Climate is not just about political discussions

This article is written by Lise Tanfin.

In the lead up to COP23, which will be co-chaired by Fiji, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations took place in Bonn last month. During these two weeks, the 196 Parties who have signed Paris Agreement debated on the implementation modalities of the agreement.Civil SocT 5

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Always Forward, Never Backward: The Facilitative Dialogue, Global Stocktake and the Ambition Mechanism of the Paris Agreement

This article is written by Mark Ortiz.

Picture1It is well known that the first round of Paris Agreement pledges would substantially overshoot the accord’s long-term temperature targets. If the first Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) were the end of the line, the planet would roast!

Fortunately, the initial pledges are far from final. The Paris Agreement is designed to encourage stronger commitments over time through a feature that has become known as the ambition mechanism. This mechanism aims to progressively increase – or “ratchet-up” – the ambition of country plans in order to realize the Agreement’s long-term goals of limiting temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees C” and achieving a net-zero emissions scenario by the second half of this century.

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The state of the oceans in the wake of the changing climate

 This article is part of the 4sea Project

The oceans and climate change

It is not often that we think about what a huge impact the oceans have on the climate. When we talk about climate change the images that conjure up in people’s minds are often linked to the temperature rise and the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and therefore to extreme weather events, melting glaciers, loss of biodiversity and other similar phenomena linked to changes up in the air. Thus, the state of the oceans is often dismissed, not because of a lack of interest, but often because of the sheer complexity and obscurity of these huge masses of water that in many ways remain a mystery for most people. This subject hasn’t consequently been recognised in the same manner as has been the case for the state of the atmosphere in the public discussion.

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The development of carbon markets – and what they have become

This article is written by Birte Kurbjeweit.

The if and how of carbon markets is a heavily discussed issue in climate politics. Supporters of carbon markets argue that emissions trading systems are the most liberal and economic form of carbon reduction while strengthening the economy. Opponents on the other hand refer to the rather inefficient carbon markets set up by the Kyoto Protocol and the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS), where the emission limits were set too high and carbon prices too low to incite green development. Additionally, through carbon offset programs polluters have been given the opportunity to make money in carbon markets.

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The Principle of Differentiation : reflections and changes since the Paris Agreement

This article is written by Chrysa Alexandraki.

The principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDRRC) is embodied in Art. 3.1 UNFCCC[1] as one of the core principles of the Convention. The CBDRRC principle resulted from the ‘application of equity in general international law’[2]and the rationale was to ‘enable negotiators to agree on an international legal framework for climate policy during the 1990s’[3]. The principle provides a dichotomous architecture characterizing the Convention and consists of two basic aspects:

  • All countries have a common responsibility to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to combat climate change.
  • However, not all States have the same responsibility. The principle sets a differentiation between developed countries (Annex I Parties) on the one hand which have contributed to the GHG emissions on a major scale since the industrial era and the developing countries (non-Annex I Parties) on the other hand still struggling to develop.

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Climate funds lost in translation

This article is written by Côme Girschig.

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Climate is a tricky issue on many aspects because philosophers, biologists, journalists, chemists, CEOs, physicians, lawyers, doctors, or writers, all have a different definitions of the matter. Even finance experts joined the game, and their work didn’t make the whole thing simpler.

The first conference I went to, in Bonn, was a workshop on long-term climate finance. Let’s be clear: my economic and finance background has been useless and I rapidly got lost among the acronyms. Proud to master each letter of “UNFCCC”, I got punched in the face by NAPAs, GCF, NAPs, CIFs, MDBs, LDCF, LULUCF, REDD+…

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Consistent modalities for climate action – why climate finance accounting is important

This article is written by Mona Hosseini

Climate finance has an outstanding importance for achieving objectives in the fight against climate change. Climate finance – meaning financial resources from the public but also private sector on the local, national and international level to tackle climate change – is the core condition for mitigation (reduction of GHG emissions) and adaptation (measures to adapt to the changing environment) and hence indispensable (cf. UNFCCC n.y). This is especially the case for countries of the Global South which depend on climate funds enabling them to pursue climate policies (cf. Paris Agreement, Art. 9,3).

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