Published on Dec 16, 2015
Senator Markey spoke on the Senate floor about the omnibus spending bill and oil exports.
Published on Dec 16, 2015
After two weeks of negotiations, the Paris climate talks that ended on December 12 delivered the foundations of a post-2020 climate regime.
To advance climate change mitigation efforts, the new agreement incorporates national targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2025/2030, a new five-year cycle to establish subsequent targets, a reporting and review placeholder, and official stocktaking two years prior to those submissions to compare global progress against long-term goals.
In Paris, 189 of 195 participating countries pledged action in the form of intended nationally determined contributions, or INDCs. These pledges will be assessed in 2018 to encourage countries, where possible, to increase the level of ambition.
The review mechanism agreed on in Paris is a crucial first step. The new climate regime has also been lauded for its transparency provisions, which will be essential to establishing trust in the review process.
Implementing the pledge review process laid out in Paris will not be easy, but it is necessary to have a chance of ratcheting up efforts over time to meet the agreement’s ultimate goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
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Published on Dec 15, 2015
In what’s been described as a historic turning point, nearly 200 nations agreed in Paris Saturday to a global accord to rein in rising greenhouse gas emissions blamed for warming the planet. The accord was reached at the conclusion of the two-week U.N. climate change conference, known as COP21. Under the deal, nations will make voluntary commitments to begin cutting emissions. In addition, the deal provides billions more dollars to help poor nations cope with the transition to a greener economy powered by renewable energy.
“What we saw in the last two weeks was that every country around the world agreed we have to do much, much more to fight climate change effectively, and to begin to set up a dialogue and mechanism for rich countries to aid the poor countries, and to make room for continuous ambition moving forward,” says Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club and author of “Coming Clean: Breaking America’s Addiction to Oil and Coal.” But climate justice activists disagree on how effective the agreement will be in rolling back the effects of climate change.
“What I see is an agreement with no timetables, no targets, with vague, wild aspirations,” says British journalist and author George Monbiot, columnist with The Guardian and author of the 2006 book, “Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning.” “I see a lot of backslapping, a lot of self-congratulation, and I see very little in terms of the actual substance that is required to avert climate breakdown.”
We speak with both Brune and Monbiot about the agreement.