Adaptation and Climate Resilience – Help Wanted

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A recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) half-day seminar – Climate Change Adaptation Investments and Measuring Effectiveness – considered a pressing suite of interrelated issues. As Timmons Roberts of Brown University (one of the moderators) stated, “[t]his seminar is not an academic exercise.” Developing countries urgently need climate change adaptation help and they want and…
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LDCs – Concern, yet hope, entering Week 2 of COP22

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At the end of the first week, many were expressing concern that Marrakech’s purported COP of Action wasn’t measuring up for the world’s most vulnerable countries. Yesterday morning, Least Developed Countries (LDC) Chair, Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, identified troubles on key issues of ambition, adaptation / loss & damage, and climate finance. In particular, he noted…
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Transparency Framework Update

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Throughout this first week of COP22, I have followed the progress of the enhanced transparency framework (TF). The Paris Agreement created this TF through articles 13, 14, and 15. Because the TF is new, the discussions started out slowly. However, the Parties agreed that there is a sense of urgency in developing the modalities, procedures,…
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Following the Growth of Loss & Damage through the First Week of COP22

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Loss and damage (L&D) has come a long way since the Bali Action Plan and the Cancun Agreements. Last year at COP21, L&D received its own article under the Paris Agreement, Article 8. But what happens next? For the first week of COP22, L&D was on the agenda under SBI agenda item 11 and SBSTA…
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Human Mobility in the Face of Climate Change

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Human mobility in the face of climate change is an issue that is closely linked to Loss and Damage (L&D). Under Article 8 of the Paris Agreement, L&D includes extreme weather events as well as slow-onset events. Both extreme weather and slow-onset events could necessitate human mobility or displacement, whether it be rising sea levels…
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Global Goal on Adaptation: work has begun

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The next in our series of posts on SB44/APA1 Work on the Paris Agreement’s (PA) global goal on adaptation was launched by the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) and Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) in Bonn in May. We reported earlier on the global goal here and here. The APA, SBTA and SBI…
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Counting On Big Bucks for Adaptation – More News from SB44

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Financing Adaptation was a big topic in Bonn at SB44 last month (see our SB44/APA1 overview here), and rightly so, with the newly released UN Environment Program (UNEP) 2016 Adaptation Finance Gap Report. The report states that current international public finance flows for adaptation are only one-third to one-half the amount needed right now. Additionally,…
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Climate – Free Trade Policy Mismatch

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

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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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Paris Agreement and the Clean Air Act – New Tools for the EPA?

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Does the Paris Agreement open up new avenues for EPA regulation of greenhouse gases? A new paper – co-authored by law professors from the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law, and the Institute for Policy Integrity, NYU School of…
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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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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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The weaving of the Paris Outcome

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The unfolding Paris Outcome is a web of complexities, in both the package and the process. In the package itself, there are cross cutting issues; there are a myriad of details; and there are interlocking linkages among Articles and Decision sections that make multiple circles back to each other. It can be a dizzying endeavor…
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