Yale Students Participate in Doha Climate Summit

121126 Doha
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Yale University has sent a student delegation to a U.N. climate change conference in Doha, Qatar, to participate in negotiations for an international climate treaty from November 26 through December 7.

The students will represent small island states in their negotiations for a treaty, lobby, blog and immerse themselves in the details of bureaucratic give-and-take. They will research, track and write briefs on important issues for negotiating teams, and analyze and defend the positions of the countries they represent during negotiations. The students prepared for the Doha summit in courses, such as Roy Lee’s “Environmental Diplomacy Practicum” and Gordon Geballe’s “International Organizations and Conferences,” as well as by their work with the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and Yale Law School’s Environmental Law Clinic.

The Doha summit, dubbed COP 18, comes on the heels of a climate conference last year in Durban, South Africa, that launched a new round of negotiations to create a legally binding international agreement limiting a global average temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

DecisionMakr App

F&ES doctoral student Angel Hsu has introduced her own mobile application for smart phones. The app, called DecisionMakr, allows Twitter users to give real-time feedback to decision-makers on the quality of their proposals and statements made during negotiations. The app, conceived by Hsu and developed by a team at Parvieda Solutions, bested 25 other teams to win an AT&T-sponsored “Hackathon” in New York City in September. Watch this video to learn more, and to see the app in action.

F&ES doctoral student Angel Hsu has introduced her own mobile application for smart phones. The app, called DecisionMakr, allows Twitter users to give real-time feedback to decision-makers on the quality of their proposals and statements made during negotiations. The app, conceived by Hsu and developed by a team at Parvieda Solutions, bested 25 other teams to win an AT&T-sponsored Mobile App Hackathon for Social Good in New York City last September. Watch this video to learn more, and to see the app in action. The app is free, and you can use it with any web browser from any device, or you can download the iPhone version from the iTunes app store. 
Yale F&ES Blog

After driving by artificial islands, sprawling construction, and manicured gardens in the desert, it would be easy to approach the Qatar Sustainability Expo with some skepticism. However, after a closer look at this country, one can see a very real problem that regional governments and companies are trying to solve. Sustainability for Qatar and the region is more than a buzzword. It is a necessity.

Qatar’s vulnerable future

The pavilion, like all things United Nations, was massive. At the center of the hall was a hospitality tent in the shape of the Zubara Fort, built in 1938 and most recently a station for the coast guard. The Expo’s free food provided our class with sustenance throughout the day when overpriced conference center food was not an…

Obama’s Second Term – The World Awaits Much Needed Leadership on Climate Change

“We want our children to live in an America that […] isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” Many still remember this brief, yet hopeful and encouraging moment during Obama’s acceptance speech after his re-election in November.  Observers hoped that Obama and his administration would bring much needed leadership from the top in addressing climate change issues during the UNFCCC COP18 Summit in Doha. Yet, the conference is now done and dusted, and the United States was again among the array of developed countries to block the progress with an unwillingness to commit to collective mitigation and adaptation goals. In fact, the second largest emitter has since scored not one, but four of the Fossil of the Day “Awards” civil society doles…

“She’s welcome to stay for as long as she likes” my mother says when I ask her if I could bring a friend home to stay over for winter recess “we now have daily water supply”, she adds triumphantly.

Provision of water to households in Bangalore, India’s sixth largest city and my parents’home city, is at best erratic and at worst non-existent. The state owned water and sewerage works department, BWSSB supplies water to the city’s 8.45 million inhabitants. The supply runs (or trickles in, especially during the summer months) for only a few hours every day and for a few days a week. The volume of water delivered per day totals 0.34 billion gallons. New York City delivers 1.2 billion gallons of water per day to its 8…

I arrived for the second week of the COP18 to replace David Emmerman and Kathryn Wright to continue our project with the Latvian NGO homo ecos:. The goal of this project was simple, to get progress updates from working groups on matters that are important to Latvia. These updates were then disseminated to the broader public via a social media campaign (@LatviaCOP18Chat).
Unfortunately, I only had observer status and was not able to attend most of the important meetings. But the updates on the progress made in the three tracks were still accessible from tweets and emails at the COP. In fact, everyday there was more information coming in than one person could handle. Sorting through all the information, picking and choosing messages was difficult and time consuming. Thus, from…

China Pavilion banner and the CNPC logo

The Chinese government again put up an elaborate China Pavilion in the COP18 Climate Change Conference in Doha. Everyday is filled up with fanfares of side-events and ceremonies from dawn to dusk. Despite the heavy dose of corporate footprint in the China Pavilion and official statements on China’s climate achievements, these presentations and performance in some ways reflect China’s strategic positions and dilemmas in negotiating for climate and advancing its economic development.

China Sold-out?

Since the Durban climate summit, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) has been sponsoring the China Pavilion activities. This year, CNPC gave 1 million Chinese yuan (160,000 USD), which explains the subtle and quite ornate addition of CNPC’s logo at the bottom of the China Pavilion banner (picture left). CNPC is the largest oil and gas producer…

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Resources and Notes

ELTI

Eva Garen, director of the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI), Alicia Calle, leadership program coordinator, and Hazel Consunji, the Asia training program assistant, will present an exhibition at Forest Day, showcasing ELTI’s publications, and participate in a discussion on “Forest Landscape Restoration: Enhancing More than Carbon Stocks in all Types of Forests.” 

Garen said deforestation rates in Southeast Asia and Latin America are often driven by extractive industries, such as oil palm production and cattle ranching. Efforts to integrate conservation and restoration in productive landscapes, she said, are needed to re-establish environmental services from forest ecosystems and provide for sustainable rural livelihoods.

F&ES Student to Represent Mexico

Jose Medina Mora, a candidate for a master’s degree in environmental management (MEM), will represent Mexico as a member of its delegation and the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. He plans to collect data for a paper analyzing how developing countries learn from policies that developed countries have enacted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The work with the Mexican delegation ties together with my MEM project,” he said.

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