China bilateral announcement on GHG emission reductions, he asserts that “[b]y reclaiming the leadership role that it effectively surrendered by refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol…
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