Loss and Damage in Bonn (sort of)

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 7.23.56 AM

The 44th meeting of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) and the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), held in Bonn, Germany, May 16-26, were full of action. Our delegation report-back started earlier this week, here and here. Key work areas receiving consideration included, for example: preparation for the…
Read the full article…


SB44 – Next Steps After Paris

IMG_1518

During the last two weeks of May, the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathered in Bonn, Germany for their regular midyear meeting.  This session is called SB44, which simply means the 44th meeting of the climate change convention’s subbodies, which include two standing groups, the SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation) and SBSTA (Subsidiary…
Read the full article…


Climate – Free Trade Policy Mismatch

bl09_free_trade_jp_2367461f

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was high on the U.S.-EU agenda last week (here and here), reigniting nagging questions about the continued disconnect between international trade policies and climate change policies that has been problematic for decades. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has acknowledged that the misalignment allows international trade…
Read the full article…


How “well below 2°C” flew well-below the radar

1.5DegC

On December 12, when the Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus, it contained bold new language on the long-term global temperature goal. Article 2 reads: “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels…” (Article 2.1(a))…
Read the full article…


Next steps for UNFCCC head Christiana Figueres?

c_figueres_v3_400x400

This news just arrived in my inbox: Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC since 2010, will step down when her term ends on July 6, 2016. In a message to “non-party stakeholders” issued today in Bonn and distributed to NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) and IGOs (intergovernmental organizations) accredited to the UNFCCC, she wrote: “Friends, I…
Read the full article…


No Red Lines, But a Green Light for Adaptation and Loss and Damage

Source: Takepart

At this morning’s Comité de Paris meeting, COP President Laurent Fabius channeled Nelson Mandela, saying: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” At tonight’s COP meeting, Parties adopted the Paris Agreement in a historical and long-awaited moment. While past Agreement drafts have been full of brackets, options, and red line changes, these notations are notably absent from…
Read the full article…


The Power of One Word

neues_bild_0

In international legal commitments all the power is in the verbs. And in the most recent (and perhaps final) version of the Paris Agreement, the verbs used in Art. 4 on Mitigation strengthen the actions required by developed country Parties. Article 4.4 is on the differentiated mitigation efforts required by all Parties to the Agreement….
Read the full article…


Who Should Pick Up the Tab for Capacity-Building?

iccad-leaning-adaptation_0

It’s appreciated (or even expected) when the firm’s partner picks up the bill for a new associate, or when a professor treats his student to lunch. Those who are more established and financially secure tend to lend a helping hand to those still making their way in the world. Apparently, this concept does not hold…
Read the full article…


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…
Read the full article…


Where to Next? Climate-Induced Migration

lr-figure8

Today is human rights day at COP21. “Human Mobility and Climate Change” was a timely event that shined a light on climate-induced migration. Climate change drives human mobility, and is projected to further increase the displacement of populations. While migration is generally a voluntary movement, human mobility displacement occurs in situations where people are forced…
Read the full article…


Losing Loss and Damage? Or Will the Paris Agreement Adapt?

Source: GCCA

Last night marked the 4th meeting of the Comité de Paris, a group of ministerial leaders that carries out informal consultations “to make progress and facilitate compromise on the draft Paris Outcome and package of decisions transmitted to the COP by ADP.” At a meeting earlier in the day, COP President Laurent Fabius reported on…
Read the full article…


An Iceberg in Paris

Zarin-Artist-Bringing-Icebergs-to-Paris-1200

After a morning meeting with the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, VLS delegates happened upon a circle of icebergs in the shadows of the Panthéon. The “Ice Watch” installation has had its home in the center of Paris since the start of COP21. In October, artist Olafur Eliasson set out from the Nuuk,…
Read the full article…


Civil Society keeps the heat on for climate ambition

CSO FairSharesRPT Fig9

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….
Read the full article…


We Didn’t Start the Fire

aycc

Powerful images line the walls of the COP21 venue. They are meant to inspire delegates to reach an agreement on climate control. One such message reads: “Climate change is the single biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be bigger is our movement to stop it.” There…
Read the full article…


Are State INDC Mitigation Pledges Strong Enough?

Image from http://www.unep.org/annualreport/2014/en/climate-change.html

  Today at COP21, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) hosted a joint presentation on the 2015 UNEP Emissions Gap Report. This sixth Emissions Gap Report was published in November 2015. The report assesses country mitigation commitments based off their submitted INDCs. Then it compares…
Read the full article…