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The Fight for 350 at the United Nations

An update from a friend and ally of GOOD from 350.org at the U.N. climate talks in Bangkok.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is a notoriously slow-moving body, riddled in diplomatic bureaucracy. But it's also the dominant form of international negotiation and cooperation on climate change, and the world's best hope for some global progress. All of the so-called "intersessional" meetings between the big hallmark COPs (Copenhagen, Cancun, etc) are pretty overwrought with diplomatic technicalities, but they certainly shouldn't be ignored. There's a long arc of progress in these talks, and it's important that the end goal is the right goal. Jamie Henn, one of the founders of 350.org and a friend, is at the meetings now in Bangkok, and sent along this update that well illustrates the bird's eye view, and what's at stake if those goal posts are shifted. -Ben

As the United Nations climate meetings heat up again this year, our fight for 350 is just getting started. Countries here in Bangkok are setting the negotiating agenda for the year and there are efforts to not just remove mention of 350 ppm from the text, but to seriously limit discussion of how to reach a global goal to save our planet.

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Talking Hands Provide Perfect Summary of the Cancun Climate Talks

This goofy two-minute video by some British kids does a better job explaining the overall arc of the Cancun climate talks than most mainstream media.

Remember those big United Nations climate change talks in Cancun? They came and went without all that much attention or coverage here in the United States, and you'd be forgiven for not knowing exactly what happened. (Though we did devote quite a few posts to the meetings, including some great insider accounts and a big reaction roundup.) The truth is, international negotiations are absurdly confusing—what with the acronyms and "non-papers" and bizarre diplomatic protocol— and practically impenetrable to all but the dedicated few who routinely attend these events and immerse themselves in the UNFCCC.

It's perhaps fitting then that the best overall roundup I've found of the Cancun climate talks comes in the form of a goofy two-minute video of "talking hands" put together by a bunch of youth climate activists.

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Cancun Climate Talks: An Insider's Account So What Happened at the Cancun Climate Talks Anyway? An Insider's Account

Get a look at the inner workings of U.N. climate negotiations from somewhat who sat through all the boring meetings, and the frantic final ones too.

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China's Climate Commitments Maybe Not So Binding?

China's lauded commitment to subject its carbon cuts to the U.N. body might have been overblown.


Yesterday, Andrew wrote about a potentially huge development in the world of international climate negotiations. Reuters was reporting that China "offered to submit its carbon emissions targets to a binding U.N. resolution

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Climate Tours in Google Earth

Who needs Cancun? You can learn more about the climate impacts and solutions sitting at your desk playing with Google Earth.

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Ninety-five percent of the time, the plenaries and contact groups and informal meetings in the UNFCCC process are mind numbingly boring. But occasionally, there's a moment to remember.Such was the case on Saturday morning, as Ian Fry, lead negotiator for the tiny island nation of Tuvalu (remember them?) called out the U.S. Senate and President Obama directly (not common practice) in an emotional plea.

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