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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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.

Bannière CN

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.

ElNino

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 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 co-facilitator : a crucial, yet often forgotten, actor in the negotiation process

This article is written by Clément Métivier.

Imagine being in a room with 196 of your peers. Your goal? Deciding on what will be on the table for dinner. Your mission? Make everyone agree on what dish to cook, when to serve it, at what temperature, and whether everyone should eat that dish or not. This would be quite a challenge for you, right?

Well, this is pretty much what is happening during international climate negotiations. This year, the 196 Parties (195 States and the European Union) that are belonging to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have to negotiate on a new climate regime, which has to be completed by the end of 2015 at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), and will then come into effect after 2020.

Consensus, a very tricky process

Climate negotiations are based on a consensus principle. In order to take decisions, Parties must all agree with each other. Since there are 196 of them, reaching consensus is therefore a very tricky process, especially because the issues addressed are way more important than a dinner. Indeed, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the negative impacts of climate change are two daunting tasks, with huge social, political and economic consequences, which require all countries to rethink their development pathways and redefine their energy system, among other things.

At that point, putting 196 actors around a table and aiming at reaching consensus does not seem like a good plan. However, taking a closer look at the climate negotiations may introduce a more optimistic perspective. Indeed, all Parties are not usually present during the facilitated groups, when all the topics related to the future agreement are discussed in detail (for example, mitigation, adaptation, technology, transparency, or finance). Within those facilitated groups (also called contact groups), around 50 delegations are usually present, which makes dialogue a little bit easier than with almost 200 countries. In addition, the existence of alliances among countries leads to situations where one country speaks on behalf on its group, and express a common position, thus making the negotiation process smoother.

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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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