Opening the scope of NDCs: “Blue Opportunities”

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In a press briefing today, Natalya Gallo and Dr. Lisa Levin from the Scripps Institutions of Oceanography, USCD, Julio Cordano on behalf of Chile and Ronald Jumeau, Seychelles Ambassador talked about the importance of including oceans and marine ecosystems in the NDCs. Natalya Gallo stated that out of the 161 INDC communicated by June 2015, 112 contained references…
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The end of gas-fired cars?

oslo downtown

Norwegian Liberal Party MP Ola Elverstuen announced today that Norway’s four leading political parties have agreed on a ban of gasoline-powered cars by 2025. “After 2025 new private cars, buses and light commercial vehicles will be zero-emission vehicles. By 2030, new heavier vans, 75 percent of new long-distance buses, 50 percent of new trucks will…
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If you build it, they will come

Clean Line

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz just announced the approval of a large-scale transmission project that will bring wind power from Texas and Oklahoma to the southeastern states. Called the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, the $2.5 billion transmission line is the largest of several clean energy infrastructure projects being developed under DOE partnerships. Moniz says that “moving remote and…
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Renewables can lead to 80% CO2 reduction in US electricity production

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Last week’s edition of Nature Climate Change includes a new study done by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder that helps us understand how the United States can meet its INDC pledge. From the abstract:  Carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation are a major cause of anthropogenic climate change. The deployment of wind and solar power reduces these…
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Linking SDGs and COP21

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Taylor Smith ’14, member of the VLS COP19 delegation, now works for the U.N. and contributed this post connecting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the COP21 negotiations. “Any true sustainable development must address the scourge of climate change,” UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Mr. Wu Hongbo said just weeks before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21)…
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Decarbonization or Climate Neutrality? Which is the Better Path to 2°C? Is There Even a Difference?

http://buildingindustry.org/one-million-tonnes-of-co2

In order to keep global temperatures under 2°C, the threshold generally accepted as the best way to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, there must be a limit on cumulative CO2 emissions. For those of you not tracking mitigation negotiations closely at COP21, there is some hot debating surrounding long-term signals maintaining this threshold….
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The Secret Weapon Against Climate Change? Family Planning

Photo by Pippa Ranger/ UK Department for International Development

Family Planning may be the most cost-effective weapon against climate change. At least according to a new report from the University of California, San Francisco’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. According to the report, family planning could provide between 16 and 29 percent of the needed greenhouse gas emission reductions. Additionally, last year the Intergovernmental…
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Economic growth and climate change

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Each generation inherits a world that was created out of beliefs contemporary and relevant to a certain time. These beliefs affect prevailing values, values, which become embedded within the framework of decision-making. Often times, these values are based on beliefs that may no longer be understood, known or even correct. Nonetheless, they are transferred from…
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Riding the Wave of Divestment

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Divestment is essentially the opposite of investment. The climate action group gofossilfree.org describes it as “getting rid of stocks, bonds, or investment funds that are unethical or morally ambiguous.” Generally speaking, institutions divest when they stop financially supporting specific entities because of the means by which those entities generate revenue. Divestment has been used as…
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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

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“… it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we…
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Senator John Kerry: “Amateur hour is over. It’s time for science fact to trump science fiction.”

Wednesday, December 16, our last day in the Bella Center due to NGO restrictions, was an intense day.  In the first meeting, we witnessed the resignation of COP15 President Connie Hedegaard and several Heads of State statements, as well as the concern from developing countries regarding the imposition of the Danish text. I left the…
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Renewable Energy Advocates Get Upclose Look at Middelgrunden Windfarm.

Denmark has been a leader in renewable and clean energy for over 40 years.  While some policies were perhaps misguided, like banning car use on Sundays in the 1970’s, slow but steady expansion of the country’s renewable energy portfolio has allowed the country to maintain its emission levels while boasting of continuing healthy economic expansion. …
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The View from Coal Country

The conversation about climate change revolves to a great extent around coal-fired power plants in the U.S., China, and around the world because of their enormous emissions of carbon dioxide and the alarming rate at which new plants are being proposed and constructed. Today was a day for absorbing many of the other ugly truths…
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