Climate Change
At COP 25, Young People Had the Force With Them

At COP 25, Young People Had the Force With Them

Resembling fearless and determined Jedi warriors, the young participants at the UN Climate Conference on Wednesday took over the meeting briefly, flooding the COP stage, to deliver a message about the need for the Parties to have a greater sense of urgency in their work to reach consensus on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Why This Matters:  The students are a constant reminder to the leaders here that the future is literally watching them.  The young people have masterfully used a simple and clear set of messages — that the countries here are failing and must be more ambitious, the countries must act with a greater sense of urgency, and the young people will not be ignored.

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Chile Makes Good On Its Promise of an Azul COP

Chile Makes Good On Its Promise of an Azul COP

One of the major ways that this year’s UN Climate meeting is greatly different from previous ones is its recognition of oceans as a major part of the climate problems (with support from the findings of the IPCC’s recent Oceans and Cryosphere report) and also its solutions. Chile’s Foreign Minister, Teodoro Ribera Neumann explained today that Chile elevated ocean issues because they are integral to both climate change and to his country.

Why This Matters:  The UN climate meetings in the past had failed to take oceans into account when looking at how to address climate change and that, frankly, was a major oversight.

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Nature-Based Climate Solutions Like #30×30 Gaining Traction With New COP Leaders

Nature-Based Climate Solutions Like #30×30 Gaining Traction With New COP Leaders

Yesterday was #HumanRightsDay and the importance of access to and conserving nature as a basic human right was emphasized repeatedly at the UN Climate Meeting in Madrid — sustaining biodiversity is increasingly recognized for its benefits to addressing the climate emergency. And as developing countries are stepping up to fill the leadership void at the Climate Meeting, their leaders are looking for multifaceted climate solutions that conserve biodiversity and provide for sustainable use of natural resources.

Why This Matters:  It is just this simple — without biodiversity, life on Earth for humans is not possible.  But if we started by protecting or restoring 30 percent of the planet by 2030 for nature itself, that would provide huge carbon capture as well as biodiversity benefits.  

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U.S. NGOs, Companies and States Moving Forward at UN Meeting, But Feds Are MIA

U.S. NGOs, Companies and States Moving Forward at UN Meeting, But Feds Are MIA

The U.S. government is visibly absent here in Madrid — it does not have a meeting pavilion to showcase the nation’s efforts and to give its government participants a place to convene other governments and stakeholders to show what is happening in the U.S. on climate change.  But the U.S. is still well-represented at the UN Climate Meeting by an army of environmental groups, state and local governments, corporations, and philanthropists.

Why This Matters:  U.S. Stakeholders are putting up a brave front and have not taken their foot off the gas (bad pun) — and, in fact, are working to increase the actionable commitments by U.S. stakeholders.  But being “in” simply is not enough for the U.S., which had led the prior COPs and is the second-largest emitter. 

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A Flood of Coverage of Flooding in the U.S.

A Flood of Coverage of Flooding in the U.S.


In the past week, there has been a deluge of stories in various newspapers about how cities and rural areas are dealing with flooding related to climate change-linked sea-level rise or extreme rain events or both.  Two clear storylines emerge:  some places such as areas in the Florida Keys or even the precious relics of […]

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Let’s Panic About Climate Change Like It’s Y2K

Let’s Panic About Climate Change Like It’s Y2K

by Miro Korenha, co-founder and publisher of Our Daily Planet  I know I’m not the only one, but the thought that 2020 is just three weeks away truly astounds me. The other day as my nostalgia got the best of me, I clicked on an internet article about Y2K and the pandemonium that surrounded the […]

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EU To Pass Europe-Wide Climate Law, But Will Miss Current Emission Reduction Goals

EU To Pass Europe-Wide Climate Law, But Will Miss Current Emission Reduction Goals

In a report published on Wednesday, the European Environment Agency said that Europe’s progress towards cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and boosting the share of renewables in the energy mix is not happening quickly enough and as a result, the EU will miss its goals.  Moreover, the EU can expect to confront heat waves that are more severe than recent record-breaking events every two years from 2050 on, The Telegraph reported.

Why This Matters:  The EU considers itself a climate leader globally and so missing these targets is a big deal.

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At UN Climate Meeting, WMO Sounds Alarm and Urges More Climate Services

At UN Climate Meeting, WMO Sounds Alarm and Urges More Climate Services

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a report saying that 2019 “concludes a decade of exceptional global heat, retreating ice and record sea levels driven by greenhouse gases from human activities.”

Why This Matters:  Piling on to the UN’s Gap report from last week, the WMO’s clear-eyed diagnosis is that the planet is warming much more rapidly than previously thought, and the prognosis is that global average temps will be 3 times higher than the Paris Agreement levels if we remain on the current trajectory of warming. What a chilling forecast.

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Annual UN Climate Meeting Opens With Strong Admonition by the Secretary General

Annual UN Climate Meeting Opens With Strong Admonition by the Secretary General

After another UN Environment Program report last week made clear that the gap between climate action and necessary progress continues to widen, the Secretary-General excoriated the assembled 190 governments’ climate negotiators on Sunday, saying that so far the world’s efforts to stop climate change have been “utterly inadequate” and warned that global warming could soon pass the “point of no return.” 

Why This Matters:  Unfortunately, the three largest emitting countries — the United States, China, and India — have sent only lower-level officials to represent their governments at the UN meeting.

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One Fun Thing: In Frozen 2, Elsa Takes On Climate Change

It’s the climate movie of the year, hands down.  Disney’s Frozen 2 opened last weekend to record numbers at the box office in the U.S. and globally.  Disney’s timing is perfect — we need a global wake up call and a call to action by a compelling voice who will inspire action.  Picking up where […]

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Climate Protesters Disrupting South Bend and THE Game

Climate Protesters Disrupting South Bend and THE Game

Saying he was not doing enough to combat the climate crisis in his home town of South Bend, The Hill reports that the Sunrise Movement staged a sit-in at Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s office on Friday.  And then on Saturday, students at the annual Yale-Harvard football game brought it to a halt for nearly an hour when protesters from both universities (including some of the football players) took the field in protest.

Why This Matters:  The Sunrise Movement’s new pressure on Mayor Pete shows that his move up in the Democratic pack will bring with it some additional scrutiny and criticism because his climate positions are more moderate than some of the other leading candidates.

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The Link Between Climate Change and Biodiversity

The Link Between Climate Change and Biodiversity

Climate change has emerged as a leading cause of biodiversity loss. As Scientific American noted, it will be the fastest-growing cause of species loss in the Americas by midcentury and in Africa it could cause some animals to decline by as much as 50 percent by the end of the century, and up to 90 […]

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