Budget

The Carbon Budget

Following the publication of the latest findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some commentators zeroed in on a short paragraph in the Summary for Policymakers. This brief section lays out a “carbon budget,” defined as the precise quantity of carbon dioxide that humans can emit and still limit warming to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.

El Niño

Climate change and El Niño fueled 2015’s record heat

2015 is the second of two back-to-back record hot years, and scientists say the record heat’s primary cause is climate change. During 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all years in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2014 by 0.29°F (0.16°C). This is also the largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken.

Country

Country Climate Pledges

These are the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) that have been officially submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Loss

Loss and Damage

There are limits to adaptation. Some climate impacts are already exceeding the the abilities of affected populations to adapt, causing loss and damage. The question of how to address these losses and damages is a key issue in the international negotiation process.

Commitment

Commitment Cycles and the Ratchet Mechanism

One of the big questions facing the negotiations is whether the agreement arrived at in 2015 should direct climate action for decades to come, and if so, how. This question has become starkly relevant as it is now clear that the recently submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) will only direct global action for 10 years, and will only push global action part of the way towards the 2˚C pathway.

Climate Negotiations

COP 20 Climate Negotiations Wrap: Background and Next Steps

On Sunday, December 14, 2014, UN climate negotiations closed in Lima, Peru with negotiators agreeing to text that will form the basis for a new international agreement expected next year in Paris. The Lima decision sets the foundation for a Paris agreement that can move the world closer to a clean energy pathway that avoids catastrophic impacts of global warming.

Green Climate Fund

Green Climate Fund Surpasses Initial $10 Billion Goal

International climate diplomacy reached an important milestone today, as pledges to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) topped $10 billion. In a reversal of its previous refusal to invest, Australia just announced a pledge of AUD 200 million ($165.9 million), becoming the 26th nation to contribute to the GCF.