International

Climate change is a global challenge and requires a global solution. Through analysis and dialogue, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is working with governments and stakeholders to identify practical and effective options for the post-2012 international climate framework. Read more

 

Building Flexibility and Ambition into a 2015 Climate Agreement

Building Flexibility and Ambition into a 2015 Climate Agreement

June 2014

By Daniel Bodansky, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
and
Elliot Diringer, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Download the full report (PDF)

This paper explores options for a hybrid approach in the 2015 agreement, focusing in particular on mitigation efforts, rather than the broader array of issues under consideration in the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP), such as finance, technology, and adaptation. It looks at the rationales for a hybrid approach, ways to design hybridity into an international agreement, and how top-down and bottom-up approaches have figured in the UNFCCC’s evolution. Finally, the paper examines the types of top-down features that could complement nationally determined contributions to promote greater ambition, including a long-term goal as a benchmark for evaluating countries’ efforts, reporting and review procedures to promote transparency and accountability, and provisions for updating or initiating the next round of commitments. In so doing, it also considers cross-cutting issues such as timing, the overall structure of the agreement, the differentiation of countries’ obligations, and ways to make the 2015 agreement dynamic and, in turn, durable.

 

Daniel Bodansky
Elliot Diringer
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Climate change poses national security risks at home and abroad

More than a dozen military leaders say the impacts of climate change threaten military readiness and response and will increase instability and conflict around the globe.

Their assessments are included in a recent report, National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change, by the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board. The report’s authors – including 16 retired generals and admirals from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps – conclude that climate change impacts will act as threat multipliers and catalysts. Projected warming, changes in precipitation, sea level rise, and extreme weather events will pose risks to security within the U.S. and abroad.

At home, some of the threats are here and now. Many of the nation’s military installations are in coastal areas vulnerable to rising sea levels and storm surges. For example, the low-lying Hampton Roads area of Virginia is home to 29 military facilities. Sea level in the area is projected to rise 1.5 feet over the next 20-50 years and as much as 7.5 feet by the end of the century. One advisory board member, Brig. Gen. Gerald Galloway, stressed that “unless these threats are identified and addressed, they have the potential to disrupt day-to-day military operations, limit our ability to use our training areas and ranges, and put our installations at risk in the face of extreme weather events.”

Figure 1: Sea level rise projections for the Hampton Roads region, which is home to 29 different military facilities. Source: CNA, 2014

The Green Climate Fund gets ready for business

The Green Climate Fund could start accepting pledges to aid developing countries as early as September, in time for U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon’s climate leaders summit in New York.

At a meeting last month in Songdo, South Korea, the fund’s board resolved a number of key organizational issues, clearing the way for the fund to start its mission as a channel for finance from developed to developing nations for climate mitigation and adaptation.

Finance for developing countries is a perennial issue in international climate negotiations. Many are hoping developed countries will come forward with new financial pledges at the September summit to help build momentum for a new global climate agreement in 2015. Many developed countries had said they would not make pledges until the fund’s organizational issues were resolved.

The Green Climate Fund will be a principal channel for delivering the $100 billion a year that developed countries agreed in Copenhagen to mobilize by 2020. The board, which is made up of representatives from 24 countries, has been meeting since August 2012 to determine how the fund would be organized and would operate.

Bounded Flexibility: Designing a "Hybrid" Climate Agreement

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C2ES event in BonnBOUNDED FLEXIBILITY:DESIGNING A “HYBRID” CLIMATE AGREEMENT3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.Ministry of Environment, Room SOLAR

BOUNDED FLEXIBILITY:
DESIGNING A “HYBRID” CLIMATE AGREEMENT

CENTER FOR CLIMATE AND ENERGY SOLUTIONS (C2ES)

INSTITUT DU DÉVELOPPEMENT DURABLE ET DES RELATIONS INTERNATIONALES (IDDRI)

Wednesday, June 11, 15:00 – 16:30
Ministry of Environment, Room SOLAR

An emerging paradigm for a 2015 agreement is a “hybrid” model blending top-down and bottom-up elements. Presentations and discussion will explore ways such an approach can provide the flexibility needed to achieve broad participation while also promoting strong ambition.

PRESENTERS:

DAN BODANSKY
Professor, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, Arizona University
(Presentation)

THOMAS SPENCER
Program Director for Energy and Climate, IDDRI
(Presentation)

ZOU JI
Deputy Director, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Co-operation (NCSC), China

MODERATOR:

ELLIOT DIRINGER
Executive Vice President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Toward a 2015 Climate Agreement

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Text: 
Nations are working toward a new global climate change agreement, to be reached in late 2015 in Paris. C2ES examines key issues in the negotiations, which offer a critical opportunity to craft a broad, balanced and durable agreement strengthening the international climate effort. (Photo courtesy of UNFCCC, via Flickr, trimmed to fit this space).
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International Negotiations: Toward a 2015 Climate Agreement

Delegates at the United Nations Famework Convention on Climate Change Bonn Climate Change Conference in March 2014. Image courtesy of the UNFCCC, via Flickr.

Nations are working toward a new global climate change agreement, to be reached in late 2015 in Paris.  These international negotiations offer governments a critical opportunity to craft a broad, balanced and durable agreement strengthening the international climate effort.

The talks are taking place under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty adopted in 1992 that includes virtually every nation on earth.  They will conclude at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris.

Launched in 2011 as the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, the negotiations are aiming for an agreement that has “legal force,” is “applicable to all,” and applies from 2020.  (See C2ES’s summary of COP 17 in Durban, South Africa.)  A decision at COP 19 in Warsaw urges countries to offer their “intended nationally determined contributions” to the new agreement well ahead of the Paris conference – for “those ready to do so,” by the first quarter of 2015. (See C2ES’s summary of COP 19.)

A new model international climate governance is emerging in the Durban Platform talks – one trying to blend “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches to achieve both broad participation and stronger action. C2ES’s Elliot Diringer explores the new hybrid approach taking shape, and prospects for Paris, in a recent article in Nature.

C2ES Resources:

These reports and policy briefs provide background on the Durban Platform talks and examine key issues:

The following provides a guide to governments’ negotiating positions:

Toward 2015: An International Climate Dialogue

C2ES is convening an informal dialogue among senior policymakers from more than 20 countries exploring options for a 2015 agreement. The dialogue is co-chaired by Valli Moosa, former environment minister for South Africa, and Harald Dovland of Norway, former co-chair of the Durban Platform talks.  (See the dialogue overview and participants.)

Other C2ES Resources:

Key Country Policies

Market-Based Climate Mitigation Policies in Emerging Economies

COP Summaries

Post-2012 International Climate Policy

Blog Posts:

How the UN Climate Summit in New York can build momentum toward a global agreement

A Crucial Meeting for the Green Climate Fund

Support for a Spectrum of Commitments to a 2015 Climate Agreement

Carbon trading in China: short-term experience, long-term wisdom

The Warsaw outcome: A hint of what’s to come

Efforts to limit aviation emissions advance at ICAO

UN climate talks: Fresh start or stuck in the past?

 

 

 

 

Toward 2015: An International Climate Dialogue

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is convening an informal dialogue among officials from more than 20 countries on options for a new global climate agreement.

The Toward 2015 dialogue provides an informal opportunity for participants to examine issues related to the ongoing Durban Platform negotiations. The goal of the Durban Platform talks is a new agreement under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in late 2015 in Paris.

Report of the Co-Chairs

October 2014

Participants, who take part in their personal capacities, are meeting five times in 2014 and will continue meeting in 2015. The dialogue’s aim is an open exchange of ideas and views contributing to deeper common understandings both among the participants and within the broader climate community.

The dialogue co-chairs have released a report drawing on discussions held in the first four sessions from March to September 2014.

Toward 2015 is made possible with financial support from the governments of Australia, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

CO-CHAIRS

The dialogue is co-chaired by Valli Moosa of South Africa and Harald Dovland of Norway.

Mr. Moosa served as South Africa’s Minister for Environment from 1999 to 2004.  As a leader of the African National Congress, he supported President Mandela in negotiating the transition from apartheid to democracy.  He has served as President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Chairman of Eskom, and Chairman of the UNFCCC High Level Panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue.  He is chairman of WWF (South Africa) and a Director of Lereko Investments, Sun International, Anglo Platinum, Sanlam and Imperial Holdings.

Mr. Dovland has served as Co-Chair of the UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol, and Chairman of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice.  A former head of the Norwegian delegation to the UNFCCC, Mr. Dovland retired from the Ministry for the Environment in 2011, and is currently Climate Policy Director for the consulting firm Carbon Limits.

PARTICIPANTS
(Participating in personal capacities. Title and affiliation included for informational purposes only).

Justin Lee
Ambassador for Climate Change
Sustainability and Climate Change Branch, Multilateral Policy Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Australia

Raphael Azeredo
Director, Department for the Environment and Special Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Brazil
 
Isabel Cavelier
Team Leader, Support Unit
Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC)
 
Gao Feng
Special Representative for Climate Change Negotiations
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
China
 
Jake Werksman
Principal Adviser
DG Climate Action
European Commission
 
Laurence Tubiana
Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
France
 
Pa Ousman Jarju
Minister
MInistry of Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources, Parks and Wildlife
The Gambia
 
Karsten Sach
Deputy Director General
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Germany
 
Leon Charles
Lead Climate Change Negotiator
Grenada
 
Hideaki Mizukoshi
Deputy Director General for Global Issues
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Japan
 
Alejandro Rivera Becerra
Director for Environmental Governance
Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores
Mexico
 
Jo Tyndall
Climate Change Ambassador
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
New Zealand
 
Aslak Brun
Chief Climate Negotiator
Ministry of Climate and Environment
Norway
 
Rómulo Acurio
Director de Medio Ambiente
Ministerio des Relaciones Externales
Peru
 
Oleg Shamanov
Head of Division
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Russian Federation
 
Khalid Abuleif
Sustainability Advisor to the Minister, Chief Negotiator for Climate Agreements,
Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
Saudi Arabia
 
Fook Seng Kwok
Ambassador, Chief Negotiator for Climate Change
Climate Change Office
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Singapore
 
Alf Wills
Deputy Director-General
Department of Environmental Affairs
South Africa
 
Franz Perrez
Ambassador
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications
Switzerland

Pete Betts
Director, International Climate Change
Department of Energy and Climate Change
United Kingdom
 
Trigg Talley
Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change
Department of State
United States
 
Claudia Salerno
Viceminister for North America
Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs
Venezuela
 

Additional C2ES resources on the international climate talks

Alongside the UNFCCC: Complementary Venues for Climate Action

Alongside the UNFCCC: Complementary Venues for Climate Action

May 2014

By Harro van Asselt, Stockholm Environment Institute

Download the full brief (PDF)

Climate change is a multi-faceted challenge that is intrinsically connected to a broad range of other issue
areas, and it must be addressed on multiple fronts. In considering the global response to climate change
post-2020, it is important to consider not only the central role of the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but also the potential roles of other international regimes and initiatives,
and links among them. This paper provides a brief overview of relevant non-UNFCCC venues and
suggests some broad issues for policymakers.

 

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Evolution of the International Climate Effort

 

Evolution of the International Climate Effort

May 2014

By Daniel Bodansky and Elliot Diringer

Download the full brief (PDF)

The international community is in the midst of shaping the next stage of the global climate effort—working
both within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and through the
broader “regime complex” that has grown alongside it. Within the UNFCCC, countries are working toward
a new global climate agreement in 2015. This brief looks at different ways the climate effort has evolved
over the years, and potential implications for the current round of international climate negotiations.

 

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Issues for a 2015 Climate Agreement

Issues for a 2015 Climate Agreement

May 2014

By Daniel Bodansky and Elliot Diringer

Download the full brief (PDF)

In 2011, parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opened a new round of
negotiations aimed at delivering a global climate agreement in late 2015 in Paris. The decision launching
the Durban Platform talks spelled out some broad parameters: the new agreement is to have “legal force,”
be “applicable to all Parties,” and take effect from 2020. This brief outlines a wide range of issues before
the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) regarding both the design of a 2015 climate
agreement and the process for negotiating it.

 

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