Earlier this year, 14 energy academics, analysts and advocates gathered with hopes of reinventing the way the international community treats climate policy. The result, The Hartwell Paper: A new direction for climate policy after the crash of 2009, aims to examine “all aspects of the crisis which enveloped global climate policy” last December during the [...]
This week, China and India agreed to add their names to the list of countries officially “supporting” the Copenhagen Accord. Athough both countries had previously submitted emission reduction commitments to be included in the Accord, agreeing to be listed is a gesture of official endorsement. In their letters to the Secretariat both India and China [...]
Nearly 100 people including several UN ambassadors, corporate executives, foundation leaders and key representatives from NGOs and academia gathered at Columbia University to attend a brainstorm session on a way forward after December’s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Led by Earth Institute Director Jeff Sachs, the agenda covered topics including improvements to the United Nations [...]
A lot of hopes have been placed on the Fifteenth Conference of Parties (COP-15) which began earlier this week in Copenhagen. Convened on December 7, the conference has been considered by many our best hope at keeping global temperature from rising to what many researchers consider potentially dangerous levels. The gathering of delegates from throughout [...]
With the Copenhagen climate talks kicking off today, I thought it was worth highlighting the close connection between water and climate, particularly as it pertains to energy use. While goodness knows the delegates in Copenhagen will have enough to do to hammer out even a “framework” agreement, I hope some attention will be paid to the close [...]
We can only marvel at the disarray. Here we are, 17 years after the signing of the UN framework convention on climate change, two years after the decision in Bali to agree a new climate policy, one year after Barack Obama’s election, and days out from the Copenhagen conference. Yet a real global strategy to avoid catastrophe remains elusive.
Yes, there is some progress. The Obama [...]
Two broad pieces must be part of any world climate agreement. The one you hear the most about so far is mitigation: cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. The other–perhaps more pressing–is adaptation: measures we must take to adjust agriculture, infrastructure and economies to changes already happening.
We do not have to look to the distant future to be [...]
By Clare Oh
Stephen Zebiak, director general of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), is in the business of helping societies adapt to changing climate: adjusting farming methods and crops, tackling climate-sensitive diseases such as malaria, and protecting low-lying areas from sea-level rise. Clare Oh of the Columbia University Record talked with Zebiak [...]
By Cynthia Rosenzweig
At the Copenhagen climate summit, nations must answer a call for action—but local governments may help show the way. Climate change is no longer predicted; it has arrived. A plethora of studies shows that global changes in physical and biological systems are being caused by human-induced warming. Building on the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report [...]
As the nations of the world prepare to meet in Denmark, there is some well publicized noise being emitted to lower expectations for a climate treaty. The United States and China—the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, with over 40% of the world’s pollutant load–appear to be at the center of this effort at political agenda setting. They are trying to lower expectations so that any progress at all can be presented as a [...]