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  • Can the Durban climate negotiations succeed?

    Photo: DG EMPL Cross-posted from An Economic View of the Environment. Two weeks of international climate negotiations begin today in Durban, South Africa. These are the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [PDF]. The key challenge at this point is to maintain the process […]

  • The Struggle Against India's Coal Rush

    As the Sierra Club reaches out to activists, we hear common themes of violence, corruption, intimidation, toxic pollution and economic ruin emerging from coal affected communities worldwide. For example, after seeing pictures of coal affected communities in the United States in a recent workshop, a colleague from India kept uttering “that’s Singrauli.” Whether its thousands […]

  • High, dry, and up against a wall: Why water and food justice are key to ending border conflicts

    Not-so-great wall: Palestinian farmers say the real problem is the way water flows beneath this brutalist structure.Photos: Gary NabhanFor someone who lives within 12 miles of the infamous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, it was an odd feeling to travel along the wall between Palestine and Israel last week just as Osama bin Laden’s death […]

  • A ton of carbon, an imported widget, and thou

    It’s been a long time coming, but a team led by Glen Peters, of the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, has finally published a comprehensive “consumption-side” analysis of global greenhouse-gas emission, one that takes international trade fully into account.   Estimates of “outsourced emissions” or “embodied carbon” have been knocking around […]

  • The Cancun compromise

    The consensus reached at 3:00 a.m. last Saturday to forge the “Cancun Agreements” was a critical step forward in forging an effective global compact to fight global warming. It was the best possible outcome from a meeting that was often teetering on the edge of disaster. Nonetheless, these agreements will not solve the problem, and some of the hardest issues in forging a climate treaty are still waiting to be addressed.

  • Our Orwellian Nightmare: Coal's Low Carbon Pitch

    This week, I’m happy to introduce Justin Guay of the Sierra Club’s International Climate Program, who is in Cancun at the international climate negotiations, and who draws our attention in this post to a little-known problem that could spur coal development around the world: In Cancun all eyes are on climate finance and the role […]

  • 21st century energy superpower: China, energy, and global power

    If you want to know which way the global wind is blowing (or the sun shining or the coal burning), watch China. That's the news for our energy future and for the future of great-power politics on planet Earth. Washington is already watching -- with anxiety.

  • The “people’s climate conference” in Bolivia kicks off with ambitious aims

    TIQUIPAYA, Bolivia — This small town outside Cochabamba, Bolivia — where cows roam freely and campesinos grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers to sell at the local market — is a far cry from Copenhagen.  But it’s the latest gathering place in the ongoing effort to shape an effective global response to climate change.  Here, Bolivian […]

  • Rescuing failing states

    One of the leading challenges facing the international community is how to rescue failing states, those countries most at risk of collapse due to a combination of weak governance, internal violence, and social upheaval. Continuing with business as usual in international assistance programs is not working, as evidenced by the continuing deterioration of places like […]