Human Mobility in the Face of Climate Change

http://coastalbangladesh.com/english/65#.WCVz8_krJEY

Human mobility in the face of climate change is an issue that is closely linked to Loss and Damage (L&D). Under Article 8 of the Paris Agreement, L&D includes extreme weather events as well as slow-onset events. Both extreme weather and slow-onset events could necessitate human mobility or displacement, whether it be rising sea levels…
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NDCs Public Registry – Pandora’s Box – Who would’ve thought?

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Today, at the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) second informal meeting related to the development of modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) public registry referred to in Article 4, paragraph 12, of the Paris Agreement (PA), the discussion took an interesting turn of events when the Co-Facilitators,…
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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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Getting serious about 1.5°C

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As we reported earlier, the historic Paris Agreement of December 2015 established a long-term temperature goal to keep global temperature increase “well below 2°C” and to undertake efforts to limit that increase to 1.5°C, “recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” The COP21 decision adopting the Agreement included an…
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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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Solar Energy Growth Really Heating Up

Solar Market Garden in Benin

News about the increase in solar energy potential and development has been robust across all the climate news aggregators for some time. And, targeted outlets like the U.S-based Solar Energy Industries Association News (weekly) and the Australian-based Solar Daily abound with exciting stories. The overwhelming consensus is that this technology has really caught fire, as…
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How “well below 2°C” flew well-below the radar

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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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Decoupling GHGs from GDP: Year 2

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) released new data today showing that global GHG missions related to energy held steady again for the second year in a row while the global economy grew. Renewable energy was key to stabilizing emissions levels, with more than 90% of new energy generation coming from renewables – the highest level in more than 40 years….
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China now sets its cap on energy consumption

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China just announced in its 13th Five Year Plan (2016-202) that it will set an energy consumption cap.  Its goal: to improve industrial efficiency and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The consumption cap will be 5 billion tons of standard coal equivalent by 2020.  China also pledged to cut carbon intensity by 18% by the same deadline.  The Five Year Plan nonetheless…
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Are US COP21 pledges in trouble? UPDATE

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2/19/16 UPDATE:  Since my post on Monday, Todd Stern, U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, has weighed in.  Speaking from Brussels, where he was meeting with the EU’s Climate and Energy Commissioner, Stern was quoted as saying “it is entirely premature, really premature to assume the Clean Power Plan will be struck down but, even…
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Next steps for UNFCCC head Christiana Figueres?

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This news just arrived in my inbox: Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC since 2010, will step down when her term ends on July 6, 2016. In a message to “non-party stakeholders” issued today in Bonn and distributed to NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) and IGOs (intergovernmental organizations) accredited to the UNFCCC, she wrote: “Friends, I…
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Climate Change in 10,000 years

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Leading climate change scientists from around the world published this week in Nature Climate Change a statement about the long-term impacts of our short-term policymaking.  In light of all the celebration of the political good will embodied in the Paris Agreement, this statement is a profound reality check.  From the abstract (with my bolding of text): Most…
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Paris Agreement and the Clean Air Act – New Tools for the EPA?

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Does the Paris Agreement open up new avenues for EPA regulation of greenhouse gases? A new paper – co-authored by law professors from the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law, and the Institute for Policy Integrity, NYU School of…
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First US SOTU address post COP21

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In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama’s remarks on climate change underscore the importance of national next steps après COP21. While he didn’t overtly make new, specific pledges for climate action, Obama did place those in play in context under the second of his speech’s four main points, on innovation.  Building on his premise that “many of our…
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