It takes more than government

green roof bus

Hundreds of people, from all over the world, gather in Bonn, Germany for the twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP23). At first glance, COP23 appears to be policy driven, science based, and a negotiations filled conference. It is that and more. It has become the place for green industry where 850 different organizations applied to…
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Is Time Running Out?

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Referencing the response to climate change at today’s COP 22, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the issue in terms of time.   He stated, “The question is not whether we will transition to a clean energy economy. The question is whether we will have the will power to make the transition in time….
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Obama on Climate Change

obama weekly address

In his weekly address last Friday, President Obama summed up his administration’s record on climate change.  Calling it “one of the most urgent challenges of our time,” he pointed to progress made since 2008.  This includes: clean energy investment (300% increase in wind power, 3000% increase in solar power), lowest carbon emissions from energy in 25 years, continued economic growth,…
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Clean cars, clean energy

electric car

This piece in Bloomberg news, The Dirty Road to Cleaner Cars, captures well the conundrum of cleaning up vehicular emissions.  22% of US CO2 emissions come from the transportation sector.  (This number is17% worldwide.) Tesla set records when it launched its Model 3 in April, racking up more than 400,000 reservations for the $35,000 sedan since then. So it’s clear that there…
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Are US COP21 pledges in trouble? UPDATE

obama at COP21

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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Will You Under 2 MOU?

Cuomo

The subnationals are firmly in the game.  At COP19 in Warsaw, they had their orange pinnies on while stretching and sprinting on the sidelines, showing the ADP coaches that they were ready.  “Bring in the subs” was my favorite 2014 blog headline. Yesterday New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo decided that California’s Jerry Brown shouldn’t get all the…
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A Woman Saving the Planet

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This week’s New Yorker leads off with a “Reporter at Large” article by science writer Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction), The Weight of the World: Can one woman get the U.N. to save the planet?  While ostensibly about UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres – answering the subtitled question, “can [she] persuade humanity to save itself?”…
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Clean Energy to Go Around

rousseff

Countries, states, and the private sector took center stage last week with an array of energy announcements from around the world. When visiting the US at the end of June, Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, announced with President Obama that both countries pledged to source 20% of their energy from nonhydro renewables by 2030.  China,…
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California’s role in the US INDCs

jerry brown

Lima’s “Call for Climate Action,” as the COP20/CMP10 decisions have been termed, is one for the 196 UNFCCC state parties to heed when preparing their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) before next December’s COP21. Given that only sovereign countries may be parties to treaties like the UNFCCC, and that most of them rely on a centralized government model of governance, COP discussions on…
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Universal Energy Access

Photo from UN Women

A side event today, entitled “Achieving Universal Energy Access: A development imperative in addressing climate change,” highlighted the need to address global energy poverty. In examining a need to address climate change on a global scale, the emphasis is often on less, not more. But the reality is that 20% of the world lives without sufficient…
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Expanding Energy Access in Africa

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With the assistance of the Climate & Development Knowledge Network, Helio implemented a two-year program to address Energy, Ecodevelopment and Resilience in Africa (EERA) in 2013. Ending next month, EERA aimed to create a Smart Energy Path (SEP) in Togo, Mali, and Benin to increase capacity and develop economically beneficial energy projects. Currently only 9%…
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The road from Bonn to Lima (by way of Copenhagen this week)

adp in bonn

Looking back on last week’s ADP2-6 special session, it would be easy to echo the notes of pessimism that pervaded Saturday’s press reports.  RTCC (Responding to Climate Change) commented after last Thursday’s stocktaking session that “much work remains” in the session’s last two days and noted the frustrated ADP Co-Chairs “offering government negotiators a stern reality check.”…
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Another ‘tion pushing national climate change action: the corporation

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Greenwire reports that activist investors will propose 142 shareholder resolutions asking corporations to strengthen their climate change commitments.  This list of resolutions covers greenhouse gas reductions, energy efficiency, deforestation, and water use.  The resolution campaign is led by 35 institutional investors, including public pension funds in New York, California, and Connecticut; labor groups like the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, and the International…
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