Will the U.S. hand off the Paris Agreement baton to China?

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In London today, Myron Ebell told participants at a climate denier conference that the U.S. will pull out of the Paris Agreement: “He could do it by executive order tomorrow or he could do it as part of a larger package.” Ebell is a well known U.S. climate denier who was tapped by the Trump Administration to lead the pre-inauguration…
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Adaptation and Climate Resilience – Help Wanted

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A recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) half-day seminar – Climate Change Adaptation Investments and Measuring Effectiveness – considered a pressing suite of interrelated issues. As Timmons Roberts of Brown University (one of the moderators) stated, “[t]his seminar is not an academic exercise.” Developing countries urgently need climate change adaptation help and they want and…
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COP22/CMA1: Transparent Reflections

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While transparency forms the backbone of the Paris Agreement, COP22/CMA1 did not proceed in a very transparent manner. Nevertheless, parties made progress behind mostly closed doors toward a more transparent future. Additionally, the assistance our observer delegation was able to offer to our service learning partner made this experience especially meaningful. In light of how…
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Are Human Rights Lost and Damaged?

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Loss and Damage (L&D) includes the permanent loss of land, culture, and human life and will escalate existing tensions over increasingly scarce resources. This tension will ultimately incite conflict in many parts of the world. In some places, the loss of habitable land is forcing individuals and families to leave their country, threatening their sovereignty,…
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A New Dawn

King Mohammed VI of Morocco, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, COP 22 President Salaheddine Mezouar, and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa wait to greet arriving dignitaries to the first meeting of the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement.

One year ago, parties to the UNFCCC signed the Paris Agreement, expecting it to come into force over the next four years as individual nations went through the slow process of ratification. To everyone’s surprise, the requisite number of nations ratified it, and as of November 4, the Paris Agreement officially came into force. Today,…
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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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Parties come to decision on transparency framework

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  Today the subsidiary bodies winded down in preparation for the first session of the CMA to begin tomorrow. Happily, APA discussions around transparency framework modalities, procedures, and guidelines (MPGs); Global Stocktake; and Implementation generally ended on a high note. In particular, the APA informal meeting on transparency framework this morning left parties in good…
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Can Trump Trump the Paris Agreement?

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“How do you see the future of the Paris Agreement without, possibly, you?” On Thursday, Venezuela posed this question to the U.S. delegation during the facilitative dialogue for enhanced action and support. The U.S. delegate spoke about how a Trump presidency may impact international efforts to combat climate change. South Africa asked the U.S. a…
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Following the Growth of Loss & Damage through the First Week of COP22

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Loss and damage (L&D) has come a long way since the Bali Action Plan and the Cancun Agreements. Last year at COP21, L&D received its own article under the Paris Agreement, Article 8. But what happens next? For the first week of COP22, L&D was on the agenda under SBI agenda item 11 and SBSTA…
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Human Mobility in the Face of Climate Change

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Human mobility in the face of climate change is an issue that is closely linked to Loss and Damage (L&D). Under Article 8 of the Paris Agreement, L&D includes extreme weather events as well as slow-onset events. Both extreme weather and slow-onset events could necessitate human mobility or displacement, whether it be rising sea levels…
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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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Using the Paris Agreement to Incorporate Indigenous Peoples Knowledge into Climate Change Policies

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Panelists presenting today on indigenous peoples knowledge outlined land use and resource management practices adopted by indigenous peoples that are viable and sustainable approaches to climate change adaptation. To date, climate change approaches have focused largely on utilizing modern technologies and developing new technologies to the detriment of indigenous peoples. Panelists began by describing specific…
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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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Modalities, Procedures, and Guidelines (MPGs) for the Transparency Framework of the Paris Agreement

Moroccan Foreign Minister and COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar (L) and French Minister for Environment Segolene Royal launch the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Transparency is critical for building international trust, facilitating progress, and ensuring commitments for climate action. This is why one key outcome of the Paris Agreement last year was the agreement of an enhanced transparency framework (TF) set out in Article 13. Before the Paris Agreement, Annex I Parties and non-Annex I Parties had two different…
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