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Tag archives for United Nations

Report: Climate Change’s Transformation of Arctic Has Cascading Effects

Climate-change-related environmental, ecological, and social changes in the Arctic are accelerating and are more extreme than ever recorded, undermining the sustainability of current ways of life in the region and potentially destabilizing climate and ecosystems around the world, according to a five-year report released last week by the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental organization formed to…

John Kerry Discusses Election, Paris Agreement at COP22

A speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during the second week of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) focused, in part, on president-elect Donald Trump and his views on climate change. He tried to dispel doubts about the new U.S. government’s policies, saying it is a little bit “different when…

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for Energy, Environment?

Businessman Donald Trump became the next U.S. president-elect early Wednesday after beating his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trump’s win could have great implications for the environment, as he’s promised a shift from the Obama administration’s energy and climate policies. What could his presidency mean for energy policy?  It may take some time…

Solving Humanity’s Grand Challenges Requires a Healthy Ocean

Human well-being and human rights are inextricably tied to the health of the ocean, yet ocean conservation work is often isolated. Last month, as the United National General Assembly focused on tackling the grand challenges represented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both the ocean goal (aka Goal 14, “Life Under Water”) and me, as…

Climate, Energy Get Little Attention in Second Presidential Debate

A week after the Paris Agreement to limit global warming met requirements to come into force, the subject of climate change was referenced only once in Tuesday’s second U.S. presidential debate—after audience member Ken Bone posed the question “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time…

European Union Ratification Pushes Paris Agreement into Effect

European Union (EU) environment ministers on Friday approved ratification of the Paris Agreement. The approximately one-month EU ratification process means that the requirements for a 30-day countdown for the agreement to take effect will be met in November. “Today is an important day not only for our action on climate but also for unity we have…

WCS Cheers Adoption of CITES CoP17 Corruption Resolution

The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) today saw passage of the resolution: Prohibiting, Preventing and Countering Corruption-Facilitating Activities Conducted in Violation of the Convention. This historic resolution marks the first time CITES Parties have addressed this issue. To mark the resolution’s adoption, this statement was released by the Wildlife Conservation Society on behalf of Dr. Susan Lieberman, WCS VP of International Policy and head of the WCS CITES Cop17 delegation.

Seamounts ARE Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems

By Vienna Saccomanno This blog was inspired by Dr. Les Watling’s discussion immediately following the recent meeting of the UN General Assembly. Scientists and underwater explorers have discovered submarine mountains scattered beneath the waves that harbor an incredible diversity of marine life. Known as seamounts, these extraordinary places are highly productive oases in the deep…

Americans View of Climate Change Polarized; U.N. Targets May Be Tough to Achieve

Surveys conducted by Yale University and George Mason University suggest that 17 percent of Americans view climate change as an alarming threat and that another 28 percent are concerned about climate change but view it as a distant threat. The subject has become highly contentious since 1997, when then Vice President Gore helped broker an…

Volcanic Eruption Affects Sea Level Rise

A new study in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that the evidence to pinpoint expected acceleration of sea-level rise due to climate change was hiding behind the effects of a 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. This eruption sent tens of millions of tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere and may have masked the effects of industrial…

7,100 Cities From 119 Countries Join Together in Historic Collaboration to Accelerate Climate Action

By Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group & Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Note: this article was originally published on EcoWatch When UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg suggested creating a Compact of Mayors to mirror the UN program for…

Hawaii’s Legendary Voyaging Canoe Makes History at the UN

Hawaii’s legendary traditional voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa achieved the pinnacle of her historic four-year sail around the world at today’s United Nations (UN) celebration of World Oceans Day: a global event focused on ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This year’s theme of “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” encouraged individuals and organizations across the globe to…

Director of UN SDSN Jeffrey Sachs: We need “long-term plans” to tackle climate change

Earlier this month, 700 leaders from around the world convened in Washington, D.C. to discuss the future of climate action at the Climate Action 2016 Summit. Global thought leaders – including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg, Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and French Minister of…

Clean Power Plan Court Hearing Delayed to September

Just weeks before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was scheduled to hear challenges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, a rule intended to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the existing fleet of fossil fuel-fired power plants, the court announced it will push the hearing back four monthsand…

Study: Half a Degree Matters

Last week more than 150 nations signed the Paris Agreement, pledging to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Now, the first comprehensive analysis of the impacts of that half centigrade difference…