Don’t You Forget CGE

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Before Nationally Determined Contributions and Capacity-Building, there was the Consultative Group of Experts. The Consultative Group of Experts was established by the 5th Conference of the Parties under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The CGE is the key technical support element under the UNFCCC that assists developing country Parties in meeting their reporting…
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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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A Numbers “Crunch” – Trump & The UNFCCC

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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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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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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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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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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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Loss and Damage in Bonn (sort of)

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The 44th meeting of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) and the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), held in Bonn, Germany, May 16-26, were full of action. Our delegation report-back started earlier this week, here and here. Key work areas receiving consideration included, for example: preparation for the…
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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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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 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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Will it Be a REDD+ Letter Day for Our Forests?

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Yesterday, the Parties received a “clean” version of the draft Paris Agreement, and at 8PM the Parties convened to share their first impressions on this draft Agreement. One hot topic repeatedly discussed was the status of our forests. Many Parties are advocating that the Paris Agreement establish a mechanism that incentivizes the reduction of emissions…
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Civil Society keeps the heat on for climate ambition

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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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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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