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Brace yourselves for The End is Near

Brace yourselves for The End is Near

keep-calm-and-negotiate-like-a-boss-4

The first week has ended without any major setbacks – a new ADP draft was adopted (see Taylor’s post), countries reiterated their commitments to the Green Climate Fund (view total commitment), and France and India launched the International Solar Energy Alliance.

Now it’s time for the exciting Week Two, whereby the real action (drama?) begins. Will developed countries contribute to the Green Climate Fund? Can we put a price on carbon? What will US and China do? Can we reach a legally binding agreement? We will find out over the next five days. (At this point, I think we should start a poll where people can place bets on the negotiation outcomes.)

Anyhow, nations will kickoff the week with National Statements on Mondays and Tuesdays. Negotiations are scheduled to conclude on Wednesday and be adopted on Friday.  We will be watching the negotiations closely and tweeting realtime. So stay tuned!

Watch live negotiations here

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Carbon Emissions and Poverty Decrease: A telling link for the negotiations

Carbon Emissions and Poverty Decrease: A telling link for the negotiations

One of the most important and difficult questions at the negotiations over these two weeks is how to balance curbing carbon emissions while supporting the growth and development of developing nations. India, the fourth largest carbon emitter in the world, along with other developing countries are demanding that they receive the right to continue to emit carbon for at least the next 15 years to support their growth, even if that means developed countries like China and the US become carbon negative. Nations like China and India which have experienced unprecedented development over the last thirty years have relied on carbon emissions and many developing countries like Venezuela and Brazil look to mimic this development in the next few decades.
PovertyCarbon (1 slide - 12h37) (1)


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Making History

Making History

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195 nations agreed today on a framework draft of a crucial component of the UN Climate Change Negotiations. The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was sent to the COP President for further negotiations. The document now serves as the draft for what will soon be an international accord on climate change, to be discussed next week by national ministries. This 48 page text will be refined and negotiated over the next five days, culminating in a final Paris Agreement on December 11th. Stay tuned for more!

How Do We Care About Climate Change? A closer look at NYTimes/CBS Poll

How Do We Care About Climate Change? A closer look at NYTimes/CBS Poll

The internet is potentially the only place that is buzzing more this week than the streets of Paris. As part of its full coverage of the COP21, The New York Times published this Sunday an article titled “Two-Thirds of Americans Want U.S. to Join Climate Change Pact.” showed that in a New York Times/CBS poll two thirds of Americans supported the US joining an internationally binding treaty on climate change, something the United States has notoriously never done before and likely will not do in the future.

Along with the article, the NYT published the full results of the poll which provided deeper insight into how Americans think and care about climate change. What is evident is a gap between the understanding of climate change’s impact and the level of personal worry in the United States; 80% of Americans see the effects of climate change as serious, and 53% see them as immediate, but almost 60% hardly worry personally about the effects of climate change.

climate changegraph

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In the Hands of Old Men

In the Hands of Old Men

At my final event of the first day of the COP21, a female panelist expressed her concern that the future of her children was in the hands of “old white men.” I feared the same reality as I made my way towards the 21st Conference of the Parties. Though there is much to say for the inequality present among the deciding forces behind negotiation walls, I was happily surprised to see all those who were represented and included. Namely, I’d like to highlight their contributions and celebrate the many faces of the COP.

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UN Climate Negotiations

UN Climate Negotiations

Simulation

Put about 25 college students in a room and give them varying levels of power.  Now, make them represent various countries and group them together based on whether that country is developing or developed and separate the superpowers like China, India, the U.S., and Russia.  Finally, make them come to a conclusion on how much each group can cut their CO2 emissions.  Seems like a great plan, right? 

 

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