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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Survey says . . .

political survey results

A new study by Yale and George Mason universities of US registered voters and their attitudes about climate change reports some consistent results:  Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be convinced that human-caused global warming is happening and to support climate action by elected officials. But the studies’ authors dig deeper to show more nuanced shifts in public opinion about climate change.  As they…
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California Leads Subnationals in Setting a High Bar for COP21 Negotiators

Governor Brown speaks for subnationals (From: the Office of Governor Brown)

The VLS delegation had the privilege yesterday to attend an intimate presentation given by Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, and Ken Alex, the Director of the Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research. Mary and Ken candidly addressed a group of professional students and professors from UCLA and Vermont Law…
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Building Transparency and Accountability in a New Climate Agreement

Creative Commons (Courtesy of Benson Kua)

When we seek accountability, we must start with transparency.   The goal of COP 21 is to produce a robust post-2020 climate agreement that establishes clear goals and a pathway for achieving them. The goals sit at the end of the path. Lighting the pathway are transparency measures built in the agreement. Climate Strategies recently…
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Is Climate Change a Threat to National Security?

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COP21 began Monday with a moment of silence for victims of the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, and the tragedy served as a touchstone for world leaders urging unity and action. Nearly every speaker at the daylong Leaders Event expressed condolences for the Paris attacks, and some, including the Prince of Wales who opened…
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Will the Dark Cloud Over EPA’s Clean Power Plan Rain on Paris?

Powerplant.iStock

Last month, EPA published the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the most ambitious and controversial rulemaking in the history of the Clean Air Act, and set off a flurry of litigation as many Republican lawmakers urged states to challenge the rule. The Clean Power Plan is EPA’s first attempt to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing…
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The Role of Gender in Climate Politics

Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and other Senate republicans

Climate change is proven – the vast majority of the scientific community, along with many major businesses and nearly every major insurance provider, all agree that climate change is having real impacts on the world today. Most also believe that those impacts are the result of anthropogenic activity. However, the facts about climate change are…
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Inside out: U.S. domestic political will and bilateral negotiation with India

Yale Republican poll

Bill Clinton was famous for saying during his 1992 presidential campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid.”  In the realm of international climate change negotiations from Lima to Paris, it’s fair to say “it’s the nationally determined contributions, mon ami.”  Deliberately intended to connect the UNFCCC goal (of keeping global warming below 2 or 1.5 Celsius) more concretely with national political and economic…
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