The Big Fights at COP23

Written by Thule van den Dam, Aura Silva Martinez, and Rachael Goldberg

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COP23 (Fiji) in Bonn officially started today and we are caught between a rock and a hard place. The Paris Agreement is a watery, empty promise, and a Polish presidency for COP24 is promising to be as dark as the ‘Coal Summit’ that will be hosted at the same time. To hold developed countries accountable to anything, however, this watery, empty promise needs implementation and clarity, never straying from the principles of the convention — common but differentiated responsibility. We need these footholds established this year: we ran out of time long ago.

So, what are the struggles up ahead in the next two weeks and beyond?!

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Land Use at COP22: What Happened and What’s Next?

By Sara Velander, Jenna Farineau, and Elaina Burress. 

After the final text of the Paris Agreement was adopted mid-December 2015, several land-focused organizations analyzed the different ways land use and agriculture are positioned in the agreement, in order to identify the future trajectory of land use in international climate policy. According to Climate Focus, the Agreement made specific references to land use in various articles including Article 5 on forests, and a reference to food production in Article 2. However, these are merely recognizing land use in the agreement and have no binding provisions as of yet. Where land use is likely to have the biggest role is in the accounting of emissions and removals in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), one of the few binding obligations of the Paris Agreement. Read more…

[Earth] member delivers SBSTA Closing Plenary Intervention at COP22

At every COP meeting, constituencies have the opportunity to address opening and closing plenaries through interventions. The closing of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice closed today at COP22, and a member of our COP22 delegation, Jenna Farineau, gave the speech on behalf of the UNFCCC youth constituency (special thanks and shoutout to all the people who worked on the intervention behind the scenes: Laura Berry, Caroline Jeanmaire, Amalie Cordes, and Jenna Farineau).

You can watch her speech here at 1:13:00 and find the transcript below.

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Credits: http://www.zela.org/galleryAlt.html

“If no one can listen to [us] when [we’re] alone, then we must do it collectively”

by Elaina Burress and Jenna Farineau 

“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ―Malala Yousafzai

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The Struggle is Real – What’s at Stake with COP22

by Aneesa Khan

It has been almost an entire year since parties to the UNFCCC gathered in the home of fine fromage and disastrous climate deals. The 31-page Paris Agreement came into existence through its adoption on December 12th, 2015 and its birth was met with thunderous applause and tears of joy from rich countries and the French Presidency of COP21. On the frontlines of climate change and amongst the groups that fought for justice, there were tears as well. Miserable tears for the feeble Agreement that was being hailed as the save-all solution. Wretched tears for the genocide of people and the planet that has just been gavelled through. Indignant tears running down faces that swore to return and make governments keep their almost empty promises.

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