Trump’s proposed budget would cut US international climate change work significantly

trump budget

According to Inside Climate News, the Trump Administration’s recently unveiled budget proposal would cut $10.1 billion from the United States’ current international climate work, which represents a 28% reduction from the status quo. It would eliminate the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), which funds all climate-related bilateral efforts, like collaborations with China and India, and contributes to the United Nations…
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A Numbers “Crunch” – Trump & The UNFCCC

Number-crunching

Like most every other institution around the globe, for a while now, the UNFCCC has been called on to do more with less. This is clearly reflected in the Executive Secretary’s recent budget presentations that report contributions to UNFCCC trust funds have declined significantly for at least the last 5 years. In fact, 2016 contributions…
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Bridging the Gap between NDC Commitments and NDC Implementation

Lord Nicholas Stern at COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco

During this morning’s Joint High Level Segment, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Cooper Pershing delivered the U.S. National Statement. Addressing the combined meeting of the COP22/CMP12/CMA1, Pershing said, “With the policies already in place, the United States is well-positioned to meet its Paris Agreement targets” and that through current market trends, “the transition to clean…
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Is Time Running Out?

IMG_2181

Referencing the response to climate change at today’s COP 22, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the issue in terms of time.   He stated, “The question is not whether we will transition to a clean energy economy. The question is whether we will have the will power to make the transition in time….
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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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Marathon Oral Arguments Whisper Victory for the Clean Power Plan

Smoke

On September 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard nearly seven hours of oral arguments that, on their face, bode well for the Clean Power Plan (Plan) and for the United States’ contribution to the Paris Agreement. EPA published its ambitious emissions guidelines for the Plan on October 23, 2015—and on…
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28 countries and almost 42% of global GHG emissions

US CHina ratification

In the last 10 days, ratification of the Paris Agreement jumped from 25 countries representing a very small amount of global GHG emissions to more than half the countries and 80% of the emissions required to bring it into force. As we blogged last April after the signing ceremony in New York, the magic numbers per Article…
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Obama on Climate Change

obama weekly address

In his weekly address last Friday, President Obama summed up his administration’s record on climate change.  Calling it “one of the most urgent challenges of our time,” he pointed to progress made since 2008.  This includes: clean energy investment (300% increase in wind power, 3000% increase in solar power), lowest carbon emissions from energy in 25 years, continued economic growth,…
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Clean cars, clean energy

electric car

This piece in Bloomberg news, The Dirty Road to Cleaner Cars, captures well the conundrum of cleaning up vehicular emissions.  22% of US CO2 emissions come from the transportation sector.  (This number is17% worldwide.) Tesla set records when it launched its Model 3 in April, racking up more than 400,000 reservations for the $35,000 sedan since then. So it’s clear that there…
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U.S. INDC Pledge Just Wishful Thinking Without CPP?

US INDC Emissions Targets

Last year, when the U.S. made its INDC pledge to reduce net GHG emissions 26-28% below 2005 by 2025, it was built on Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan with the proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) among its key elements. At the time, a range of climate policy observers, including Climate Action Tracker, U.S. Chamber of…
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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….
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Economic growth and climate change

Presentation5

Each generation inherits a world that was created out of beliefs contemporary and relevant to a certain time. These beliefs affect prevailing values, values, which become embedded within the framework of decision-making. Often times, these values are based on beliefs that may no longer be understood, known or even correct. Nonetheless, they are transferred from…
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Will the Dark Cloud Over EPA’s Clean Power Plan Rain on Paris?

Powerplant.iStock

Last month, EPA published the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the most ambitious and controversial rulemaking in the history of the Clean Air Act, and set off a flurry of litigation as many Republican lawmakers urged states to challenge the rule. The Clean Power Plan is EPA’s first attempt to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing…
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Carbon Tax – More of the Same or Energy Miracle?

Carbon Tax #2

As we get closer to Paris, powerful voices are lining up to support a carbon tax. When you look closer, you see that the voices have different motives and divergent goals. In June 2015, six of the world’s largest oil companies sent a letter to the UNFCCC asking for a global carbon tax to be…
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