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Dickinson to Durban » Key COP17 Issues

Roadmap to the Future

By Sam Pollan, ‘14 The expected “Big Deal” coming out of Durban may or may not be the second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol, but the emerging EU roadmap is looking like a more promising result now that we are nearing the end of the conference. The EU roadmap is essentially a document planning binding emissions targets for 2015 through the post-2020 period and here is the best part: the US is actually supportive. According to British Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne, over 120 countries are already supporting this new agreement including several developing and AOSIS countries that have predominantly been pushing towards the second commitment period. Even Jennifer Morgan, who spoke with our group in DC on behalf of the World Resources Institute, is hopeful here in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Key COP17 Issues

The Problem COP17 Isn’t Talking About

By Timothy Damon ’12 Many issues are covered during each COP, including a staggering 70 plus agenda items this time around. Some issues get much more treatment than others, but there is one that is getting no time at all. What could this mysterious topic be, you ask? Ocean Acidification (OA), the “other half of the carbon problem”. I just attended a side event by almost the same name here in the Durban expo center. Its panel provided a refreshing splash of science in what has otherwise been a conference nearly devoid of such a perspective. Unfortunately, the news, though necessary, is alarming. Earlier this semester, I wrote one of my research papers for the Mosaic on OA and its implications for human health and economy. The experts from tonight followed the same … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Key COP17 Issues

Kyoto As A Symbol

Claire Tighe ’13 Anyone with common sense at this conference would agree that signing on to the Kyoto Protocol would not mitigate enough GHG emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change. Even though, as Dr. Pachuari of the IPCC stated during our breakfast yesterday, science and the COP negotiations have become ever disjointed, most parties present here understand that attempting to mitigate, is not enough. So why are different groups, such as CAN, YOUNGO (see their interesting Ode to Kyoto video), and AOSIS holding on so tight to pushing through a second committment period of the Kyoto Protocol (hereafter referred to as KP2)? Because it’s a symbol. To anyone without the financial means to mitigate and adapt to climate change, agreeing to a KP2 means that they are committed to the UNFCCC process. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Environmental Politics, Featured, Key COP17 Issues, Mosaic Action, Student Research

AOSIS Increases Urgency

Claire Tighe ‘13 Just tuned into a press briefing hosted by AOSIS to hear about their progress in the last two weeks. What is the state of their demands for the outcomes of COP17? Have these changed over the last two weeks? What about since the last few COPs? What is left to be done? According to the vicechair of AOSIS, their negotiating positions have not changed much since 2009, as they still use the “Protocol Approach,” which advocates for a second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol (KP). However, since the last two COPs, AOSIS has increased the level of urgency with which they approach the negotiations. They do this by highlighting scientific findings that predict catastrophic climate change, particularly for the most vulnerable (small island states). According to AOSIS, their negotiating … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Environmental Politics, Featured, Key COP17 Issues, Mosaic Action, Student Research