Daily Archives: April 26, 2016

World leaders prepare to sign Paris climate treaty – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Image
By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, New York

  • 22 April 2016

The first significant step to putting the Paris Climate Agreement into practice will take place on Friday.

Nearly 170 countries are expected to formally sign the deal at the UN, setting in motion events that could see the treaty operational within a year.

The UN says the expected record turnout for the signing shows overwhelming global support for tackling rising temperatures.

But some environmentalists have dismissed the event as a “distraction”.

Despite the absence of President Obama, around 60 world leaders are expected here at UN headquarters, including French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Trudeau from Canada.

(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Climate Action 2016


Accelerate ambition and achieve the kind of progress necessary to secure our future

Climate change is the defining issue of our age. The landmark Paris Agreement reached last December commits all countries to holding global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius”. This feat will require economy-wide global and national transformations. A robust, multi-sector response will be a key component of this solution to pivot societies toward a more sustainable future for all – the future we want.

Our understanding of climate change is rapidly evolving—from the world’s biggest problem, to the world’s biggest opportunity. Technological change, citizen mobilization, economic and political competition, and the formation of massive public-private coalitions have all helped turn the climate action risk-reward equation on its head.

But that’s not the end of the story; it’s the beginning. The Paris Agreement recognizes that the new climate regime will create climate solutions markets that are “bottom up” as well as “top down.” The Agreement calls for the active support of business and finance, mayors and governors, academia and civil society, as well as national governments. The new climate regime will create a floor for progress, not a ceiling, and look to coalitions of all these actors to determine how we can accelerate ambition and achieve the kind of progress necessary to secure our future.


The Climate Action 2016 multi-stakeholder summit will take place two weeks after the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement, and eight months after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by all the governments of the world.  In this context, the summit will serve to strengthen the multi-stakeholder approach to climate implementation. In particular, it will deepen and expand the action coalitions of government, business, finance, philanthropy, civil society and academic leaders launched at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit 2014 in New York, and since then developed through the Lima to Paris Action Agenda.

Climate Action 2016 will seek to make this broad-scale organization of climate action both more effective and sustainable, and provide a launching pad for climate implementation in the pre-2020 period.

Over the course of two days, the summit will drive high-level engagement with global luminaries addressing plenary sessions on how to deliver on climate commitments and embed the transformation agenda across the globe in government, key sectors and among the general population. At the same time, the summit will focus on convening working groups for sessions on near-term implementation actions and long-term implementation needs. These will focus on City and Sub-national implementation; Transport; Land-use; Energy; Resilience/Adaptation; and Analysis and Tools to Support Decision Making.


Effective climate implementation will require collaboration from a variety of actors. The Climate Action 2016 summit will engage approximately 700 participants, by invitation, representing leaders from government, business, finance, academia, philanthropy and civil society. Seven organizations have come together to jointly co-host the summit, providing this diverse group with the information, connections and tools they need to lead effective implementation in a new climate regime. The co-hosts are:

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group
Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change; Founding Partner, Compact of Mayors
Dr. Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer, Global Environment Facility
Dr. Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation
Mr. Peter Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, World Business Council on Sustainable Development
Mr. Nigel Topping, Chief Executive Officer, We Mean Business
Dr. Wallace Loh, President, University of Maryland

The co-hosts will be joined by partners from multiple sectors to advance climate action coalitions.

European Investment Bank

Inter-American Development Bank

Sustainable Energy for All

United Nations Foundation

World Resources Institute

The Smithsonian Institution

International Bar Association

People+Planet Project

The Global Brain

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Chernobyl, 30 years on: Has anything been learned?

RT America

Published on Apr 26, 2016

It’s now been 30 years since the horrific Chernobyl nuclear blast in Ukraine, an explosion that immediately killed two and had immeasurable after-effects. RT’s Ilya Petrenko presents a timeline of the events. Then, RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky joins Anya Parampil to discuss his documentary on the city, in which we hear from survivors of the disaster. Later, RT America’s Alex Mihailvich joins to discuss the status of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Extraterrestrial ‘life’ may be entirely different from anything on Earth

RT America

Published on Apr 26, 2016

New planets are discovered every year, only increasing the odds of eventually discovering extraterrestrial life. But such a find could prove difficult unless scientists redefine the meaning of “life,” because what may be called “life” on earth may not be considered so on Mars. RT America’s Brigida Santos explains.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Lee Fang: Dark Money & Lobbyists Serving as Superdelegates Could Decide the 2016 Race

Democracy Now!

Published on Apr 12, 2016

http://democracynow.org – We continue our coverage of Democracy Spring and the influence of dark money in the presidential elections with Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept focusing on the intersection of money and politics. He has revealed that several of the Democrats’ superdelegates now work as lobbyists for banks, oil companies, foreign governments and payday lenders, among other special interests. In a close race, these superdelegates could determine the party’s nominee.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Chernobyl’s haunting impact, 30 years later

PBS NewsHour

Published on Apr 26, 2016

Bells tolled 30 times in Kiev on Tuesday, once for each year since the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Fallout from Chernobyl haunts Europe: It’s estimated that long-term radiation effects will claim at least 9,000 lives. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien offers a closer look at the science of nuclear power and Hari Sreenivasan talks to photographer Michal Huniewicz about the lasting effects.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Gaining Insights, Gaining Access | American Farmland Trust

Most Retiring Farmers in New England Have No One to Take Over the Farm, New Study Shows


Contact: Cris Coffin, Policy Director, Land for Good, 413-695-4653, cris@landforgood.org

NORTHAMPTON, MA, April 25, 2016–Nearly 30 percent of New England’s farmers are likely to exit farming in the next 10+ years, and nine out of ten are farming without a young farmer alongside. This is according to new analysis of U.S. Census of Agriculture data that was part of a study released today by American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Land For Good (LFG). The year-long study— that also included focus groups of older farmers—sheds new light on what will be needed to facilitate the transition of farms and farmland in New England to a next generation of farmers. At no point is a farm’s future more at risk than during this transition.

Ninety-two percent of New England’s 10,369 senior farmers do not have a farm operator under age 45 working with them. While this does not mean that these farmers don’t have a succession plan, it suggests that the future of many of these farms is uncertain.

“It was a real wake-up call to see how few farmers age 65+ have a next generation working on the farm with them,” said Cris Coffin, Policy Director for Land For Good, who directed the study. “The 1.4 million acres these senior farmers manage and $6.45 billion in land and agricultural infrastructure they own will change hands in one way or another, To keep this land and infrastructure in farming as it transitions, we will need better policy tools and increased support services to exiting and entering farmers.” Farmers who participated in the focus groups–most of whom do not know who will succeed them on the farm–generally want to see their land remain in farming, but are concerned about their own retirement and see financing and future economic viability for younger farmers as an obstacle. Farmers identified a need for help to navigate the complex process of choosing the right succession strategy and finding a suitable successor. Many also want technical assistance on specific aspects of farm succession and transfer. Additional information about the study and a profile of findings from each state can be found on the American Farmland Trust and Land For Good websites at www.farmland.org/gaininginsights or www.landforgood.org/gaininginsights. ###

American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since 1980 American Farmland Trust has helped to permanently protect more than five million acres of farm and ranch land. Learn more at www.farmland.org.

Land For Good specializes in farmland access, tenure and transfer—and is on the ground in all New England states. Since 2004, Land For Good has helped hundreds of farmers and farm families find innovative solutions that keep their farms in farming and provide a meaningful legacy. Learn more at www.landforgood.org.