By Emma Bouton
During the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) last month, the former President of Kiribati, HE Anote Tong, called into question traditional understandings of the 1.5 degree target. This highly-contested objective states that Parties to the Paris Agreement aim to “hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.” The goal has particular significance for former President Tong and the people of Kiribati given that their nation lies an average of two metres above sea level, making it one of the most vulnerable place on earth to climate change.
By Timmons Roberts
A year ago, the hallways at the United Nations climate change negotiations in Marrakesh, Morocco, were hushed as thousands of delegates from around the world processed the news of Donald Trump’s election. There was dismay, but also much uncertainty about the direction the new president would take the 27-year effort to combat climate change. Now, the end of this year’s negotiations in Bonn, Germany, have offered a moment of reflection on where the U.S. stands on climate change under Trump
By Mara Dolan, Logan Dreher, Angelica Arellano, and Timmons Roberts
Yesterday’s elections in the US suggest that voters across the country are beginning to reject Trumpist candidates and policies, a sentiment that may grant Democrats wins in next year’s elections.
The stakes are high since Democrats are hoping to regain control of Congress and perhaps bring climate action back into the agenda. Yesterday’s elections provide some hope for the rest of the world, gathered in Bonn, Germany for UN negotiations on climate change.
Brandon Wu, director of policies and campaigns at ActionAid USA, said: “Yesterday’s elections were only the beginning of a rejection of the Trump administration’s destructive, hateful, racist, corrupt policies and positions. That’s hugely encouraging for many reasons, including the Trump approach to the climate crisis.”
Brown’s Climate and Development Lab is revving up for the UN climate change negotiations or COP23 in Bonn under the Fiji presidency following a busy couple of months of preparations.
Two squads of CDL researchers will attend the two weeks of the negotiations, where we will be working closely with some of our partners from around the world. Here’s a look at what we will be up to:
Working with our partners:
During the COP, CDL researchers will working with a variety of individuals and groups including:
Events at COP23:
The CDL is hosting an event at the German Development Institute Interconnections Zone in Bula on Saturday, November 11th from 9:00 - 11:00 called, “Transparency, Governance, and Accountability and Governance in Climate Adaptation – Perspectives from the Developing World”. We are co-hosting this event with AdaptationWatch, the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). A second overlapping event will be held that afternoon in the WWF Pavillion, also featuring CDL work through the AdaptationWatch consortium.
The CDL’s director Professor Timmons Roberts will be on the panel for a side event at COP23 in Bonn titled, “LUCCC, A LDCs initiative to build long-term climate capacity and implement Article 11 of the Paris?” on Thursday, November 16th from 11:30 to 13:00. The panel will discuss the context, vision, and function and the role of universities outlined in LDCs University Consortium on Climate Capacity (LUCCC) under Article 11 of the Paris Agreement.
The lab is co-sponsor of and participant in Capacity Building Day, 16 November, at GIZ GmbH, Heinrich-von-Stephan-Strabe 9, 53175 Bonn. Our partners include the UN Development Programme, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (Bangladesh), University of Colorado-Boulder, Oregon State University, and the United Nations University.
Preparing for Bonn:
In preparation for COP23, lots of exciting work has been underway. Our latest book, the Paris Framework for Climate Change Capacity Building: Time for a Fresh Approach, is being prepared for publication with Routledge.
Other recent publications include the major annual policy report from Adaptation Watch on the implementation process of adaptation governance under Paris.
The CDL works with partners from GFLAC, PACJA, Adaptify (Netherlands), Both ENDS (Netherlands), ENDA Tiers Monde (Senegal), Grupo de Financiamiento Climático para América Latina y el Caribe (Mexico), International Centre for Climate Change and Development (Bangladesh), Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (Nepal & USA), Nur University (Bolivia), Oxford Climate Policy (UK), Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (Kenya), Stockholm Environment Institute (Sweden), Transparency International (Germany), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Centre d'Etudes du Développement durable (Belgium), and University of Colorado-Boulder's Environmental Studies Program (USA)
Find more on http://www.adaptationwatch.org/.
A series of policy briefings have been released weekly from the AdaptationWatch network. This work was coordinated by Danielle Falzon of Brown’s CDL and Kevin Adams of the Stockholm Environmental Institute and can be found at http://www.adaptationwatch.org/#our-publications.
Researchers in our lab are are contributing to a myriad of projects ranging from supporting energy sovereignty for tribal nations through grant writing to contributing editorial content to ClimateChangeNews.org.
Further, we have researchers working with the US Climate Action Network on a climate finance brief for congressional staffers, and others researching financial flows to climate action and denial organizations. Several other projects are also in the works.
Follow us on Twitter here during the COP:
By Guy Edwards and Kenneth Frankel
This week Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and the U.S. will join other G20 countries for the leaders’ summit in Germany, where climate change will be one of the top issues. Following President Trump’s announcement to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, there is pressure on Canada to work more closely with Brazil, Mexico and Argentina to fill the leadership vacuum in the Western Hemisphere.
By Guy Edwards and Isabel Cavelier
Now is the time for Latin America to step up when the current U.S. administration of President Donald J. Trump threatens the region’s interests. There’s already a lot at stake with trade and immigration. A passive or conciliatory approach on these issues and others risks undermining Latin American countries’ interests and sabotaging progress on global challenges on everything from environment to prosperity and security.
By Guy Edwards
It is June 2016, and things seem to be looking up for Argentine President Mauricio Macri. Argentina has just been approved to fill the G20 presidency in 2018. The US presidential race is heating up, but it seems all but certain that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination and sail to victory in November. Macri is feeling optimistic about advancing his international agenda with a like-minded ally.
By Timmons Roberts
While I am far from being a supporter of President Donald Trump, I thought I would like to give a nod to the White House in this post, since they’ve declared this “Energy Week,” with a focus on local and state energy issues. And, with the summer driving season now rolling, what could be more apt than sharing a story about an energy-efficient American car driven by ecologically-minded Americans?
Recently, my wife and I took the leap and leased a Chevy Bolt, a fully-electric car with no gas motor. It’s not a hybrid, but it does go over 240 miles on a charge. What have we learned?
William A. Galston, Samantha Gross, Mark Muro, Timmons Roberts, Rahul Tongia, David Victor, and Philip A. Wallach
This post was originally published shortly before President Trump's announcement on the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, anticipating that outcome. It has since been updated to reflect the decision.
Today, President Donald Trump announced that he will withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. It was adopted in 2015 by 195 nations, with 147 ratifying it—including the United States, which is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter. Experts offer their analyses on what the decision could mean and what comes next.
William Galston: President Trump’s advisers may have suggested that withdrawing from the Paris climate accord would be a popular move. This is what they told him about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and he seems to have believed it. This could become yet another self-inflicted wound, because vast majorities of Americans want to remain in the Paris accord, including many of Trump’s own supporters.
In a survey of registered voters taken just weeks after the 2016 election, 69 percent said that the United States should participate in the agreement. This figure included 86 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of Independents, and 51 percent of Republicans. By a margin of 40 to 34 percent, even a plurality of self-described conservative Republicans backed the agreement.
The administration has argued that the Paris Agreement is “unfair” because large polluting countries such as India and China are not required to do anything until 2030. The voters don’t buy this argument. Two-thirds of them—79 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of Independents, and 51 percent of Republicans—say that the United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do.
This piece is excerpted from a longer blog post, read more: Paris Agreement enjoys more support than Donald Trump
By Timmons Roberts
The waiting is over: President Donald Trump is apparently pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The vibe at the recent G-7 summit and media speculation over Memorial Day did not bode well. Trump was sharply estranged from U.S. allies in Europe and privately told some insiders that he was planning to pull out of the United Nations climate change accord signed last November in Paris. On climate change, the G-7 declaration was really a G-6 plus G-1: part of paragraph 32 in the communique was dedicated to the U.S. position on climate change, which was at that point still evolving. This was a strong signal: if Trump was going to rededicate the country to the agreement, then he certainly would have done so while across the Atlantic, to soften some of the tensions on display during their meetings.
CDL in the News
28 Dec 2018 - Edwards in the NYT on electric vehicles in Latin America
24 Dec 2018 - The Public's Radio RI interviews Roberts on how the fossil fuel industry outspends environmental groups on campaign contributions & lobbying
19 Dec 2018 - EcoRI News: New Report Claims RI Climate Council Falling Behind Targets
17 Dec 2018 - 'We must move beyond business as usual,' says new report on Rhode Island's inadequate climate plan.
12 Dec 2018 - Isabel Cavelier, Guy Edwards and Lina Puerto “COP25 en 2019: reto y oportunidad para elevar la ambición climática en América Latina” El Espectador
4 Dec 2018 - Whitehouse, Ciciline meet with climate lab
28 Nov 2018 - Edwards quoted in New York Times story on Brazil backing out of hosting UN summit on climate change
11 Oct 2018 - Brookings Institute Climate reality requires starting at home: Weaning from fossil fuels
23 Sep 2018 - Edwards quoted in Financial Times on Argentina energy future
13 Jul 2018 - Europe and Latin America can blaze a trail on implementing the Paris Agreement
1 Jun 2018 - Brookings Institute One year since Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement
21 May 2018 - Edwards article in World Politics Review: Is the G-20 Heading for a Showdown With Trump on Climate Change?
11 May 2018 - Edwards Op-Ed in Washington Post
22 Jan 2018 - Roberts Op-Ed The climate solution no-one in Davos will be talking about
15 Dec 2017 - Edwards' article on how Regional and domestic politics could sabotage Brazil's bid to host UN climate change talks in 2019
8 Nov 2017 - Roberts quoted in Reuters story on financing loss and damage
9 Oct 2017 - EcoRI article describes Roberts' testimony against the natural gas power plant proposed for construction in Burrillville, Rhode Island
17 Sep 2017 - BBC Radio 5 featured a live interview with Roberts about Trump's conditions for staying in Paris
4 Sep 2017 - Roberts comments on the use of his work in a report by Rhode Island Department of Health on the proposed power plant in Burrillville, Rhode Island
17 Jul 2017 - Roberts mentioned in NPR's story on the US having a say in UN climate spending
15 Jul 2017 - Roberts calls for solid climate policies in RI
5 Jul 2017 - Roberts demands swifter action on CO2 release
5 Jul 2017 - Roberts demands RI Governor Raimondo to take climate action
30 Jun 2017 - Roberts gives advice on owning and using electric cars
23 Jun 2017 - Roberts comments on how voters are persuaded by the terms 'climate change' and 'global warming'
20 Jun 2017 - Roberts' involvement in local climate group is helping to fight fossil fuel development
3 Jun 2017 - WPRO Radio's Steve Klamkin interviews Roberts on the Paris Agreement
2 Jun 2017 - Roberts comments on US involvement in the Green Climate Fund
2 Jun 2017 - BBC Radio 5's Faye Rusco interviews Roberts on Trump's withdrawal from Paris
2 Jun 2017 - Roberts discusses the role of mayors and private sector companies post US pull-out of Paris
1 Jun 2017 - Roberts gives more details about the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement
1 Jun 2017 - Roberts organizes emergency protest in RI
1 Jun 2017 - Roberts comments on the implications of US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement
1 Jun 20117 - Roberts share his views on the US exit from the Paris Accord
31 May 2017 - Roberts cited on the far-reaching implications of US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement
31 May 2017 - RI left vulnerable if US pulls out of Paris Accord, says Roberts
24 May 2017 - Roberts chimes in on Trump's proposed EPA budget
30 Apr 2017 - Roberts helps to 'fact check' Trump's first 100 days in office
25 Apr 2017 - Roberts lobbies for people's march in RI to mark Trump's first 100 days in office
23 Apr 2017 - Roberts cautions against threats to science at march for science in Rhode Island
7 Apr 2017 - White House Chronicle's Llewelyn King interviews Roberts on Trump’s executive order and climate policy directions
10 Mar 2017 - Roberts quoted in Providence Business News about new proposed fossil fuel infrastructure in Rhode Island
6 Feb 2017 - Devex article on climate finance under the new administration quotes Roberts
18 Jan 2017 - Roberts featured in NPR Marketplace segment on Obama's $500m donation to the Green Climate Fund
29 Dec 2016 - Roberts quoted in Common Dreams article about the state of environmental justice in 2016
19 Nov 2016 - EcoRI profiles Roberts and the new Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island
14 Nov 2016 - Roberts featured in Rhode Island Public Radio segment on Trump and the Paris Agreement
12 Nov 2016 - Roberts quoted in Climate Home article on Republican plans to defund climate change programs
10 Nov 2016 - Roberts quote appears in EcoRI article about Trump and the environment
9 Nov 2016 - Roberts quoted in InsideClimate News article on COP22 reaction to Trump's election
9 Nov 2016 - Science Daily discusses new CDL article on paying for loss and damage
9 Nov 2016 - Roberts quoted in Climate Home article on COP22 reaction to Trump's election
8 Nov 2016 - Roberts' paper on paying for loss and damage discussed and quoted in Phys.Org
7 Nov 2016 - Roberts' paper on paying for loss and damage discussed and quoted in Futurity article
21 Sep 2016 - Roberts quoted in a Breitbart News article about Clinton's support following shift in climate change language
20 Sep 2016 - Roberts quoted in a Climate Home article on Clinton's language around climate change after Sanders' endorsement
5 May 2016 – Climate Home quotes Edwards on the announcement that Patricia Espinosa will lead the UNFCCC from this July
5 May 2016 - Dialogo Chino quotes Edwards following announcement that Patricia Espinosa will replace Christiana Figueres as head of the UNFCCC
24 Apr 2016 - Deutsche Welle quotes Edwards on how ratifying Paris Agreement can boost prosperity in Latin America
23 Mar 2016 – Edwards provides extended quote to Dialogo Chino on Obama’s trip to Cuba and Argentina
25 Dec 2015 - ConexiónCOP conversó con Guy Edwards sobre el nuevo acuerdo climático y America Latina
14 Dec 2015 - Rhode Island Public Radio quotes Roberts on how Paris Climate Pact should steer New England toward clean energy
11 Dec 2015 - Associated Press quotes Romain Weikmans on “Wild West” account on climate finance
10 Dec 2015 - Climate Home talks to Roberts about the lack of an independent system on climate finance
The pieces featured in the blog are authored by CDL members and a diverse group of partners from around the world. The opinions expressed in these articles are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not reflect those of Brown University.