I am a member of the Yale Delegation at COP 16, but I am also a delegate with the Federated States of Micronesia. The conference officially opened this morning with a welcome session.

Prior to the welcome session I spoke with a woman from another delegation on the shuttle ride over to Moon Palace, one of the main meeting locations. She seemed apprehensive about what, if any outcome would be achieved during the Conference. I am hopeful, that there will be a positive outcome from the conference, but I also wasn’t in Copenhagen at COP 15. People are still talking about it, and it’s disheartening to see that many of them still aren’t happy about it. It seems that the trust amongst parties has taken a beating, which is…

REDD+ Partnership and International Demand Side Drivers

REDD+ Partnership Work Plan Meeting in Cancun

As part of the Yale delegation, I am working for the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) to promote the adoption of policies and language in the negotiating text that addresses international demand side drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.  The EIA is working in tandem with the Environmental Climate Alliance (ECA) a conglomeration of international NGOs that have similar goals with regards to REDD and international forest policy.  Prior to arriving in Cancun, I analyzed the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) REDD readiness plans (R-PPs) and UN REDD National Programme documents (NPDs) of several REDD countries to determine how they have incorporated drivers of forest degradation and deforestation into their…

By Andy Barnett.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published this essay online. It is from the heart:


Note that the comments fall into two categories:

1) Vitriolic climate skeptics who sound VERY similar to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the right-wing noise machine.
2) People who think climate change is an urgent problem that requires global response.

When the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy sponsored “Global Warming’s Six Americas” they suggested that Americans fall into these categories

“Alarmed (18%),
Concerned (33%),
Cautious (19%),
Disengaged (12%),
Doubtful (11%), and
Dismissive (7%).”

I’m fascinated by the Op-Ed comments on the Star Tribune site. Seems like the “Dismissive” group was fired up as soon as they read the essay. While they…

There is little encouraging news from inside the Bella Center today. Last night some drafting groups continued but with little progress. In parallel sessions at the high level, heads of state met from 24 countries with broad regional representation and there was consensus that some sort of deal should be possible. Working off of the Danish text, technical drafters worked through the night, hoping to arrive at a deal to present to regional constituencies for this morning. Unfortunately they were unable to come to any agreement and stopped work at paragraph 3 of 13.

Rumors are that another high-level group based on the so-called “Copenhagen Commitment Circle” convened by Australia and the UK have also come up with a text. The problem is that the process for producing this…

By Andrew K. Barnett

Dear friends,
After many sleepness nights at Copenhagen’s climate talks, I write to you with an urgent sense of hope. Not the ‘bury your head in the sand’ kind of hope. I’m talking about the ‘roll up your sleeves, put on a rally cap, batting in the bottom of the ninth’ kind of hope. Ultimately we must acknowledge that important work happens before, during, and after these talks. And it is this forward work that Minnesota can engage. If you’re following the news and wondering what you can do, here are some ideas.

First, global warming is undeniable, unforgiving, and urgent- and you can have this conversation. Distinct and multiple data sets indicate that human emissions are trapping heat in the atmosphere at unprecedented…

Currently ‘near-term mitigation’, still bracketed, crops up at the end of paragraph 1 of an obscure LCA text on “Various Approaches, Including Opportunities for Using Markets, to Enhance the Cost-Effectiveness of, and to Promote Mitigation Actions”, proceeding under paragraph 1b5 of the Bali Action Plan. This language is the final result of a long and heated debate over a proposal, originally submitted by Micronesia, on fast-track mitigation options. This proposal drew attention to a number of mitigation opportunities not currently covered by the international climate regime, specifically biochar, *black carbon*, and HFC abatement. The idea is that these could result in for more rapid reductions in radiative forcing then “classic” mitigation efforts (such as reducing CO2 emissions). This paragraph would establish a work programme to explore voluntary implementation of…