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Tagged with Copenhagen climate talks

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Wikleak’d

WikiLeaks: U.S. turned the pope into its enforcer on Copenhagen climate talks

He sees you when you're sleeping.Photo: Catholic Church, England and WalesSo the pope isn't running America -- not YET at least -- but WikiLeaks today published a cable indicating he's at least been pulling some strings on our behalf: The Vatican agreed to help the United States in behind-the-scenes lobbying of states to join the Copenhagen Accord on climate change, a US embassy cable published by WikiLeaks showed Thursday. The cable reported a meeting between diplomats at the US embassy to the Holy See and a Vatican official in charge of climate change talks, who "agreed to encourage other countries …

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Blame game

Has Japan killed the Kyoto Protocol? Does it really matter?

CANCUN, Mexico -- The U.N. climate summit here has been consumed this past week over Japan's announcement at one of the opening plenary sessions that they would not renew their emission reduction pledges under the Kyoto Protocol once the first round of required carbon cuts expire in 2012. While no one should celebrate the potential demise of the world's only climate treaty with binding emission cuts, the reasoning of the Japanese leadership on this issue is practically unassailable. What's more, by taking this position, Japan may also help to settle an issue that has been haunting these talks for a …

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So Close, Yet So Far

The path to the U.N. climate summit in Cancun and the chances of success

Representatives from 194 countries gather this week in Cancun, Mexico, for the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC. The meeting will run through Dec. 10 and, predictably, pull an emergency session all-nighter through to Dec. 11 -- though to what end no one knows for certain. This is the body that succeeded in Copenhagen last year in crafting a nonbinding political agreement, the Copenhagen Accord, that could serve as the foundation for creating a new binding climate treaty to either replace or complement the Kyoto Protocol. The …

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Watch like a (climate) hawk

India proposes a system to monitor carbon pollution reductions

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.As nations seek an international agreement to reduce global warming pollution, one of the biggest issues on the table is transparency. When a country says it has reduced emissions, other nations want to know they mean it. Transparency and accountability provisions are an essential building block of an effective international system to address greenhouse gas emissions. Last year at the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen, negotiators made a key breakthrough in the final hours. As a result of this breakthrough, developing countries will report national emissions inventories and emission reduction actions every two years. Making …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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The only change you can count on

Cancun: politics vs. science

There are quite a few numbers tossed around at climate negotiations. Should world leaders agree to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) in the next decade, or 1.5 (2.7 F)? How many gigatons of carbon can the world cut in 10 years? Should they shoot for reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, or can the world deal with 450 parts per million? The numbers can be daunting, and discussions of them can get, well, heated. But they often avoid the reality that we're already on the path to …

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WIKILEAK’D

Leaked cables reveal Saudi minister of petroleum helped craft toothless Copenhagen climate accord

Tasty Hallal burgers aren't the only thing the Saudis are pushing.Photo: Rabun WarnaSo far most of the attention on WikiLeaks' Nov. 28 release of formerly secret U.S. diplomatic cables has been focused on what the cables reveal about Iran's nuclear aspirations. But buried in these cables are tantalizing clues about the back-door negotiations that surrounded last year's Copenhagen climate conference. A year later, many of the same negotiators are now in Cancun, where their motivations are likely to be the same. So what do these cables tell us about what to expect from current and future climate negotiations? 1. Nobody …

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Yes we Cancun

What to expect (or not) from the Cancun climate talks

Photo: Pietro IzzoThe hope -- and hype -- surrounding the climate negotiations in Copenhagen last December was hard to miss. Even though the possibility of securing a new global climate pact was scaled back significantly in the weeks ahead of the summit, the level of engagement was unprecedented. President Obama and more than 60 other heads of state from around the world flew in for the brutal final days of the summit, and in the closing hours a deal of sorts was finally hashed out. But a year later, there's almost no build-up to the sixteenth Conference of the Parties, …

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not the quality of your tan

Defining success for climate negotiations in Cancun

Preparatory negotiations for the Cancun talks were held in Tianjin, China.Photo: UN Climate TalksInternational climate negotiations will continue in Cancun, Mexico, during the first two weeks of December, 2010. These will be the Sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The key challenge is to continue the process of constructing a sound foundation for meaningful, long-term global action, not necessarily some notion of immediate, highly-visible triumph. Some of the gloom-and-doom predictions we've been hearing about these upcoming negotiations are therefore misguided, because they are based upon unreasonable -- and fundamentally …

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What a difference a year makes

Applying the lessons of Copenhagen in Cancun

In preparing for the upcoming climate talks in Cancun less than two weeks away, I can't help but look back at where things were a year ago. One year ago, the world's leaders couldn't stop talking about solving climate change. The media was in a frenzy, tallying up commitments from presidents and prime ministers to attend the Copenhagen negotiations, which would eventually lead toward perhaps the largest-ever gathering of heads of state. With all the attention, expectations were high. Leaders from Obama to Jintao to Chavez to Zenawi to Merkel had committed to reaching an agreement in Copenhagen that would …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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it'll help you lose weight

The other good thing about fighting climate change

Photo: Green Jobs NowThanks to the folks at the Climate Desk for bringing this conversation together, and to Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus for their introduction. So much has been written about the inability of policymakers to produce breakthroughs in Copenhagen and Congress that one might think that the only way to address climate change is to pass massively complex bills and treaties. Of course, there are many pathways to cut carbon, and clean-energy advocates in the U.S. have made real progress even as recent legislative efforts have stalled. Knowing there won't be a climate bill anytime soon doesn't mean …