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))…
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What’s next and who makes it happen at COP21?

COP21 Comite de Paris

At COP21 on Saturday, December 5, the ADP transmitted the draft Paris Outcome (the Agreement, as we’ve called it all year) and its accompanying Decision to the COP. The text still contains many bracketed phrases (choices to be made), and there are key outstanding issues, such as on long-term goal, the timing of review of…
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UNFCCC Negotiations – Coordinating the Dance

Courtesy of Creative Commons (Bobbi Vie)

Negotiations are an elaborate dance. Negotiators must coordinate the actions of many partners. Make a misstep and the coordination is lost. What could be an elaborate dance degrades into a chaotic scramble.   On Friday afternoon, the COP21 negotiations demonstrated how difficult they can be to coordinate. After a week of work in spin-off groups…
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Understanding the Complex Organized Chaos of UNFCCC Negotiations

Fractal

A fractal is a never-ending mathematical pattern that is self-similar across different scales. Every time you look closer, you see another layer.   The UNFCCC negotiations have a similar pattern. Every time you look closer, you see another layer. The news reports coming out of Paris are using a confusing array of terms: ADP contact…
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Loss and Damage – Hot Topic for Climate Negotiations

UNFCCC ADP2-10 Image-CreativeCommons

Through multiple meetings this year, the ADP (Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform) is seeking to craft a viable negotiating text for a new, legally binding and long-lasting international climate change accord for consideration at the 21st meeting of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties meeting (COP21), being held in Paris in December. By…
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China: Cause for Despair? Or Cause for Hope?

China Flag

As the nations of the world wrapped up last week’s ADP negotiations on the key elements of the 2015 Paris agreement, many observers remained focused on China.  Simply put, the actions that China takes (or doesn’t take) in the next decade or so could very well determine whether humanity can successfully avoid a full-blown climate…
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COP 19 still going… we’re still in extra time: penalty-shoot out or a nil-nil draw?

The UNFCCC COP 19 is still going and going, much like the Energizer bunny or a cricket match. At this point in the game, the negotiations have produced two draft text on ADP (Agenda item 3) and long-term finance (LTF), but an updated draft on loss and damage remains in the locker room with some…
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COP 19 is the never-ending story… ADP, Loss and Damage and Finance still unresolved

The clock has passed 1:30 am and the COP is still going… Negotiators and the High Level Ministers are still hard at work tweaking draft texts for the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), Finance, and Loss and Damage, respectively.The UNFCCC COP19/CMP was supposed to end on November 22nd, ideally with much pomp and circumstance,…
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Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

“The only people with the power to actually change anything are the local elected officials.” – the Environmental Minister of Ghent, Belgium No matter what happens in the international climate change negotiations, there is one thing everyone can agree on: the impacts of climate change, and the actions taken to address it, will ultimately happen…
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