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  • We need a global leader on plastics. Could it be Biden?

    Trump isolated the U.S. from global climate efforts, but Biden can move quickly to collaborate, especially on the plastic problem.

  • Are climate campaigners doing it wrong? I review a book that answers ‘yes’

    What if the problem with international climate negotiations is not this or that recalcitrant country but the very foundation the whole enterprise is built on? What if climate campaigners are fixated on a set of frames and strategies that are doomed to failure? Wouldn’t that suck? Yes. Yes it would suck. Nonetheless, that’s the situation […]

  • 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.

  • Where things stand on the Copenhagen Accord and international climate politics

    After the Copenhagen Accord was “noted” by the UN in December, there was a great deal of insta-analysis. In truth, there was no real way to evaluate the Accord because the meat of it — the emission-reduction commitments from participating countries — was blank. Literally: The deadline for participating countries to submit their commitments was […]

  • 5 common mistakes in the coverage of the Copenhagen Accord

    With the exception of a few hours of shut-eye, I stayed up all Friday night to watch the last hours of the COP15 negotiations. It was absolutely gripping, shocking, heart-wrenching, inspiring and in the end came with some measure of relief. (BTW — for anyone that would like to watch any part of Friday night’s […]

  • Stabilizing Climate: Beyond International Agreements

    Note: the following was written in July 2009, before the Copenhagen climate change conference. From my pre-Copenhagen vantage point, internationally negotiated climate agreements are fast becoming obsolete for two reasons. First, since no government wants to concede too much compared with other governments, the negotiated goals for cutting carbon emissions will almost certainly be minimalist, […]

  • Copenhagen climate summit (part 1): the expectations

    As we are quickly approaching the final stretch before the Copenhagen climate negotiations (just a week to go before it begins), I thought I would try to give a quick summary of where the past 2 years of international negotiations have taken us and where we are headed. As I’ve said before, there are 6 […]

  • Fair, ambitious & binding: Essentials for a successful climate deal

    Working in a coalition of roughly 500 organizations from nearly 80 countries can be tough. With so many different points of view and unique perspectives and expertise, coming to agreement on something as complex as solving climate change can be difficult to say the least. But then again, isn't that what we're asking over 180 countries to do next month in Copenhagen?

  • City preps and countries posture ahead of Copenhagen talks

    As Copenhagen prepares for December, a strange combination of Christmas lights, clean energy expos, evergreen wreaths, and security barriers have begun to crop up around the city. It’s an exciting time to be in Copenhagen reflecting on a year of intense pressure, activity, and engagement around the world. Over the past several months (and years), […]