Browsed by
Category: Politics

Talking About the Elephant in the Room—COP22 Reacts to Trump’s Election

Talking About the Elephant in the Room—COP22 Reacts to Trump’s Election

“Before we open up for a Q&A,” said Karen Florini, “I’d like to remind everybody that the questions must be directly related to the topic of this panel, and not about the events of last night—as much as you’d like to ask them.” Florini, a deputy special envoy for climate change from the U.S. Department of State, had the unenviable responsibility of moderating a U.S. Green Building Council discussion on how health impacts could inspire local climate action—the day after…

Read More Read More

A World Worth Fighting For

A World Worth Fighting For

Good morning friends, The vibe has changed here after the U.S. election. The walkways still bustle with people from all over the world. Scientists and businessmen and women still engage passerby with information about their organizations or research. But an air of uncertainty has fallen. American presenters noted they would not be taking any questions about the results of the election. Communication directors stood by to ensure that nothing inflammatory was said. Even the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) had…

Read More Read More

Knowing What We Don’t Know—Earth Information Day at COP22

Knowing What We Don’t Know—Earth Information Day at COP22

The one thing we can all agree on is that climate change sparks a host of complex questions. Besides the questions of whether it’s occurring in the first place and if we’re responsible (hint: yes and yes), the debate then turns to its repercussions—how is climate change affecting our world? Our oceans? People and ecosystems of all nations and coasts? And most importantly, what can we do about it? Unfortunately, it’s difficult—not to mention costly and ineffective—to fix something that…

Read More Read More

An End to the Fossil Fuel Era: Why the Paris Agreement, Despite its Flaws, Matters

An End to the Fossil Fuel Era: Why the Paris Agreement, Despite its Flaws, Matters

This blog has been cross-posted from the Emory Globe, Emory University’s international affairs magazine.  Source: atlasmonitor.com On the evening of December 13, 2015, delegates gathered at an airport complex on the outskirts of Paris, France made history. With consensus from 195 countries, the world’s first-ever universal agreement on climate change became a reality. This Paris Agreement has been nearly six years in the making, though the goal of an agreement to combat climate change harks back even further to the Earth Summit of…

Read More Read More

Transparency and Access for Civil Society and Youth

Transparency and Access for Civil Society and Youth

In the morning on Wednesday, December 9, I was able to attend the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Briefing for Observer Organizations. It was an hour-long session meant to engage the civil society and other constituencies observing the negotiations, provide answers to our questions, and act as a bridge between us and the high-level officials. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres was joined by Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who is serving during COP21 as the President’s Special Envoy to Observers. Pulgar-Vidal previously served as…

Read More Read More

Welcome to Week Two of COP21!

Welcome to Week Two of COP21!

On Monday, December 7, high-level officials opened the second week of the UNFCCC COP21 meeting in grand fashion. Delegates from over 190 countries gathered in plenary La Seine at 10:00am to hear from leaders which included United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, COP21 President and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change Hoesung Lee, and UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft. The COP21 negotiation space at the Le Bourget site

A Day in the Life…

A Day in the Life…

Despite what you may think, we’re not discussing climate change over lunch with Obama while Narendra Modi cracks jokes about CO2 levels. In fact, the majority of the 40,000 people that have flocked to Paris for the COP will never even witness the negotiations between world leaders. Though this is obviously a crucial part of these next two weeks, the COP has much more to offer. Some may even argue that the most important work is being done outside the…

Read More Read More

City of Atlanta Triumphs Local Solutions to Global Problems

City of Atlanta Triumphs Local Solutions to Global Problems

On December 3rd, several Emory delegates and Dr. Eri Saikawa supported Mayor Kasim Reed at the Le Bourget La Galerie site as he spoke on behalf of Atlanta’s innovative sustainability initiatives to an international audience. The official “Buildings Day” panel highlighted the challenges and opportunities within the development sector on maximizing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, especially since 80% of greenhouse gas emissions are sourced from urban areas. Other panelists included Mayor Clover Moore of Sydney, Mayor Bima…

Read More Read More

Naomi Klein and Organizers Talk Intersectionality

Naomi Klein and Organizers Talk Intersectionality

  In a basement auditorium in a quiet Parisian neighborhood, writer Naomi Klein and fellow organizers held a free event to talk about their newly crafted “Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another.” The document was composed by more than 100 Canadians with wide-ranging affiliations and spells out a specific policy plan for how Canada can begin to address issues of environmental and climate, economic and social justice, now.

US & China in COP21

US & China in COP21

On Monday, December 30, Heads of States from all around world kick started the 2-week long conference with their opening statements. Most acknowledged the urgency of the climate problem and called for global action to tackle the problem. However, such multilateral platforms are as much an outlet for colorful displays of diplomatic rhetoric as a place for negotiations. The true test of political will comes in the subsequent negotiations, where negotiators attempt (or not) to resolve key differences and challenges.