Communicating Climate Change, Road to COP21, The Climate Nerd Chronicles

The Hunger games : the climate change arena

This article is part of the Climate Nerd Chronicles.

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Here we imagine Katniss and Peeta faced with a climate change arena.

« Ladies and gentlemen, let the Seventy-fifth Hunger Games begin ! ». Katniss took a deep breath and looked at the scenery. The tributes were surrounded by water, the salted kind. Behind her, she could see a beach and further away a lush forest, deep green, covering a very high mountain. She started to make a plan in her head : grab Peeta, rush to the forest, stay hidden there and take time to think of a better plan to survive.


Since plans never work as intended, the two friends finally reached the protection of the forest stuck with Beetee, a science weirdo, who kept blabbering about the high concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. All Katniss and Peeta could think about was the heat, and how the shade of the trees would save them from the terrible sun  rays.

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Climate Politics, Road to COP21

Colombia: Green Washing or Environmental Champion? A Tale of Contradictions

This article is written by Héloïse Pichot.

With COP21 looming in, it is time to take a closer look at the national positions on climate change and mitigation efforts. An easy way to do so is to refer to the official stance of the nations in international negotiations; another is to look at the domestic policy and actions. Surely they should be coherent? Well, perhaps not always, as the case of Colombia demonstrates.

Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos at the UN Climate Change Summit 2014 (Photo: EFE)

Why Colombia?

Why talk about Colombia, and not for example Argentina, Morocco, or Thailand? If Colombia is most known for its drug production and decades-long guerilla between the FARCS and the government, it is also a mega-diverse country. Indeed, it ranks second when it comes to biodiversity per square unit thanks to a wide range of unique ecosystems, such as the Sierra Nevada, the paramos, or the open savannas. This already gives a good argument to get a look at what the Colombian government thinks of climate change, wouldn’t you agree?

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Climate Talks, Negotiation Process, Road to COP21

Transparency, Fairness : Everybody wants a climate deal, but what deal do we want?

This article is written by Gwenaël Podesta.

So be it. The access of observers from civil society (CSO) to the spin off sessions will be denied. The CSO include representatives, activists and experts from NGOs and the private sector, but also media and representatives from UN institutions such as WHO, UNEP, UNDP, etc. Their access was obtained after a very long struggle in order to bring transparency and expertise to the talks.

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Road to COP21, The Climate Nerd Chronicles, Youth Empowerment

Back to the future we want

This article is part of the Climate Nerd chronicles.Bannière CN

Today Marty McFly just arrived in the DeLorean and discovered a whole new future. We all have expectations about the future. Either shark holograms coming at us in front of a movie theatre, hoverboards or 100% clean energy in the long-term, we aspire for things to be greater. Young people inside climate negotiation are no strangers to these aspirations. Come aboard our DeLorean and discover the future we want.

BTTF title

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Climate Talks, Negotiation Process, Road to COP21

Is the negotiation process smart enough to bring forth an agreement ?

This article is written by Pauline Fayan.

What is the history of the attempts to control climate change ?

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was ratified. Its objective was to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gas by 5.2% below the 1950 level by 2012. As emissions have not ceased to increase since that time, parties agreed on the need to find a new tool, more effective and which would include all Parties, to manage the post-Kyoto Protocol period. Talks focused on the new agreement to come in Copenhagen in 2009 (COP15). Unfortunately, the 196 parties did not manage to agree. As the trial failed, the Kyoto Protocol has been extended to a second period from 2013 to 2020 but, in 2011, Parties decided that another agreement had to be concluded not later than 2015 to have enough time to act against the global warming.

In Lima (2014), the COP co-chairs proposed a first draft of some 37 pages. When Parties met in February 2015 at the Geneva intersession, they reported that the proposal was not reflecting their views. Therefore, all provisions were submitted and included to a massive text of 88 pages.

The aim of the following intersession in June 2015 was to streamline the text, compiling similar options. In two weeks, parties only reduced the text by 5%. Running out of time, they mandated the United Nations Executive Secretariat to propose a simplified text that would include all ideas.

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Civil Society, Climate Action, Road to COP21

How Islamic Faith Supports Pope Francis’ Climate Change Encyclical

This article is written by Neeshad Vs.

Viewing “Laudato Si” (“Praised Be”) Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment as an important opportunity to expand the conversation about the relationship between religion and environment, I am writing this post to highlight the Islamic perspective on the issue. Last week encyclical from Pope Francis has been widely hailed for its urgent call to action on climate change. As we have reached the tipping point of the issue climate change, we have no choice but to return back to the riches of spirituality to create new paradigms and new solutions to environmental exploitation and degradation. As the encyclical states, ‘We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing and its human roots, concern and affect us all’.

Every religion has its traditions to protect the environment. The degree to which they are observed only varies. Islam too considers human beings responsible for environmental damage done to Earth. The religion believes that environmental protection is the only way to maintain the balance of life. It integrates the concept of environmental conservation into the philosophy of life for every Muslim believer. By doing so, the people can lessen their actions that damage the environment to guarantee the right for future generations to benefit from natural resources.

On reading the Qur’an, every Muslim understands that we humans will be held accountable for our successes and failures as stewards and hence, we must all strive to improve our roles as stewards. As reported in Muslim hadith[1], the Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, quotes :

“The world is a green and pleasant thing. God has made you stewards of it, and looks at how you behave.”

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

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Road to COP21, The Climate Nerd Chronicles

On the Fury Road to COP21 – The 2015 World Summit Climate & Territories

This article is part of the Climate Nerd Chronicles.Bannière CN

On 1st and 2nd July 2015, while hiking on the Fury Road to COP21, CliMates’ team decided to stop by at the World Summit for Climate and Territories (WSCT) in Lyon, France. Having supported for many years the necessity to accelerate the collaboration between local authorities and non-state actors such as youth NGOs, it looked like stepping into this international meeting was both an opportunity for us to spread our message and to challenge our conception of fighting climate change.

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An unnamed CliMates’ official walking down from La Fourvière.

Looking for the notorious “Green Place” they have been searching for so many years, these young people went from one traveler to another, asking everyone about what way we should take for finding a better future. Some says they even found an old radio, still broadcasting to silent listeners scattered around the devastated continents, and carried the message that there were still people hoping to find solutions and that they wouldn’t let the world going adrift. This is why they took the lead of the meeting on education and awareness: they believed that we could change things by spreading knowledge on climate change and sharing practical solutions on mitigation and adaptation.

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Road to COP21, The Climate Nerd Chronicles

Bonn’s negotiations: an unexpected journey (1/3)

This article is part of the Climate Nerd Chronicles.

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If climate change doesn’t affect Middle Earth yet – except perhaps in the Cabot Institute of the University of Bristol’s model -, it nevertheless remains a burning issue for our world with some strong Tolkienian accents. From 1st to 11th June 2015, the World Conference Center of Bonn (Germany) hosted the annual United Nations intermediary climate negotiations and prepared the road to the December 2015 COP21 Summit in Paris. For the dozen of young delegates of CliMates and REFEDD, stepping into these international talks for fighting against climate change, struggling for making their recommendations being heard by the world leaders, and carrying the hope of worldwide youth has been quite an exciting and stimulating journey.

An unidentified delegate trying to attend the 8AM YOUNGO meeting.

Up to now resting in their own comforting Parisian Shire and preparing their diplomatic adventures in the wooded Germany, they vivaciously answered to a deep and sincere call for action. Indeed, there was no need for the coming of twelve bearded dwarves and a tall magician to get them into the thrill of acting for the transition to greener societies and on the behalf of their kind. Moreover, by taking on the mantle, they challenged their national emissaries at the climate negotiations to continue to carry the torch of change towards more responsible economic and social systems. In other words, the French young delegates decided to be some unexpected visitors, those who surprise you by an unpredicted coming and try to remind you the reasons why you decided to take the road.

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Business, Climate Action, Road to COP21

The 2015 Business and Climate Summit: how businesses’ contributions can help fighting climate change?

This article is written by Pierre Manenti.
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From left to right: Pierre Manenti (GCP Deputy Director), Delphine Blumereau (CliMates’ President), Oriane Cébile (REFEDD’s President).

On May 21st and 22nd 2015, the UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris hosted the Business and Climate Summit at the initiative of Global Compact France, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EpE). More than one thousand people gather at this special event in the preparation of the December 2015 COP21 summit, including the French President of the Republic François Hollande, the OCDE Secretary General Angel Gurria, the Peru’s Minister of Environment Manuel Pulgar and the Marshall Islands’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Tony de Brum. CliMates’ President Delphine Blumereau and I had the tremendous chance to be invited to this meeting to represent CliMates.


During his opening tribune, President François Hollande strongly encouraged the industrial sectors to set targets in order to reduce gas emissions, to cut reliance on fossil fuels, to scale down the use of water and commodities in the production processes and to boost the share of renewable energies. He also called the companies for sharing their innovative solutions against climate change as part as the “Agenda of Solutions” and the NAZCA Platform. Regarding the issue of the carbon price on the European market (EU ETS), he urged voluntarism in the current negotiations, hoping for the establishment of a market stability reserve as early as 2019.

Concluding his speech, President François Hollande asserted:

We need a revolution in business.”

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Road to COP21, The Climate Nerd Chronicles

What does it mean to be a « climate hero »?

This article is part of the Climate Nerd Chronicles.

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As Marvel and DC fight over supremacy in the superhero movie world, Avaaz just launched a campaign arguing for Angela Merkel to be the climate hero the world needs.


What do you need to make a good superhero movie?

A powerful hero –or a bunch of them–, a couple of supervillains, full of bad intentions, and most importantly, a terrible threat. Today, our movie featured 7 characters, the members of G7. This might not seem really superhero material but sometimes appearances can be quite misleading. Let’s follow Avaaz  reasoning and take a look at it through the superhero lens. What is at stake? The G7 has to announce the deadline for a decarbonized world. This is kind of the big deal, and this could have major impacts for mankind. Terrible threat, check. Our would-be superhero is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. While both DC and Marvel have cold feet about launching their first female-lead movie, this super-lady has led Germany for almost 10 years. As a 3-times-elected ruler, she is also considered as the most prominent political personality in Europe and the most powerful woman in the world. Quite the badass, isn’t she? Climate Hero, check. And what about the villains? We have the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, both responsible for their countries’ withdrawal of the Kyoto Protocol. The first has recently announced a renewed interest for fossil energies, getting the fossil award from the Climate Action Network (CAN)  last week for “doing the most to block progress on climate action” while the second is a well-known climate change denier. So here we check the super villains.

As in any good super hero story, we need a good side-kick. And Merkel can count on the French president François Hollande, who has committed to organize COP21 at the end of 2015, and would definitely need a serious agreement to increase his popularity in his country. The positions of the three last players, Barack Obama for the US, David Cameron for the UK and Matteo Renzi for Italy are not as clear as the others but they seem to be more disposed to heroism than villainess.

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