GOOD

Can One Young Voice Get the Future of Climate Policy Back on Track?

A young American challenges the UN climate assembly, and shows the world that there is a concerned climate constituency here in the U.S.



Between the big flop in Copenhagen last December and the next round of U.N. climate talks in Cancun, there are a bunch of "intersessional" meetings of the UNFCCC (the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), like the ones going on right now in Tianjin, China. These intersessionals are intended to move the ball down the field and, ideally, get the actual text that's being negotiated into some kind of manageable shape to be dealt with in the two crazy weeks at the end of the year. In reality, they usually wind up involving lots of posturing and arguing over procedure. (Last year, the negotiating text actually got longer during the October meetings in Barcelona, the last before the COP15 in Copenhagen.)

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Forward from Copenhagen

The following is an excerpt from a piece by Tom Athanasiou from the Earth Island Journal's Spring 2010 issue. I will say this:...

The following is an excerpt from a piece by Tom Athanasiou from the Earth Island Journal's Spring 2010 issue.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

The U.N. Climate Process: Dead or Alive?

Did Obama kill the UNFCCC with the Copenhagen Accord? Is that a good thing? Flopenhagen...worse than useless...an elaborate sham...a suicide...

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Tiny Tuvalu Makes Waves at COP15

The tiny island nation of Tuvalu, so vulnerable to the threats of climate change, has flexed some new-found muscles here in Copenhagen, and is...

The tiny island nation of Tuvalu, so vulnerable to the threats of climate change, has flexed some new-found muscles here in Copenhagen, and is turning the talks upside down. On Wednesday, after much back and forth and no consensus found on a proposal to set the course for a legally-binding outcome in Copenhagen, the Tuvalu's lead delegate Ian Fry announced that they could not accept the decision, that the stakes were too high for Tuvalu and other vulnerable nations, and asked that the talks be suspended. The air was sucked out of the room.You can read all the wonky details in my post on OnEarth, or you can get the quick skinny from David Ngatae, chairperson of the Cook Islands Climate Action Network: You can follow along blow-by-blow on my Adopt-a-negotiator feed.

Articles

@GOOD Readers Answer: What Would You Say to a World Leader at COP15?

Yesterday on Twitter we asked our followers what they would say to a world leader at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (a.k.a. COP15). We...

Yesterday on Twitter we asked our followers what they would say to a world leader at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (a.k.a. COP15). We collected some of our favorite responses below. We ask a question to our Twitter faithful once a day, so if you're not yet following @GOOD, make sure to sign up and participate in the conversation.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Harder, Wetter, Faster, Stronger: Bad News in Climate Science

So everything we thought we knew from the IPCC's (Nobel Prize winning!) Fourth Assessment Report of climate science? Well, it's all worse. This...

So everything we thought we knew from the IPCC's (Nobel Prize winning!) Fourth Assessment Report of climate science? Well, it's all worse. This week, a group of 26 climatologists (including 14 IPCC members) released The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science "to synthesize the most policy-relevant climate science published since the close-off of material for the last IPCC report." Basically, it tells us all what's been figured out since the last report went to press. The findings are none too encouraging.On basically every front, the most severe, most pessimistic scenarios laid out in the Fourth Assessment Report are being realized, or worse. The 13 inch average sea level rise predicted by the IPCC by 2100 has been upped to 33 inches, which is roughly equal to the one meter upper limit laid out in the 2007 report. (The new upper limit is a map-changing two meters.) The Diagnosis also finds that arctic sea ice melt is 40 percent greater than was predicted just a couple years ago.So what's the takeaway for Copenhagen? The authors write that "if global warming is to be limited to a maximum of 2°C above pre-industrial values, global emissions need to peak between 2015 and 2020 and then decline rapidly." It's worth noting that a 2°C rise still condemns the world to some pretty dire impacts, according to the IPCC itself. So we've got between five and 10 years max to turn this ship around and avoid the very worst fates of climate change.Below are some of the report's key findings:

Surging greenhouse gas emissions: Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels in 2008 were nearly 40 percent higher than those in 1990. Even if global emission rates are stabilized at present-day levels, just 20 more years of emissions would give a 25 percent probability that warming exceeds 2oC. Even with zero emissions after 2030. Every year of delayed action increase the chances of exceeding 2oC warming.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles