Africa Day at COP24

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Africa Day is a traditional day where the African countries bring awareness to the impacts of climate change on their peoples. This day is a way for African countries to make concrete commitments for addressing climate change. At COP24, Africa Day is used to table all the climate change issues African countries face, and learn how to effectively present them…
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Adaptation and GCF at the Koronivia Workshop

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Today was our delegation’s first day at COP24 in Katowice, Poland. The experience was a whirlwind. We all were figuring out where to go for meetings, identifying who was speaking for each Party, and how to best soak in all the activities of COP. We attended sessions in our area of expertise, and sometimes those sessions overlapped…
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Day 1 (?) at COP24

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Today began with the typical pomp and circumstance of a climate change Conference of Party (COP). Cultural symbolism, music, and speeches dominated COP24’s official opening ceremony and “high level segment,” where heads of government and state gave national statements about their achievements and aspirations. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres challenged the Paris Agreement parties to find…
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Two New UNFCCC Reports Emphasize Using Cooperative Initiatives and Non-Parties to Boost Ambition in NDC’s

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Two more reports with dire warnings and cautious optimism were issued last week  from the UNFCCC. They illustrate that not enough is being done to slow the growth of GHG emissions and suggest that collective participation through cooperative initiatives and non-party work is necessary to boost the ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). On November…
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Adapting the Adaptation Fund under the Paris Agreement

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The future of the Adaptation Fund (AF) is among the dicey climate finance issues to watch as Parties seek to complete negotiations on the Paris Agreement Rulebook over the upcoming 2 weeks. While it is small, with total cumulative receipts of only $737 million, the AF is highly regarded and widely celebrated for the “relevance,…
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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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Oops! How Will a Mistake in a Major Scientific Report Affect the Future of Oceans at COP?

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Earlier this week, scientists from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography corrected their most recent study regarding the ocean’s heat absorption capacity. This study, published in the journal Nature, initially reported that the oceans absorbed about 60% more heat from the atmosphere than originally determined. The scientists working on the study used a new method—collecting gases (mainly oxygen…
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The Log-istics of Carbon Dioxide Removal

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Trees are the coolest source of CO2 Removal on the planet. Trees and vegetation are known to help cool ambient air temperatures through evapotranspiration.  If left undisturbed, forests can also be a vital source of carbon storage.  Estimates from the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2015) show that the world’s forests and other wooded lands…
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Show Us The Money!

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  Tension in the global climate finance community is mounting as the Katowice climate change conference approaches. The September effort to advance the Paris Agreement Work Program (PAWP) exposed deep historic divides on climate finance (reported here, here and here). And though the Green Climate Fund Board thankfully “righted its ship” a bit in October…
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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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Early Warning to COP

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Climate change is causing an increase in natural disasters while vulnerable countries lack the proper infrastructure to counter them. To tackle this issue, vulnerable countries have been working on implementing early warning systems (EWS). In addition to saving lives, EWS provide reliable risk information which allows sound investments into a country’s infrastructure. However, these vulnerable…
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Green Climate Fund Approves $1B in New Projects

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On October 21, 2018, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board concluded its 21st meeting by approving 19 new projects, totaling $1.038 billion. This board meeting comes right after the IPCC released the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR1.5) (which we posted on here and here) and a little over a month before COP24. As UNFCCC Executive…
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As COP24 Approaches, Negotiators Attempt to Narrow Their Focus

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In the months leading up to the COP, Parties are in constant discussion. On September 27th, the incoming COP24 Presidency organized an informal consultation in New York, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. The COP23 Presidency, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, and presiding officers all attended, along with thirty-three member states. The Parties’ lead negotiators met…
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Energy Justice: Mitigation, Adaptation, AND Sustainable Development Goals in the IPCC Special Report

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Over three billion people rely on wood, charcoal or dung for cooking, with primarily women spending 15-30 hours per week collecting these resources. Household Air Pollution (HAP) results in over 4 million deaths a year. The second most impactful climate change pollutant is black carbon and HAP contributes 25% of black carbon. Clearly, we can integrate…
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