Money doesn’t grow on trees

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Walking into the COP, observer and party delegations alike are given a bar of chocolate. And while the candy bar does not give its holder a Golden Ticket, it does draw chocolate-lovers’ attention to an important message for the Trillion Tree Campaign. That campaign is spearheaded by Plant-for-the-Planet, an NGO launched in 2007 by a…
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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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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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Science and Adaptation: Prevention is the Key

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COP23 is significantly emphasizing the impact of extreme weather on climate change adaptation. This issue is even more prevalent with the major weather events that have occurred in the past several months: intense hurricanes in the Caribbean and the southern United States, flooding in South East Asia, and severe drought on the West Coast of…
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From Talanoa to the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue

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The Paris Agreement requires Parties to submit new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020 and participate in a regular review of whether their individual actions contribute to the collective achievement of the Agreement’s aim of keeping the global rise in temperature to “well under” 2C degrees. Article 14 of the Agreement outlines this…
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Is the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement a conservative act?

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“We’re definitely, completely, undoubtedly leaving the accord.” With these words, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. This decision did not come as a surprise, although it disappointed many around the globe. Now the question is, will it impede global progress toward limiting the rise in temperatures? Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton climate…
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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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