Report from March 12 Working Session

On March the 12th, Citizens’ Climate Lobby hosted its 4th online working session for the Pathway to Paris project. (It was the 6th open working session in the series to date.) After the discussion, participants were given the opportunity to propose further comments and insights through an online form.

​Much of the participants was again reducing carbon emissions through carbon pricing. The group discussed some complex issues relating to the design and implementation of this leading policy priority. This led to important new insights, specifically in relation to the difficulties inherent in changing the economic status quo, despite the already mounting costs of an escalating climate catastrophe. A focus was the need for efficient enabling policies to facilitate a broad shift in energy production practices. 

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United States INDC is a Bold Start, can be Strengthened

The United States released its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) yesterday. The core of the commitment is a reduction of 26% to 28% below 2005 greenhouse gas emissions levels by the year 2025, a rate of emissions cuts that puts the US on track for 80% emissions reductions by 2050, but will likely not be enough to prevent a continued rise in global average temperatures to no more than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. What is crucial is that this plan allows for the adding of more aggressive decarbonization over time, as progress is made, technology develops, investment patterns shift, and as the UN process looks toward setting 1.5ºC as the upper limit for temperature rise.

us-indc-graph.png

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Climate Refugees Flooding into Dhaka

tumblr_inline_mjf88ugG9b1qz4rgp.jpgClimate exile is becoming a reality, on a scale beyond what most people are aware of. In the city of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, millions of climate refugees have already moved in, and they are living in harsh conditions that bring into focus the justice issues inherent in how climate affects the vulnerable and marginalized.

Fast-growing urban areas like Dhaka will bear the brunt of climate change-related disasters, particularly because so many of them are located in coastal zones. Dhaka, on the banks of the Buriganga River in the low-lying Ganges Delta, is prone to flooding during monsoons. As much as 40 per cent of Dhaka’s population — almost seven million — lives in tiny hovels in slums, beside railway tracks, along riverbanks and even on swampy lowlands in the shadow of glittering hotels.

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Report from February 26 Working Session

On February, 26th, 2015, our Pathway to Paris Online Working Session included a worksheet hosted through Google Forms. The objective was to deepen a process of inclusive policy direction, for framing a coordinated list of objectives and priorities for COP21.

The feedback from participants showed a great support to previously discussed top policy priorities:

  • Greenhouse Gases Emissions Reduction,
  • Carbon Pricing,
  • Persistent Direct Citizen Engagement,
  • Climate Finance,
  • Intergenerational equity & Human Rights,
  • Integrity & Preservation of Ecosystems.
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Energetic Democratization

micro-solar.pngOur political systems are not static, but evolving. Democracies loosen and tighten rules, regarding their internal power structure and officially recognized processes for establishing legitimate sovereign rule. Undemocratic states sometimes give way to sudden, monumental unleashings of public engagement. Our energy economy is part of this dynamic, and to understand the future of both energy and democracy, we have to consider what energetic democratization looks like.

The standards are beginning to emerge already: around the world, we see communities organizing themselves into constituencies prepared to push for and defend their rights to manage energy production as they see fit. In the old model for this engagement, electricity-producing cooperatives would come together to negotiate low long-term prices for large volumes of fossil fuels, particularly coal. In the new model, people dependent on such coops are demanding the right to install individual or microgrid solar photovoltaics.

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Switzerland, EU introduce first INDCs

On February 27, Switzerland became the first nation to officially submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, to the UNFCCC. The summary of Switzerland’s national commitment to the global climate solution reads as follows:

Switzerland commits to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, corresponding to an average reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent over the period 2021–2030. By 2025, a reduction of greenhouse gases by 35 percent compared to 1990 levels is anticipated. Carbon credits from international mechanisms will partly be used. The INDC is subject to approval by Parliament. The methodological approaches underlying the Swiss INDC are included in this communication.

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Keystone Veto: You want Jobs? Try this

Keystone Nebraska

In the most contentious veto of his tenure, President Obama has rejected legislation that would have cleared the way for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. For now, at least, completion of the 1,200-mile conduit bearing crude from Alberta’s oil sands remains on hold. What continues, however, is the debate raging around jobs the project was expected to create.

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Report from First Global Working Session

p2p-dish.pngOn February 4, 2015, we held the first Pathway to Paris Online Working Session, open to people all over the world. The event reviewed the structure and work of Citizens' Climate Lobby and the Pathway to Paris project, and explored results from the in-person Working Sessions held in New York and Washington, on January 15 and 28, respectively. The Working Session then turned to discussion of affinities, and comment on ideas and outcomes from 9 distinct issue areas, arising out of previous discussions: Carbon Pricing, Climate Finance, an Institution Outside the UNFCCC, Intergenerational Equity, International Cooperation (to secure a carbon price without leakage), Knowledge/Leverage to Empower Citizens & Consumers, The Public Trust, Redefining Targets to Motivate Action, and Water & Food Resources. 

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Report from Geneva: One Week to Change the World

In Durban, the Conference of the Parties agreed to a country-by-country low-carbon roadmap process. The Ad-hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, the ADP, is the all-party working group, within the UNFCCC process, that is responsible for drafting the language of the forthcoming Paris climate agreement. Like the Conference of the Parties, the ADP is comprised of all nations, so consensus in the ADP is considered at least grounds for consensus at the COP.

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El rubro más serio de la COP ya tiene página web

Feb4-INDC.pngLa Secretaría de la Convención Marco de Cambio Climático anunció este miércoles que ya está disponible la página web para que los países reporten sus planes de acción climática [intended national determined contributions-INDC es la sigla en los términos técnicos de la Convención], es decir sus compromisos de reducción de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero o de aportes financieros a la lucha contra el calentamiento global. Como en otras convenciones, la información estará disponible en orden alfabético por países, pero aún no hay ninguna entrada, como se ve en la captura de pantalla.

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