COP21


Fighting for Facts and Family: What Will We Tell Our Kids?

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

They call my name. I walk to the stage and sit at the mic. I feel the eyes of the government decision-makers in front of me and the audience watching below. I start to speak. I’m interrupted by a baby crying. My baby. He’s four weeks old and strapped to my chest. I look down and frantically try to put a pacifier in his mouth. I lose my place in my notes. An awkward pause. The audience hears only my baby crying as I struggle find the words I scribbled down in a notebook earlier. I finally find them, press on to the end of my testimony, and step off the stage. Read more >

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Oil and Gas: What We Know is Concerning, but What We Don’t is Worse

Samantha Rubright, MPH, CPH, , UCS

The U.S. continues to promote and extract domestic oil and gas, even when the market is flooded with this product. Why? Because the collective “we” demands it. Read more >

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Why Climate Finance Matters to Real People

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, , UCS

We humans are used to the climate of the places where we live, regardless of how extreme they may be. I witnessed this first-hand during my time in Churchill with Polar Bears International, just a few weeks before COP21. While we were there to track the bears, I found that locals were waiting just as impatiently for the water to freeze and snow to fall, so they could head out to their cabins and trap lines. For all who live in the Arctic, life begins in the winter. But this winter—as in so many winters, lately – the sea ice was late to come, and both bears and people remained trapped on land well into December. Read more >

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Letter from Paris: Impressions from the Inside

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and Dr. Emily Powell, , UCS

Earlier this week, police and climate demonstrators clashed in front of the memorial to the victims of last month’s terror attack. The influence of these tragic events has been evident throughout COP21. During the first few days, with many world leaders in attendance, military snipers staked out the rooftops and low hills surrounding Le Bourget, the site of the negotiations and meetings. Metal detectors, bag searches, and mounted police abound. There’s no doubt the event is changed: it’s smaller, with higher security, and fewer high profile public events. Read more >

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The Land Sector in INDCs: What We Have and What We Need as Paris Climate Talks Begin

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

As the world’s political leaders come to Paris for the international climate negotiations (COP21), how do things look with respect to the land sector (agriculture and forests), which is responsible for nearly ¼ of global greenhouse gas emissions? Over the past year, the Union of Concerned Scientists has been analyzing how countries included the land sector in their “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs). What are their plans and how could they be made better?

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