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Climate Geopolitics

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This training addresses how international climate negotiations work, where CCL is involved in the international dialogue, and the main practical connections to U.S. national law. It also highlights these international initiatives' strategic importance, including CCL's presence at COP24, the 2018 international climate negotiations in Poland.

TOC and Guide Section
Global Negotiations: How the Process Works
  • The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was agreed in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. It was signed by President George H.W. Bush; it was approved by the Senate and became a ratified treaty.
  • Its mandate is most clearly distilled with the phrase “to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”
  • Every year, for two weeks in November or December, the Conference of the Parties (COP) are comprised of 195 signatory countries the EU and meet to negotiate.
  • The “COP” negotiations must reach consensus at the end of the two weeks, before the annual talks can close.
  • Established a standard of “common but differentiated responsibilities“ and placed a greater action burden on historic polluters.

The Paris Agreement 

  • Upheld the ”common but differentiated responsibilities” standard, but also required all Parties to make Nationally Determined Contributions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 

  • Exists to provide a regular update on the scientific consensus regarding “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.

1.5ºC is the upper limit for acceptable warming 

  • The Paris Agreement mandated a scientific review, which this year showed that warming above 1.5ºC would be unacceptably dangerous.
What’s At Stake?

Our Collective Climate, Economy, Security

As a part of the Paris Agreement, every nation must create a Nationally Determined Contribution—their part of the global climate response. 

Energy, transport, agriculture, industry, must all be decarbonized—as soon as possible. 

Human settlements—cities and villages—must be redesigned, with new infrastructure and new economies. 

Failure means grave and escalating threats to food and water security—and so to the stability of nation states. 

Disaster management costs are already becoming unaffordable even to wealthy countries. 

Major reinsurance companies—who insure the insurers—forecast a world that is “uninsurable” by mid-century. 

Through the complex landscape of the global negotiating process, it becomes evident that: 

  • Combating climate change is not about protecting polar bears and achieving environmental sustainability…
  • It is about human sustainability and the viability of our human freedom as we know It.
Who’s Involved in the Neogiations?

Delegation Categories

  • Parties (Nations): 195 nations EU, with power to negotiate, grant or withhold consensus. 
  • United Nations: Climate Secretariat experts, diplomats and observers from across U.N. system. 
  • Observers / NGOs : CCE, CAN, NGOs, research institutions, stakeholders, incl. trade associations. 
  • Media: Lowest level of access, can’t join negotiating sessions; do interview delegates of all types. 
Host a Talanoa dialogue event in your community

Talk about the benefits and strategic value of leading globally. Host a Talanoa dialogue in your community and share with people about local challenges/opportunities as well as the gains from managing the risks of climate change -  whosoever leads is going to benefit the most.

Talanoa Dialogue Engagement Toolkit:

  1. Standard Meeting Agenda
  2. Recommended Thematic Areas
  3. 20-year Future Visioning Process
  4. Variety of Meeting Types
  5. Talanoa Submission Guidance
What is Climate-Smart Finance?

Climate-smart enterprise has a lighter “footprint”: 

  • It carries its own costs, avoids pollution, and helps to build wider macro-critical resilience.
  • By building macro-critical resilience, it adds value to other areas of investment.
  • This means climate-smart macro-critically resilient finance is worth more.
  • Climate-smart finance across the whole of mainstream finance and investment is the blueprint of a climate-smart sustainable future.

Everything is affected; everything needs investment.  In Lima in October 2015, the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde described “global NAZCA Lines” that shape overall economies — ‘macro-critical’ influences, the IMF will now consider as relevant to the mathematics of budget solvency. She specifically cited: climate change, rapid technological innovation, access to education, income inequality, empowerment of women. 

  • This might seem like an expensive undertaking, but since Christine Lagarde’s speech, CCL has been supporting a series of diplomatic roundtables: the Acceleration Dialogues.
  • Leaders in government, business, technology, economics, science and advocacy have called for tools that will allow non-expert decision-makers to make climate-smart choices.
  • Resilience Intel is the product of that work.
  • It aims to connect Earth-systems science platforms to financial decision-making with the aim of achieving 100% climate-smart finance (mainstreaming climate aligned finance).
What’s Next? Global Strategy Pathways to a Climate-Smart Future
  • Coherent 2019 mobilization of the Paris Agreement Work Program
  • Expansion of financing for climate-smart activities
  • Acting on Talanoa inputs (IPCC / Resilience Intel) and outcomes (Talanoa Call for Action)
  • Inputs into and reports out of the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance
  • Expanded emphasis on catalyzing new business models for better low-carbon food and water supply sustainability
  • Alignment and trading of fiscal policies and mitigation outcomes
  • A compromise between the US and China that allows for more common accounting standards
  • A call for expanded public engagement in the design and implementation of national climate policies
Press play to start the video (38m 35s)
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis. 

The Structure of Climate Geopolitics

What is at Stake

Who is Involved?

Climate Smart Finance

What’s Next?

Joe Robertson

Download PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (38m 35s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis. 

The Structure of Climate Geopolitics

What is at Stake

Who is Involved?

Climate Smart Finance

What’s Next?

Joe Robertson
Click here to download or find the episode on CCL’s iTunes channel.
Go Deeper

Join the Global Climate Civics Action Team and find out more information on CCL's ongoing work at Engage4Climate and Resilience Intel.

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