Climate Talks, COP21 - Paris, Oceans

Because The Ocean

This article is written by Nicolas Pinceloup.

On November 30th, next to the polar boat “TARA” and its robust and majestic shape, with the Eiffel tower in the background, a historical conference was held at the Tara Expedition Pavilion. Well-known political figures attended the conference such as the President of Palau, the President of Kiribati and one of the leaders of the fight for the recognition of the Ocean at the international level, Prince Albert II of Monaco, as well as  delegates and ministers of 10 countries (Canada, France, Fiji, Monaco, Chile, Mexico, Palau, Kiribati, Aruba, New Zealand), which signed a new declaration that brings hope for the other world: our océans.

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Climate Talks, CliMates, COP21 - Paris, Negotiation Process

I thought I was going to the COP – ADP’s life and work

This article is written by Gwenaël Podesta.

The first time I had the chance to attend climate change negotiations, I thought I was going to the COP. What a surprise when I discovered that I ended up at ADP 2.11! A quick internet research told me ADP stands for Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. What a barbaric name… Considering how informative the acronym was, better telling you that I was not really advanced.

I’m sure I was not the only one in this case, wondering what the hell was this ADP all the negotiators talk about, but no one has heard of? Well, let me tell you about this mysterious ADP.

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Children, Climate Politics, Climate Talks, COP21 - Paris, Youth Empowerment

Tackling climate change, a tremendous opportunity to implement the rights of the child

This article is written by Cecile Pilot.

Early September, President Obama depicted a stark future without climate action. During the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic, he urged representatives of more than 20 countries to accelerate concrete commitments to avoid harsh consequences for future generations. He said that if we do not fix the issue of climate change soon, children around the world would be « condemned to a planet beyond repair ».

Photo Sean Gallagher – Everydayclimatechange

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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.

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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 Change Consequences, Climate Talks, The Climate Nerd Chronicles

The Hobbit : The desolation of El Niño (2/3)

This article is part of the Climate Nerd Chronicles.

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Once upon a time, on a blue planet, lived two twin dragons, El Niño and his sister La Niña. One could never be woken up while the other was. They regulated the climate of the great ocean, the first making the lands of the East wetter and the lands of the West dryer, the second doing the opposite. Their moods were so terrible that they threatened a large part of the planet disturbing its climate balances, spreading fires and floods throughout entire kingdoms. They spent years sleeping in their lair, only to awake again, never letting the people entirely forget them.

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Awaking El Niño

And so it had been for years after years through the ages of (Middle) Earth. The small folk and the royals had learnt to live with the beasts moods, so much that they did not particularly pay attention as a group of brave Dwarf explorers dug into the depths of the planet to find a precious treasure. They called it black gold. It contained raw power, and magically helped the humans to rise above their conditions. It made them rich and the richer they got, the greedier they became.

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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.

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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

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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Climate Talks, Negotiation Process, The Climate Nerd Chronicles

Alice’s adventures in ADPland (2/2)

This article is part of the Climate Nerd Chronicles.

Read the 1st part of this chronicle: Alice’s adventures in ADPland (1/2)

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The trial

In the next room Alice entered, all the Kings and Queens were solemnly sitting around a large table, so large that it went from one end of the room to the other. Stuck in a tiny corner, speccy people were preparing their fingers to write each and every word that would be said.

The White Rabbit cried out :

Silence in the court ! I will read the accusation :

The Kings and Queens, they had a clean atmosphere,

Since the beginning of  time.

The Kings and Queens, they stole this clean atmosphere, 

And drove the temperature up !

All are guilty, and yet no one is. The first defendant – a black King – said :

We agree that the matter requires our best attention, but we only stole a small share of the clean atmosphere. And it seems like all  these changes will affect us, more than the others. How unfair is that ?

Another defendant said :

That is true, we have been stealing for many years, and not just a little. But the Court should consider that the past remain the past – there is no need to designate culprits, it is the future that we should focus our efforts on.

Some claimed “We will stop stealing only if you start doing it first ! » Others responded “We will stop stealing only if you too commit not to steal anymore.” It seemed like an endless discussion, going around in circles…

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Civil Society, Climate Action

Aren’t world citizens ready for a change ?

This article is written by Thomas Désaunay.

After 20 years of negotiations, one could expect a final rush. But it is still as slow, at the risk of not reaching an agreement on time. But what is the stumbling block? Aren’t world citizens ready for a change ?

The « World Wide Views on climate and energy » (WWV) project assigned themselves with the mission of answering a question that no negotiators seem to ask themselves: what do the citizens of my country want [1] ? What do these people that I represent want ? Those, who, in case of an agreement, will be the first witnesses and actors of the energy and greenhouse gas reductions.  The same people who, in the event of insufficient action, will be the first to suffer climate change impacts.

WWV conducted a broad international study to answer this question. Far more that a simple anonymous survey, a sample of countries representative of all interest groups of UNFCCC negotiations was selected. Inside these countries, representative samples of the population were in turn selected. Before answering, the respondents attended information sessions dealing with climate, energy and international negotiations.

The results of the study were described as « surprising » by the authors.

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Climate Change Consequences, Health

Climate Change: A health catastrophe in Making

This article is written by Neeshad Vs.

The effects of climate change are being felt today and future projections present an unacceptably high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health. The overall health effects of a changing climate are overwhelmingly seen across the globe. Climate change affects social and environmental determinants of health: clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter. Global climate change is thus a significant addition to the spectrum of environmental health hazards faced by humankind. Similarly, the authors of the IPCC assessment of climate change on health emphasis that the health impacts become amplified over time.

In a landmark document recently released, Pope Francis aimed to focus the world’s attention on the matter of how climate change impacts the poor. “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications to environmental, social, economic, and political aspect”, he said.

Contributing to More Extreme-Heat Events

According to NOAA and NASA, this year is on track to supplant last year as the warmest year on record.

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