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.

Bannière CN

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, Youth Empowerment

Youth and the COP negotiations: How can young people challenge climate change?

This article is written by Pierre Manenti.

Youth involvement in the UN decision-making process has a strong and quite long history, back to the 1980s when the UN General Assembly and its Secretary General Kurt Waldheim (1972-1981) asked national governments to include youth delegates in their delegations. Regarding the issue of climate change, young people had early stood up for a sustainable transformation of our societies toward greener and low-carbon models. Indeed, since 1999 and the Bonn COP5, following the reinforcement of the role of civil societies in the international climate negotiations, youth has insured its position as a inevitable interlocutor of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Photo: Nicolas Pinceloup.
Photo: Nicolas Pinceloup.


Yet, young people are not only delivering a unique and monolithic speech but are on the contrary developing different positions regarding their own national and regional interests so it took several years to find a common position.  In 2005, during Montreal COP11, young people from all around the world gathered for the first time to set up preparatory meetings called “Conferences of Youth” (COY) in order to strengthen their participation to the climate negotiations. Four years later, in 2009, during the Copenhagen COP15, the UNFCCC secretariat officially granted a provisional constituency status to the youth non-governmental organizations under the name of YOUNGO. For the first time ever, worldwide youth challenged climate change with one single voice.

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Climate Finance, Climate Politics

Climate finance: why we need a clear roadmap on public finance

This article is written by Clément Bultheel.

When COP 21 takes place in Paris next year, it will need to send a signal to business, investors, governments and the public that the transition to a low carbon, resilient world is inevitable. A key part of the agreement will include climate finance.


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Climate Talks, Road to COP21

Figueres Optimistic Ahead of Paris

This article is written by Elizabeth Buchan.

Last week saw Christiana Figueres, the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Australia to promote the importance of international climate policy this year across multiple sectors. In keeping with her busy schedule she spoke at events hosted by non-governmental organisations, business groups, universities and state governments.

Executive secretary of UNFCCC Christiana Figueres

2015 is a big year for the UNFCCC, with countries due to finalise a new international agreement on climate change action in Paris later this year. The last time countries tried to reach a new climate agreement of comparable significance was in 2009 in Copenhagen. The aftermath of Copenhagen is well known, with these talks being widely criticised as countries failed to produce a new legally binding instrument to address climate change.

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Climate Politics, Road to COP21

Australia’s big polluters betting on climate change?

This article is written by Elizabeth Buchan.

On the road to Cop21

President’s final stocktaking plenary, COP18, Doha, 2012 Deacon MacMillan/Creative Commons.

 2015 is a big year for climate change solutions.

As you know, the international community is set to agree on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change after the year 2020. However, as anyone who has observed the UN negotiations process that guides this agreement knows, it seems to move at a glacial pace (pun intended).

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Climate Talks, Road to COP21

On the #RoadtoCOP21, The Trust We Need!

This article is written by Sabrina Marquant.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opened the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) 2-4 session by reminding countries that “2014 will be the year of ambition”. In less than nine months, States party to the UNFCCC have to deliver at COP 20 in Peru a draft version of the future climate agreement that they will negotiate during the following year. In December 2015, just twelve months later, an agreement will have to be made. To get there, confidence building and trust will be paramount.


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