Our Talanoa: Recognizing a Common Thread

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Few things are as complex as the myriad relationships that exist between the countries of the world. Like unruly children, they’ve fought, made peace, gotten bored, and hit each other again when mom wasn’t looking. Putting them in a room together, even when they’re negotiating for something mutually beneficial, can be a hotbed of tension….
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The Pre-2020 Stocktake: Disappointment and Resolve

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As with any massive undertaking, practice makes better. The Global Stocktake in 2023 is no different. In accordance with decisions at COP21, to implement enhanced action prior to 2020, and at COP23, emphasizing that enhanced pre-2020 ambition can lay a solid foundation for post-2020 goals, this year’s COP held a two-part assessment of global progress….
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Where Do We Grow From Here?

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The historical first workshop on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) took place on the second day of COP24. The discussion focused on the modalities for implementing the outcomes of the five in-session workshops on issues related to agriculture and other future topics that may arise from this work. There was more than what…
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Planting the Seed: Agriculture in Climate Negotiations

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With COP24 right around the corner, sights will be set on the newest agenda item, agriculture. In a landmark decision, Parties at COP 23 adopted the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA). This decision ended the six-year stalemate on how to address agriculture in the international climate talks. The KJWA “. . . seeks to develop…
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Working Towards an “Ocean COP”

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Ocean health is a big deal. It provides food security and resources to sustain our economies. It regulates our weather patterns. It absorbs heat and our carbon dioxide emissions. We often forget how dependent we are on the oceans. But lucky for us, UNFCCC Parties recognize that the “well below 2˚C” goal is not achievable without…
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Is Insurance Betting on a Green Future?

The insurance industry is now one of the many actors in the private sector that are adapting to climate change. Insurance companies like Alianz or Prudential are taking actions to adjust. These big insurance companies work with groups like ClimateWise to navigate the financial world in light of climate change. But as climate change progresses,…
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We can do more!

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After two weeks of negotiations in which we observed UNFCCC Parties, stakeholders, and all the people that make possible the Conference of the Parties (COP), I leave Bonn with several reflections. Parties do have the ability to achieve consensus and adopt the necessary decisions towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement. People all around the world are working…
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Sarah Bashaan: My Stand Out Mediator

The chairs and facilitators of COP 23’s sub bodies are responsible for assisting parties to reach agreement. As we observe the negotiations, we tend to focus on the Parties and their interests. However, the facilitators and chairs of these high-level negotiations must accommodate the interests of individual Parties while helping all Parties to agree. During COP 23, with constant…
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Intentions and Realities: A case for better fund management

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One of the biggest hang-ups to addressing climate change is finance.  How are research projects funded?  How are solutions funded so that they can be implemented at a meaningful scale?  While finance was not my area of focus at COP 23, it certainly came up concerning “agriculture, forestry, and other land use” issues (AFOLU).  One…
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A stumbling block at COP 23 – Finance

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The cost of mitigating climate change is estimated at 200-350 billion Euros (236-413 Billion USD) per year by 2030. It is a manageable sum in terms of a global burden, only 1% of global GDP. In terms of who pays and how much to pay, however, it becomes a disputed figure. For example, developed countries agreed…
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Lets get on the same page

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The Paris Agreement, ratified by 170 Parties, at last count, has a clear goal for the world: Hold the rise in average global temperature to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. While the goal is clear, the solutions are complex and challenging. This is especially true for Least Developed Countries (LDCs). LDCs lack the capacity and…
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The Indigenous Platform: A win-win for climate and indigenous rights

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Yesterday I observed a side event that left me feeling anxious about our future. With all the acknowledgment of climate change and the steps taken by parties to the UNFCCC since 1992, greenhouse gas emissions are still rising. In fact, nowhere on the graph presented did the tangent show progress in decreasing emissions. That’s right!…
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Nefarious Nets: Private Insurance in the Public Sector?

At the end of the day, the insurance industry is a business. But they are also a risk pool. So while they may be companies with stockholders and CEOs with a bottom line, they are still risk shares that are meant  to minimize damage impacts amongst their insured customers. But as the insurance industry becomes…
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Using an Interactive Simulation Model to Educate Students on our Climate Future

C-ROADS stands for “Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support Simulator.” It is a computer simulation tool developed by the non-profit think tank, Climate Interactive, to educate people on how to achieve climate change goals through interactive experiences. Here at COP23, C-ROADS was the focal point of the side event, “NVF: Using Decision-Maker Tools & Climate…
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We are working on it!

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Attending COP23 as an observer is a privilege because you are able to attend international multilateral negotiations. You witness established alliances use their power as a block and observe the dynamics of side negotiations. In these international multilateral negotiations, delegates agonize over words and paragraphs. They set their lines in the sand early and often….
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