Is Time Running Out?

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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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UN University Announces Nepal Loss & Damage Case Study

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Yesterday, the United Nations University announced a case study on loss and damage (L&D) that it conducted in Nepal following the 2014 landslide. Overall, the landslides had a devastating effect on the community at large, blocking a highway, causing power outages, and killing more than 150 people; however, this study focused less on the overall effects…
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Filling the Gap: A Bangladeshi Climate Fund for Loss & Damage

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On the opening day of COP22, Practical Action and Lund University organized the first side event on loss and damage (L&D), titled Loss and Damage Perspectives and Options. At the event, presenters focused on the typologies, risks, and community-level effects of L&D. A theme during the discussion was that L&D was a difficult concept to…
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The new “High Ambition” Force Awakens in Paris

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A new group has been announced during the Paris Climate Talks – the High Ambition Coalition. It is not a formal negotiation group like the G77+ China or the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Rather it represents a block of countries with a common position – recognition of the need for a target of less than…
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The Sustainable Development Mechanism AKA The New Carbon Market Mechanism

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  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…
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Where to Next? Climate-Induced Migration

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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…
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Subnational leaders leading the way

“Under 2 MoU”  – no it’s not Prince’s latest song, it is the initiative of subnational leaders (Mayors and Governors)  committing to limit emissions below 2 metric tons per capita by 2050 which is the amount of reductions needed to limit global warming to less than 2°C. This initiative, supercharged by the leadership of Governor…
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Update on progress toward a Paris Outcome

The second stocktaking of the Comité de Paris was held yesterday afternoon for facilitators to report on consultations and bilateral meetings they had held with Parties during the day. The purpose of these meetings was to identify areas of convergence on key elements for the Paris Outcome. Highlights: Terms heard repeatedly throughout the stocktaking were…
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A Call for Deforestation-Free Agriculture

Source: World Agro Forestry

What do cattle, soy, and palm oil have in common? These are all products associated with commodity-linked deforestation. Between 2000 and 2012, expansion of commercial agriculture and timber plantations caused the destruction of more than 50 million hectares of tropical forests. The UNFCCC website states: “Roughly a third of recent tropical deforestation and associated carbon emissions…
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Celebrating Gender Day at COP21

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Today is Gender Day at COP21. In celebration, the Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC recognized the winners of the Gender Just Climate Solutions competition. These winners were celebrated for their great work combating climate change in a “gender-just” manner. Island Eco from the Marshall Islands won the Technical Climate Solution Award for its…
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What story will COP21 tell?

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Everywhere you turn at COP21 there are exciting stories – stories of unprecedented financing partnerships to ramp up renewable energy technologies; stories of global knowledge exchanges on successful strategies for adapting to climate impacts; stories of cities leading breakthrough initiatives in energy efficiency; and more. Behind the scenes, though, in rooms open only to official…
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What’s next and who makes it happen at COP21?

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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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Religion & Climate Change: How the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change Affects COP Negotiations

Photograph Credit: Islamic Relief

“Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that we are in danger [of] ending life as we know it on our planet.” Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change On August, 18th, 2015, a group of Muslim scholars,…
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Economic growth and climate change

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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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Saying Goodbye to Cultural Landmarks

Courtesy of Climate Central

Sea-level rise is an unavoidable threat facing our planet in the coming century. Even avoiding increasing global temperatures above 2°C likely wont save us from a twenty-foot rise in sea-level by 2020. This kind of devastating sea-level rise will have disastrous effects on worldwide economies, agricultural, and livelihoods. It will also irreparably change the face…
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