Habitat III, a global summit born out of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, is set to take place in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. This round of global gathering is the third in a series that began in 1976 with the goal to reinvigorate a global, political commitment to the sustainable development of rural and urban human settlements. Termed the New Urban Agenda, Habitat III delegates have the auspicious goal of setting a global strategy for the next two decades of urbanization (“New urban agenda”, 2016). On the docket are topics such as poverty, environmental degradation, quality of life, development patterns, and – last but not least – global climate change.
With more than 50 percent of the world’s population…
Large Chinese cities such as Beijing are already bursting at their seams. Imagine the daily commute for one of Beijing’s 21.7 million residents. Most people live in the outskirts of the city, where there is housing, but have to commute to the city center for jobs. Although public transportation is available, average commutes still can be upwards of an hour and a half. And more people are driving too – rush hour traffic in the urban core increased by 50%, even though average travel distance is only about 6 miles.
Because of the way Beijing is expanding both vertically and horizontally, with
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…
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
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…
At COP21 in Paris, the big story will be about cities. Cities are leading on climate change, and use local climate action plans to prioritize strategies to reduce their emissions – including through land use and transportation planning. I’m interested in how cities are acting on climate because when we have an international climate agreement, local actions will be among the most successful ways to stop global warming.
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:
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…
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:
- 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.