We are working on it!

Island in the ocean

Attending COP23 as an observer is a privilege because you are able to attend international multilateral negotiations. You witness established alliances use their power as a block and observe the dynamics of side negotiations. In these international multilateral negotiations, delegates agonize over words and paragraphs. They set their lines in the sand early and often….
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Future of the Adaptation Fund: Developing Countries vs. Developed Countries

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The Adaptation Fund (AF) is a mechanism created through the Marrakesh Accords but funded through the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMs) described in the Kyoto Protocol. The intention of the COP in the creation of the AF is the facilitation and funding of adaptation projects in developing countries to strengthen their resistance to climate change. Two percent of…
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The Sustainable Development Mechanism AKA The New Carbon Market Mechanism

climate-change-shutterstock-210114

  The Sustainable Development Mechanism is a new mitigation mechanism established in Art. 3 ter of the draft Paris Agreement. The purpose of this mechanism is to “promote the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions [in developing country Parties] while fostering sustainable development….” In order to achieve its goals, the mechanism provides incentives for successfully mitigating…
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COP21 Begins in 24 Hours: Will a Paris Agreement [Decrease] [Solve] [Do Nothing On] Climate Change?

cop

If all politics are local, but greenhouse gases find their way into the atmosphere’s international space, how can the global community act collectively on climate change? In 1992, the solution was to adopt an international treaty. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) declared climate change a “common concern of mankind,” and committed…
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Hot and Bothered

earth on fire

This title appeared today on the Economist’s report on climate change in red hot capital letters wrapped around a vulnerable-looking Earth. I think it better sums up the report’s tone than its substance. While the Economist points to IPCC graphs to back up its scientific facts, it totally lacks the global scientific body’s analytical nuance. Instead the report trots out more than a few blanket statements that…
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Past as Prologue? Joint Implementation and the Future for Flexibility Mechanisms

Trading

A recent report by the Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) raises some serious questions about the integrity of the Joint Implementation (JI) program, one of the Kyoto Protocol’s main flexibility mechanisms. Since flexibility mechanisms are a core part of Geneva Negotiating Text, this report raises the question of how the UNFCCC will learn from its past mistakes as…
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It’s plane to sea: COP21 should address international aviation and shipping

Source: Transport & Environment

International aviation and shipping account for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The aviation sector already emits as much as Germany, and emissions are set to triple by 2050. Similarly, shipping currently contributes almost 3% of global emissions—a number projected to grow between 50 and 250% by 2050. To date these sectors have largely passed…
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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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From Lima to Paris: The Road Ahead to COP21/CMP11

Catherine Craig, third from left.

This post was written by Vermont Law School COP20/CMP10 Observer Delegation members Archer Christian, Catherine Craig, Rebecca Davidson, Carla Santos, Cynthia Sirois, and Professor Tracy Bach. As the action in Lima comes to a close, the question becomes: What has COP20/CMP10 set into play for the negotiations in Paris next year? This COP was styled…
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Global leaders respond to 400,000 climate wake up calls

UN CLimate

After 400,000 people marched on Sunday, NYC was again the stage of another climate change event: the United Nations Climate Summit 2014. Aimed to move forward the climate change negotiations and achieve an agreement at COP 21 in Paris, the UN Climate Summit gathered over 100 Heads of State and 800 leaders from business, finance…
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Extra, extra! Read our COP19 wrap-up in the Huffington Post!

VLS COP19/CMP9 Observer Delegation Week 2

Congrats to our Week 2 Observer Delegation on its recent publication in the Huffington Post courtesy of climate and energy reporter Ben Jervey.  In it, we recap COP19/CMP9’s last week of activity, analyzing what this “nuts and bolts” COP did and didn’t achieve. Specifically, we take a close look at adaptation, loss and damage, subnational initiatives, new REDD+ rules, and technology,…
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“A foundation COP” of nuts and bolts

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“Stocktaking” is a now a new word in my vocabulary.  While I regularly do it, I don’t normally make the time to name it as such.  In the polyglot system of the United Nations, awkwardly-formal-but-descriptive terms like this one (and “functions and modalities,” “institutional mechanisms,”  “work programmes”) are essential to the process of moving a…
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What’s Next For the Land-Use Sector?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, let me fill you in on a little secret: I am a land-use geek. I am obsessed with anything to do with the intersection of forests, croplands, grasslands, and/or wetlands with climate change adaptation and mitigation. So when rumors began to fly earlier this year that Parties…
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Day 1 of COP19/CMP9

Equipped with our yellow NGO observer badges, our VLS delegation ventured out two hours before the opening COP plenary, ready for long security waits.  Instead, we sailed through the well-managed lines and began exploring the stadium venue.  Some of us attended several early briefing sessions with partner NGOs, then attended the COP welcome ceremony and…
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Countdown to COP19/CMP9

Ambition.  Annex B targets.  Second commitment period.  Flexible mechanisms.  State parties.  Green Climate Fund.  Loss and damage.  Reforestation, deforestation, and afforestation.  Joint implementation.  Annex I.  Annex II.  Monitoring, review, and verification.  Adaptation funding.  Common but differentiated responsibilities.  Clean development mechanism.  Carbon emissions trading.  IPCC.  SBI.  SBSTA.  ADP.  AAU.  CER.  ERU. These are some of the concepts…
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