If you think the upcoming Doha Climate Conference will be full of yet more uneventful climate diplomatic fanfare, think again. The Guardian recently reported that the US may be considering diverting substantive elements of climate change governance away from the long-established United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) framework and into an alternative arena – the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF). This move would seriously undermine, or even completely kill the future effectiveness of the UNFCCC. Why might the US to possibly go down this route and what would be the ramifications? Let us take a closer look at both the UNFCCC and the MEF frameworks.

The current UNFCCC framework utilises a consensus-based decision making process, and every word in the…

by Marissa Knodel and Omar Malik

This month, a group of enthusiastic Yale students will take part in the ongoing drama of climate change negotiations in Doha, Qatar. They will participate in the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the global stage where countries have been meeting to tackle climate change since 1992. While the experience will be new for the students, seasoned diplomats are prepared for a familiar scene: from Cancun to Durban to Doha, efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change and prevent harm to millions of vulnerable people around the world have instead turned into deliberations over the process itself.

Even if developed countries were in full compliance with their Kyoto Protocol greenhouse…

Featured Alum: Shane Hetzler and the Quiet Corner Initiative

Hey FES Blog-Land! Emily again with the latest from the Admissions Office. I’ve posted about lots of the cool things you can do while you’re a student at FES, so I thought it would be good for me to highlight some of the cool things you can do once you’ve walked away from FES with a shiny new master’s degree.

Let me introduce Shane Hetzler, who graduated from FES with a Master of Forestry last May. Shane, like many in my class (including me!) did not yet feel like his work at FES was finished after two years, so he got a job with the school to continue the awesome work he started while at FES. He now works for the Yale School Forests managing the Quiet Corner Initiative…

New Zealand’s ultimate “COP Out” of the Kyoto Protocol: What will this latest move hold for the upcoming talks in Doha?

New Zealand’s government announced in a statement on Nov.9 that it is not in the country’s interests to be “stuck in the Kyoto space for another eight years”, only a few weeks before nations will meet in Doha for the next round of climate negotiations. Like most Kiwis, I pride myself with New Zealand’s commitment to a “100 percent green and clean image.” But after hearing this latest news, I have never felt so embarrassed to be a New Zealander. For me, this disappointing decision reflects a failure not only by our policy-makers, but also negligence and indifference on the part of my fellow Kiwis to push our leaders for more leadership on climate change

Fresh & Salty - exploring water issues outside of the classroom

From our student assistant, Sarah:

In the “School of Forestry” it seems that anyone interested in water or marine issues would be a “fish out of water”. However, growing interest in these topics is reflected not only in the courses offered and the speakers that visit, but also in the growing number of students involved in the “Fresh and Salty” student interest group.

Fresh and Salty offers academic and recreational opportunities for students to express, explore, and share their interests in water-related issues, from the study of water quality and invasive species in ponds, going on fly fishing or SCUBA excursions, to enjoying a sustainable seafood dinner.

Roz Savage, 2012 Yale World Fellow, ocean rower, and sustainability advocate, spoke to students on November 1 about her mission…

Environmental Protection Students on a field trip to NRDC Headquarters in New York

Environmental Protection Students on a field trip to NRDC Headquarters in New York

Hello again, FES blog followers! Emily here again, writing to you from a New Haven finally in the fullest throws of autumn. What leaves that survived Sandy have turned all shades of orange, red, and yellow. This is one of the best times of year to be in New Haven (although, I honestly think most times of year are great to be in New Haven).

Speaking of “best of,” I thought that I would use this post to elaborate on what I would consider one of the best parts of the FES curriculum—the clinic classes. The clinics offer a real-world experience within…

Learning outside of the classroom--a series on our SIGs

Our fabulous student assistant, Sarah, is working on a series highlighting some of the work that our Student Interest Groups (SIGs) are doing at the school. SIGs are a vibrant part of the community, and a way for students to get involved, bring speakers to campus, take field trips, and investigate disciplines and topics in more depth. If there isn’t a SIG that meets your needs, you can create one! To see the list of all of our current SIGs, visit the following website: http://environment.yale.edu/sigs/. Today’s focus is on CAFE, our food and agriculture group. Sarah writes:

CAFE, the Coalition on Agriculture, Food, and the Environment, is a space for students at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, as well as the university at large, to come…