Progress Report on an Ocean COP25

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The moment we have all been waiting for; IT’S OCEANS DAY! The Ocean Pathway made a splash today with all the ocean-related events today, spanning from 10am to 8pm. The past two days have had some great events, highlighting the importance of ocean health and what countries are going to implement marine conversation platforms moving forward….
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Adaptation in NDCs: To Include or Not To Include, That is the Question.

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You could definitely feel the awkwardness in the conference room during the APA 1-7 agenda item #3 negotiations.This agenda item addresses the mitigation section of the 1/CP.21 decision (where we got the Paris Agreement). What caused such tension? Well, the parties have different positions on what to do with adaptation in NDCs, but were hesitant to…
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Planting the Seed: Agriculture in Climate Negotiations

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With COP24 right around the corner, sights will be set on the newest agenda item, agriculture. In a landmark decision, Parties at COP 23 adopted the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA). This decision ended the six-year stalemate on how to address agriculture in the international climate talks. The KJWA “. . . seeks to develop…
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Canadian Carbon Pricing System Moving Forward

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As the world gears up for COP24, the Canadian government reaffirmed its intention, on October 23, 2018, to implement a federal carbon pricing system across Canada in 2019. As set out in its Nationally Determined Contribution (“NDC”) submitted to the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement, Canada committed to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by…
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As COP24 Approaches, Negotiators Attempt to Narrow Their Focus

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In the months leading up to the COP, Parties are in constant discussion. On September 27th, the incoming COP24 Presidency organized an informal consultation in New York, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. The COP23 Presidency, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, and presiding officers all attended, along with thirty-three member states. The Parties’ lead negotiators met…
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Energy Justice: Mitigation, Adaptation, AND Sustainable Development Goals in the IPCC Special Report

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Over three billion people rely on wood, charcoal or dung for cooking, with primarily women spending 15-30 hours per week collecting these resources. Household Air Pollution (HAP) results in over 4 million deaths a year. The second most impactful climate change pollutant is black carbon and HAP contributes 25% of black carbon. Clearly, we can integrate…
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How Does a 2⁰C Increase in Global Temperature Impact Food Security?

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821 million people. Nearly 821 million people across the world are food insecure, according to the 2018 State of Food Insecurity (SOFI) report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This means that they do not have adequate access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy life. Evidence indicates that…
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Wheels of climate change policy roll on in Bonn

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While angst about the pending Trump decision on the Paris Agreement (PA) remained a subtext of the annual intersessional climate meetings that wrapped up last week in Bonn, Germany, the technical work trundled on. More than 3,300 (negotiators, observers [including a VLS delegation], plus secretariat and other agency staff) participated in: the 46th sessions of…
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Are Human Rights Lost and Damaged?

Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

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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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…
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The Power of One Word

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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….
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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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No Climate Justice without Gender Justice

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Today at COP21, a focus for at least one of the meetings was how to achieve transformative solutions for both climate and gender justice. The meeting emphasized gender and economic disparities in developing countries and the fact that climate change does not affect men and women on the same level. For much of the developing…
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