Paris agreement


Gut Check Time for the Paris Agreement

, director of strategy & policy

Nearly four years after countries adopted the Paris Agreement, it faces the first real test of whether it is fit for purpose: will enough countries step up by the end of next year to increase the ambition of their Paris emissions reduction pledges, as is needed to meet the agreement’s bold temperature increase limitation goals?

The outlook is uncertain–growing public concern about the mounting impacts of climate change and the sharp reductions in the cost of solar, wind and other clean technologies provide political and economic rationales for higher ambition, but President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement and the trade war he has launched with China are creating headwinds against bold action. Read more >

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Photo: House Speaker’s Office/Facebook

Challenging Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

, director of strategy & policy

President Trump’s announcement in June 2017 that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement was both ignorant and irresponsible, placing the interests of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the health and well-being of current and future generations.  The Agreement represents an historic consensus among the nations of the world on the urgent need to respond to the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.

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House Speaker’s Office/Facebook
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The prairie pothole region is home to 50% of North America's waterfowl, but a climate threshold exists where they might not survive a 2°C warming. Photo: USFWS

Half a Degree of Warming Could be the Difference Between Survival and Extinction for Many Species

, Deputy director, Climate & Energy

As a conservationist who has been ringing the alarm bells on climate change threats to biodiversity for more than 25 years, I hardly know where to start in responding to the findings of the newest, and most alarming, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of a 1.5°Celsius global warming.  I’m not surprised that the IPPC delivers more bad news after reviewing more than 6,000 recent scientific reports, but I am surprised by just how bad the news is.

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Credit: USFWS
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Coast Guard Shallow-Water Response Boat Team 3 crew members and members of the North Carolina National Guard assist residents of Old Dock, North Carolina, evacuate after flooding forced them from their homes in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Photo: Chief Petty Officer Stephen Kelly

Seven Things You Should Know About the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report and its Policy Implications

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is soon going to release an important report to help inform global efforts to limit climate change. The special report details the impacts of a global average temperature increase of 1.5°C relative to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pathways to limit temperature increase to that level. Governments of the world have come together this week in Incheon, South Korea to negotiate and agree on the report’s Summary for Policymakers, which is based on the underlying science in the final IPCC report. The summary is expected to be released on Monday morning in South Korea (late on Sunday night here on the US east coast).

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Photo: IISD

Understanding 1.5°C: The IPCC’s Forthcoming Special Report

, senior climate scientist

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – an international body that develops non-policy prescriptive climate science assessments for decisionmakers – is currently compiling a Special Report that will provide information on what it would take to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report will also assess the climate impacts that could be avoided by keeping warming to this level, and the ways we can limit the worst impacts of climate change and adapt to the ones that are unavoidable. Read more >

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