The Paris Agreement: Spotlight on Climate Migrants

Earlier this month, the world celebrated a great achievement- an international climate change agreement. While the Paris Agreement contains a number of ambitious provisions, there’s one urgent area where it doesn’t go far enough: climate-induced migration.

On December 10th, International Human Rights Day, I attended a COP21 panel that explored the links between human mobility and climate change. I learned that a staggering 19 million people from over 100 countries were forced to flee their homes last year for reasons linked to climate change. This amounts to one person displaced by climate change every second. Migration is the “human face” of climate change and it’s not receiving the international attention and resources it demands.

Climate-induced migration: What? Where? Why?

Climate-induced migration is a global…

COP21 Week 1 Data Analytics from the #DataGeeks at Parisagreement.org

The opening of the UNFCCC COP21 conference saw 150 world leaders gather together in an act of global solidarity like no other. According to the UN, never before have so many Heads of State come together for a common purpose under one roof. Many leaders gave speeches that day, but none moved me more than the words of President Obama. In his opening speech at COP21, he said:
“For all the challenges we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other…..That future is one that we have the power to change.  Right here.  Right now.  But only if we rise to this moment.  As one of America’s governors has said, “We are the first generation

Photo Credit: http://zeenews.india.com/ 25 May 2015

If you’ve been following the first week of COP21 events, you’ve likely noticed there’s one word consistently in the spotlight – ‘resilience.’ Over the last decade, resilience has moved from the field of ecology to a central concept in debates on climate change adaptation, vulnerability, food security and disaster risk reduction. While definitions differ, resilience at its heart focuses on the ability of people and ecosystems to recover after a shock.

In the face of rapid climate change and extreme weather events, building the resilience of vulnerable areas has become a goal for the international community. However, resilience is an abstract concept that can be difficult to quantify. How do we know if a community is becoming more resilient? What metrics and framework can we use to…

This post is authored by: Larry Rodman, Sachi Singh, Rachel Fried and Sam Geldin

The IPCC held its side event Monday evening, November 30, focused on communications strategies to help the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) make its work more accessible and actionable. The panel of speakers included Hoesung Lee, the new Chair of the IPCC, Paul Lussier, Director of the Yale Science Communications With Impact Network (SCWIN), Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor, City of Paris, Ali Shareef, a Member of the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee, and Keith Tuffley, CEO, The B Team Business Leadership Initiative. Jonathan Lynn, Head of Communications of the IPCC moderated the panel.

The speakers discussed the need for the IPCC to leverage its reputation for rigorous science to reach a broader audience and find practical…

From Boston to Paris, Less Than 100 Days until COP21

China, “Big Oil,” and cities all emerge as important themes in the lead-up to the climate negotiations (COP-21) in Paris this December. Panelists and experts discussed these topics at a recent forum, Local and Global Climate Action on the Path to Paris, hosted by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and The Christian Science Monitor in Boston. Watch the video here; a quick recap of the event follows:

Help Wanted for Project Linking Ecologists and Designers in Baltimore

The Baltimore Earth Stewardship Initiative (ESI), a Yale-led project that aims to strengthen the role of ecologists in urban planning design, is looking for graduate research fellows and assistants to help coordinate and run a large-scale demonstration project during the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in August.

The initiative is part of the ESA’s broader stewardship goal to shape pathways to ecological change that enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being. The Baltimore team will help create a series of installations and workshops at the 100th annual meeting of the ESA, being held Aug. 9 to 14 in Baltimore.
The team is looking for graduate research fellows to serve as leaders, organizers, and “documenters” of the event, as well as research assistants and design students interested…

A first-timer's take on the UN Climate Change Conference

COP20 in Lima, Peru, was chocked full of politics and tactics, activists and great minds, a mix of frustration and hope— it is hard to process everything that happened. I watched the negotiations as an official observer, a status that afforded me a spot in the negotiating room after extended waits under the baking equatorial sun. Amidst all the activity, viewing the negotiations live was a highlight of my week. The COP20 talks in Lima had two overarching goals:

  1. Get consensus on a draft text to be used in negotiations for a global climate agreement in 2015. This year was all about preparing for the new, legally binding global agreement which will be adopted in Paris in 2015 and implemented in 2020, when the second period of the Kyoto Protocol ends.
Getting Scale (and Context) Right

Imagine standing in a vast grassland, a gently undulating sea of grass underneath a cloudless blue sky. The only sound is the wind howling across the landscape, sending pale yellow stalks rippling in waves. You are tiny, no more significant than one of those blades of grass. This is the Daurian Steppe, the grasslands of eastern Mongolia.

It is the home of the Mongolian gazelle. They roam across an area of 250,000 square kilometers, approximately the size of Oregon. They move continuously across the landscape, following the greening of the grass. However, the location of the best grass changes from year to year, as rainfall patterns vary. A herd of gazelle might visit an area one summer, and not return for ten years. They are nomadic, not migratory. How…