Transitions at CMA1: the Winds of Change

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Transition is in the air at the international climate negotiations in Marrakech. With the Paris Agreement going into force sooner than expected, Parties to the Agreement are having to quickly transition from last year’s commitments to this year’s implementation strategies. And with the Paris Agreement’s CMA 1 opening today, the Parties need to get to…
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NDCs Public Registry – Pandora’s Box – Who would’ve thought?

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Today, at the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) second informal meeting related to the development of modalities and procedures for the operation and use of a Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) public registry referred to in Article 4, paragraph 12, of the Paris Agreement (PA), the discussion took an interesting turn of events when the Co-Facilitators,…
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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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UK, Japan act on their Paris climate pledges

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The United Kingdom and Japan have taken steps this week to bring their international climate change commitments into national law. Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom announced this week that the UK would take the domestic action needed to reach the net-zero emissions by 2050 goal pledged in Paris at COP21 just three months ago.  The first step is a bill to amend the…
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Are US COP21 pledges in trouble? UPDATE

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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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Civil Society keeps the heat on for climate ambition

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As countries seek to arrive at a mutually acceptable text for the Paris Outcome this week, there is a lot of focus on ambition to reduce emissions, and on financial support to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. In fact, these are among the key high-level political issues that must be resolved….
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I will, if you will

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 A comment in this week’s Nature concludes that the current route to Paris is too self-centered and not cooperative enough. Its authors, researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Maryland, and Cologne, advise UNFCCC Parties to focus on the common commitment to a global price of carbon. Professor David MacKay of the University of Cambridge told…
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China’s cities surpass 2030 carbon peak promise

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In the run up to COP21’s opening plenary on Monday, November 30, 2015, countries have been pledging their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). These public announcements submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat describe how each Party will mitigate its GHG emissions, as well as implement adaptation strategies, help developing country Parties finance these kinds of actions, and…
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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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California’s role in the US INDCs

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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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From Lima to Paris: The Road Ahead to COP21/CMP11

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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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Intertwining National and International CC Policymaking at the CEQ

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Yesterday we had the good fortune to have a small-group meeting with Mike Boots, Acting Head of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Initiated by our friends on the Duke Observer Delegation  to COP20/CMP10, this gathering gave the CEQ an opportunity to hear observations from us, a range of U.S. university and law…
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Why do the LDCs seek mitigation-focused INDCs?

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During the ADP 2-6 meetings in Bonn last week, the Party negotiating groups seemed to be fragmenting, or perhaps undergoing realignment. (See our October 27 reflections on the overall meeting.) An interesting example is what appears to be a difference between the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group and the rest of the developing country groups…
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Bridge building 101: ADP in Lima

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IISD’s final wrap of ADP2-6 came out in yesterday’s ENB.  Summarizing the session’s progress on its three priorities — the content of INDCs, more development of the Paris agreement’s elements, and a decision on enhancing pre-2020 ambition — the reporting service also expressed concern about the slow pace of the meeting and its impact on December’s negotiations in Lima. …
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