VLS COP20 delegation in Money Magazine (of all places)

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In an article on how U.S. college students use their education in the first ten years after graduation, Catherine Craig MELP ’15 (and Northeastern School of Law JD ’15) highlighted her experience in Vermont Law School’s international climate change law course that prepares law and policy students to serve on our COP observer delegations.  Read more here.


From Lima to Paris: The Road Ahead to COP21/CMP11

Catherine Craig, third from left.

This post was written by Vermont Law School COP20/CMP10 Observer Delegation members Archer Christian, Catherine Craig, Rebecca Davidson, Carla Santos, Cynthia Sirois, and Professor Tracy Bach. As the action in Lima comes to a close, the question becomes: What has COP20/CMP10 set into play for the negotiations in Paris next year? This COP was styled…
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Loss and Damage “in,” but with little meaningful impact.

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If you’ve followed our coverage of “loss and damage” at COP20, you’ll recall that the last process we were watching regarded its future in the decision establishing the trajectory for “the protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome” that is to be completed at COP21 in Paris next year. As it turns out, “loss and…
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Loss and Damage – In or Out?

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The evolving fate of loss and damage (L&D) and the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) we have been covering has been less visible during this COP than the larger ADP effort to lay the groundwork for an agreement in Paris next year. However, the absence of loss and damage in the draft decision on ADP published…
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“Hit the ground running.”

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With this statement the Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Ms. Hela Cheikhrouhou, reported on the current status of the fund. The interactive session held on Thursday at COP 20 provided a brief overview of the latest GCF decisions, and laid out the expected deliverables for next year.  Offering an optimistic perspective, Ms. Hela affirmed that grants are…
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The Inevitable Linkage Discussion

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Let’s face: it is almost the end of 2014 and we are still negotiating an international agreement to mitigate climate change for after 2020. The good news is that several countries have taken the initiative, and adopted climate change policies. These policies vary from emissions trading, carbon taxes, performance standards, among others. But what role…
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Loss and Damage Mechanism – decision reached on Executive Committee makeup

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We reported Wednesday that the December 5 joint SBSTA/SBI recommendation on the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) contained 3 different proposals for the makeup of the permanent Executive Committee. Later that night, at the COP President’s informal stocktaking, we learned that this issue had been resolved and the SBSTA and SBI Chairs…
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What a concept! The fossil fuel industry pay for loss and damage?

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The COP is an exciting experience, rich with smart, creative and passionate individuals. Among them is a still relatively small network of thought leaders – researchers, attorneys, and others – advocating a new direction for mitigating GHGs and advancing accountability for atmospheric carbon contributions. In a side event yesterday panelists from the Climate Accountability Institute…
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Australia wins the Fossil of the Day… again!

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Since COP 20 started 9 days ago, Australia has already won 3 of the 7 daily Climate Action Network (CAN) Fossil of the Day awards.  Last Thursday, Australia won the award for declaring that loss and damage should be an element of adaptation in the 2015 agreement. On Friday, the award was once again given…
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Intertwining National and International CC Policymaking at the CEQ

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Yesterday we had the good fortune to have a small-group meeting with Mike Boots, Acting Head of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Initiated by our friends on the Duke Observer Delegation  to COP20/CMP10, this gathering gave the CEQ an opportunity to hear observations from us, a range of U.S. university and law…
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Loss and Damage Mechanism still unresolved

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On Friday, December 5, the SBSTA and SBI issued a combined recommendation to the COP on the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (LDM). This Mechanism, established at COP19 last year, is one we’ve been watching here at COP20. The UNFCCC Parties’ gave themselves a deadline in Warsaw for…
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Will Cities Join the Climate Club?

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Yesterday I attended a side event at COP20 called Taking climate cooperation to a new level: Incentives and alliances for transformative action. The premise of the panel discussion was to showcase opportunities to achieve transformative change in the climate sphere by identifying institutions and incentives that can catalyze action through low-carbon climate clubs. I had…
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