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Paris Agreement, Triumph or Fraud?

“The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet,” tweeted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the close of COP21.  “It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.” Taking a different view, James Hansen, climate scientist and former director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space

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Black Lives Matter, Stop Climate Change

 While walking through the Climate Generations Area at Le Bourget, I heard a surprising chorus of “Black Lives Matter.” Curious, I followed the sound and found the COP21 delegation of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Consortium.  The delegation, 50 members strong from 15 schools, was holding a rally to voice concerns of African Americans in this international forum, connecting global climate change to issues of importance to black communities in the United States.

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COP21 Goes into Overtime

COP21, scheduled to end on Friday, December 11, will continue on Saturday. Extension of the annual negotiating meeting beyond the planned closing time has become commonplace. This time there were hopeful speculations that they would finish on time, fed by a more positive atmosphere at the COP than in the past, and by relatively rapid progress that was being made in negotiating the text for the Paris agreement. But the parts of the text left in brackets, meaning still contested and under negotiation among Parties, are some of the most diifficult to resolve.

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Comparing Climate Mitigation Efforts - Tool for International Linkages and Building Ambition

A side-event convened by Harvard University and the Fondazione Centro Studi Enel on December 9 addressed the need for comparing the national mitigation efforts that Parties to the UNFCCC have proposed in the “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) that they have submitted to the UNFCCC. The INDCs are the foundation on which the agreement that is emerging at COP21 in Paris is being constructed.

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Lighting the Eiffel Tower, Emblem of a Climate Revolution

On Saturday, December 5, I attended a viewing party for the lighting of the Eiffel Tower with the Climate Sign and messages about climate change. This project of the artist Yann Toma and Jacob Scherr of NRDC was their obsession for nearly a year. Jacob wrote about the intent of the project here.

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A Strategy to Accelerate Climate Action

On Monday I participated in a “High-Level Chatham House Dialogue” organized by the Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL) and facilitated by Joe Robertson, CCL’s Global Strategy Director. The group assembled for the dialogue included representatives from the energy sector, investment management, sustainable business, civil society and higher education, as well as myself. The purpose? To share perspectives on accelerating climate action. A variety of views were expressed.

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National Climate Change Seminar, A Preview of Paris

On November 18 I was a speaker for Bard CEP's Naitonal Climate Seminar. The topic? A preview of the Paris climate conference. In my talk I spoke about who goes to the COP, why and what do they do; background about the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; key issues for the Paris conference; possible outcomes; and what comes after Paris. On the last of these, it's important to recognize that the action is not over with Paris. Whether the conference is considered a success or failure will not depend on the words that are in the agreement that is reached.

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Dickinson Goes to Paris

We've received questions from concerned friends and family about traveling to Paris for COP21 in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks. Each member of the delegation is making a personal decision about going, weighing the value of participation against potential risks. For me, the violence in Paris that is symptomatic of conflict and tensions at work in the world give added importance to collaborations that seek to find common ground and shared solutions in response to critical challenges like global climate change.

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Join us on December 5, Climate Action - Engaging the Next Generation

If you are in Paris on 05 December, join us for a dialog about engaging younger generations in climate action. We have a great panel of speakers that includes Bill McKibben, James Balog, John Adams and Mark Jacobson. There will also be ample time for you to share your epxeriences and persectives. What's happening on your campus, in your community, in your city? What impacts are you having? Who are you partnering with? What actions are needed to build and sustain a movement.Advance registration is required.

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We Mourn with Paris

The violence that killed 128 or more people, injured many more and instilled fear in Paris this past Friday is deeply painful. We mourn the losses that have been suffered. Such acts cannot be justified or rationalized. They are simply immoral and have no legitimacy.In just two weeks, thousands of delegates will convene in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Our small delegation of Dickinson College students, recent graduates and I will be among them.

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