COP19 RINGOs Calling

university grp shot

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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US-China relations post-COP19

beijing air quality

Today’s HuffPost features an article on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s view that China is poised for a green revolution.  McCarthy sees internal pressures by the rising Chinese middle class on its political leaders to do more on environmental regulation and climate change.  She cited to the now famous example of the U.S. embassy’s air quality…
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Extra, extra! Read our COP19 wrap-up in the Huffington Post!

VLS COP19/CMP9 Observer Delegation Week 2

Congrats to our Week 2 Observer Delegation on its recent publication in the Huffington Post courtesy of climate and energy reporter Ben Jervey.  In it, we recap COP19/CMP9’s last week of activity, analyzing what this “nuts and bolts” COP did and didn’t achieve. Specifically, we take a close look at adaptation, loss and damage, subnational initiatives, new REDD+ rules, and technology,…
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“A foundation COP” of nuts and bolts

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“Stocktaking” is a now a new word in my vocabulary.  While I regularly do it, I don’t normally make the time to name it as such.  In the polyglot system of the United Nations, awkwardly-formal-but-descriptive terms like this one (and “functions and modalities,” “institutional mechanisms,”  “work programmes”) are essential to the process of moving a…
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This is the face of civil society on the final day of COP19

A fundamental part of UNFCCC law making is inviting civil society to observe it.  In this way, negotiators may keep their constituencies in mind when locked in tense debates in far away countries, and “we the people” may keep an eye on our delegation’s representation of us.  Article 6 of the Convention encourages parties to promote educational…
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Extra, extra. Read all about us in the HuffPost!

Congrats to our Week 1 Observer Delegation on its recent publication in the Huffington Post.  In it, we recap the first week’s activity, with an eye toward how it would set up the second week’s high level ministerial negotiations.  We specifically focused on the Gender Decision, land use and REDD, loss and damage, and the…
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Week 2 Delegation Is Off to a Good Start

Our Week 1 Delegation returned to South Royalton, Vermont this weekend, just as our Week 2 Delegation arrived.  While their two experiences will have many common denominators — plenaries and informal consultations, side events and shwag, SBI and SBSTA agenda items, ADP and its two worksteams, and the whole host of acronyms that inform the substance of the…
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Day 1 of COP19/CMP9

Equipped with our yellow NGO observer badges, our VLS delegation ventured out two hours before the opening COP plenary, ready for long security waits.  Instead, we sailed through the well-managed lines and began exploring the stadium venue.  Some of us attended several early briefing sessions with partner NGOs, then attended the COP welcome ceremony and…
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On the eve of COP19/CMP9

During the same two-day conference at London’s Chatham House where Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres outlined the UNFCCC’s goals for COP19/CMP9, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern did the same, summarizing the U.S. approach to negotiating a post-2020 agreement as “flexibility with strength.”  Reflecting on the ADP’s job at Warsaw, Stern observed that “to…
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Climate justice, or “should the U.S. help Malawi adapt to climate change?”

As countries set out their COP19/CMP9 negotiating positions in the days before next Monday’s opening plenary session in Warsaw, my colleague Ben Sovacool reminds us in his recent Nature article that negotiating a new international climate change text is about ethics, as well as economics and technology.  He points to Sam Barrett’s observation:   “climate change creates a double…
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Countdown to COP19/CMP9

Ambition.  Annex B targets.  Second commitment period.  Flexible mechanisms.  State parties.  Green Climate Fund.  Loss and damage.  Reforestation, deforestation, and afforestation.  Joint implementation.  Annex I.  Annex II.  Monitoring, review, and verification.  Adaptation funding.  Common but differentiated responsibilities.  Clean development mechanism.  Carbon emissions trading.  IPCC.  SBI.  SBSTA.  ADP.  AAU.  CER.  ERU. These are some of the concepts…
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