“This is not a choice between one word or another.”

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Today was the last day of the first week of COP24. The SBSTA plenary meeting began late, as expected. Many Parties are still attempting to find common ground on texts, which has delayed start times for plenaries. During the SBSTA plenary, many Parties spoke about the need to accept the IPCC 1.5°C Report and make…
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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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The Log-istics of Carbon Dioxide Removal

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2012/10/26/conservation-or-carbon-sinks-can-the-un-see-the-forest-for-the-trees/

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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Canadian Carbon Pricing System Moving Forward

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As the world gears up for COP24, the Canadian government reaffirmed its intention, on October 23, 2018, to implement a federal carbon pricing system across Canada in 2019. As set out in its Nationally Determined Contribution (“NDC”) submitted to the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement, Canada committed to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by…
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IPCC special report leaves the world in dire straits

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In response to an invitation from the Parties of the Paris Agreement (PA), and pursuant to the Article 2 efforts to limit temperature increases well below 2°C, the IPCC prepared a Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15), released Monday, 8 October, 2018. Climate scientists sounded the alarm yet again, painting a dire picture…
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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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Blue Carbon: A Solution

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Coastal ecosystems such as tidal salt marshes, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests, are “blue carbon ecosystems” because they act as carbon sinks. Blue ecosystems have the ability to sequester copious amounts of carbon. However, if they are destroyed, they increase GHG emissions. Scientists estimate approximately 1.02 billion tons of carbon dioxide is emitted per year…
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Fake it ‘til you make it: faux meat and climate change

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If it tastes like a burger, and bleeds like a burger, it must be . . . plant-based protein? At least that’s the outcome fake-meat innovators like Impossible Burger are striving for: a meatless burger that captures the textures and flavors of meat to whet the appetite of even the staunchest carnivores. In fact, the fake meat industry’s approach…
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Continuing to Decouple

Photograph by Volker Hartmann - Getty Images

For the third year in a row, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the energy sector remained level while the global economy grew. This continues to buck the economic thinking that economic growth, typically measured with gross domestic product (GDP), cannot be decoupled from environmental degradation. The current trend of…
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Trusting Corporations by Weakening Antitrust?

Corporate Influence and Climate Change

This September, many socially conscious corporations have donated to climate change mitigation and sustainability. Ikea has devoted $44.6 million to the We Mean Business coalition, which began at a UNFCCC Business and Industry Day to provide a platform to “amplify the business voice and catalyze bold climate action.” Mars just pledged $1 billion in investments towards climate…
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Land Use and Methane

As the COP negotiations increasingly look to agriculture, forestry, and other land uses as tools to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate, methanogenesis – the biological production of methane by single-celled organisms – must be taken into account. This methane production is very similar to fermentation, the process used to produce alcohol. In fermentation,…
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Fracking: COP21 as “the scoreboard, not the game”

Panel for Side Event on Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground: the International Movement to Ban Fracking

“If you’re looking for good way to heat up the earth fast, poke holes in the earth and let methane pour out.” This is how Bill McKibben of 350.org described hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at today’s side event on the international movement to ban fracking. Sandra Steingraber of EcoWatch pointed out how both methane and CO2…
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A Call for Deforestation-Free Agriculture

Source: World Agro Forestry

What do cattle, soy, and palm oil have in common? These are all products associated with commodity-linked deforestation. Between 2000 and 2012, expansion of commercial agriculture and timber plantations caused the destruction of more than 50 million hectares of tropical forests. The UNFCCC website states: “Roughly a third of recent tropical deforestation and associated carbon emissions…
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Feet on the Ground: Low-Carbon Travel to Paris

Source: Bike for a Future

“A challenge that remains is to motivate the many participants of conferences and meetings to reduce their own carbon footprint, especially from travel.” So reads the UNFCCC secretariat’s sustainability efforts web page. Some individuals took this challenge into their own hands (or rather, feet) and are pursuing unconventional travel routes to Paris. First, there are the…
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Decoupling the economic engine from GHGs

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At last week’s Climate Week NYC, the Heinrich Bolls Foundation released a study that found that countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have already decreased their GHG emissions without reducing their economic growth.  In other words, they have “decoupled” economic growth from emissions.  A few interesting facts include: 1. From 2004 to 2014, OECD economies grew an…
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