I used to write regularly about politics here on the Shift. Its importance for tackling climate change is pretty obvious: a problem that transcends national borders asks for a political and diplomatic solution. Yet, together with my audience, I got discouraged by the fact that the positive progress that has been made on that front always seems to be ‘too little, too late’. I chose to focus my articles on entrepreneurs and scientists paving the way for solving the climate crisis. From the response I got from you, my dear readers, it seems you like that approach.
Climate change is a systemic and structural problem. Individual actions are important, but not enough. We need governmental action to solve the climate crisis.
2017: Devastating fires in Portugal, Hurricane Maria kicking Puerto Rico KO, record temperatures in Sydney, an iceberg as big as Delaware braking of the Antarctic Larsen-C ice-shelf, a wildfire season spanning 6 months in California, accelerated melting of Greenland’s glaciers, streets turned into rivers in… I could go on and on. As bloggers and journalists on climate change we used to write in the future tense to describe a warmer world. That has changed.
I have the feeling the last year gave us a look into the future. As you might know, it is difficult to prove the relationship between one particular extreme weather event and the rise of average global temperatures. Yet, we do know as a fact that the intensity and frequency of weather events like those scourging the planet the previous 12 months will increase. What do I say, are increasing. You see, I haven’t got used to the change of tenses myself yet.
It’s again that time of the year when more than twenty thousand people ranging from singing activists to world leaders come together in one place on Earth: the yearly climate change summit, better known as ‘the COP’. Two years after the historical Paris Agreement was reached during COP21, you might wonder what negotiators have to talk about now that a global deal is reached. A lot, as it turns out. As policy issues are sometimes easier to explain face to face than in a dull article, I recorded a small video for you. Enjoy!
President-elect Donald Trump, probably the most discussed man of 2016, is about to move into the oval office on the 20th of January. From his alleged links with Russia, derogatory statements about women and plans to build a wall on the US-Mexican border, Trump has proven to feel no remorse about spreading wrong information. How will Trump’s Administration deal with climate change? Based on his statement that “climate change is hoax invented by the Chinese”, one might expect the worse. Let’s have a closer look.
In the early morning of last Saturday, negotiations at COP22 in Marrakech came to an end. If it’s unclear to you what exactly came out of this year’s UNFCCC climate conference –or worse, you were unaware that one was happening– you have come to the right place. In this article I summarize what happened, and what didn’t. So without further ado, let’s dive into it.
If you would ask me if I am enthusiastic about the proceedings of COP22, my spontaneous reaction would probably be ‘meh’. It has to be said: it was supposed to become the COP of action, where the actual implementation of the applauded Paris Agreement would take shape. Indeed, the conference started with very good vibes (more…)
It is November, and that means it is time for the yearly Climate Conference known as the COP. Short for Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (in itself abbreviated to UNFCCC). I guess the person who came up with this name hated journalists. Anyway, Monday the 22nd COP kicked-off in Marrakech, Morocco. We start this year’s edition with positive vibes since the Paris Agreement entered force only last Friday. Where it took eight years to for the Kyoto protocol to be activated, the legacy of COP21 kicks into action less than one year after its conceiving. One couldn’t wish for a better start. Which doesn’t mean this year’s climate summit is going to be a walk in the park.
Our work is far from done. This is a new phase for the international climate process. Early entry into force of the Paris Agreement is a clear cause for celebration, but it is also a timely reminder of the high expectations that are now placed upon us all. – Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change