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‘Observing’ the Paris Climate Change Conference: In the shadow of the Copenhagen Accord in flower

Adam Byrne, UCL Geography

Hosted by UCL Environment Domain blog, 18 December 2015

The Paris Agreement that was adopted last Saturday has been greeted with much fanfare and comment from those involved in the process. I had the privilege as a PhD student to attend the COP and was funded by the ESRC doctoral training school. In this brief commentary, rather than offer policy analysis of which there are now already copious amounts, I present here a sketch, as it were, of the COP as I experienced it...


In the aftermath of the Paris COP Agreement – grounds for optimism or pessimism?

Robert Lowe, UCL Energy Institute

Hosted by UCL Energy Institute blog, 16 December 2015

In contrast to the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen talks there is clearly more to celebrate with the Paris Climate Deal. The achievement of getting all 195 countries to commit to emission reduction is a diplomatic success, but at the level of concrete commitments, the deal falls well short of what is needed to prevent dangerous Climate Change. So what is my short list of indicators, and what is my overall assessment of prospects for the future?...


Flooded Bench - freeimages.com

The Paris Agreement – A Fresh Start?

Paul Drummond, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

Hosted by UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources blog, 15 December 2015

On the 12th December 2015, after (just over) two weeks of intensive negotiations between nearly 200 nations, COP21 of the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement – a new global commitment to address climate change. All parties were keen to avoid a repeat of the disastrous effort to secure such a global agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, where deep divisions and entrenched positions between counties and negotiating blocs prevented any substantive progress towards a common global agreement...


The Paris Agreement lacks focus on water

Simon Damkjaerv, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

Hosted by UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources blog, 15 December 2015

The world is celebrating the adoption of the Paris Agreement, but the role of water under a changing climate is still sidelined: Time to ride the momentum...


A case of cognitive dissonance?

Clive Shrubsole, UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering

Hosted by UCL IEDE blog, 15 December 2015

I’m a lifelong Tottenham fan and can still remember the rollercoaster of previous years where preseason expectation often nosedived into frustration and disappointment. We were OK playing at home, but when playing away invariably folded often with heavy losses...


The ground-breaking Paris Agreement leaves no room for delay in cutting emissions

Steve Pye, UCL Energy Institute

Hosted by UCL Energy Institute blog, 15 December 2015

The achievements of the Paris Agreement are significant. The contrast with the failure of Copenhagen in 2009 are captured in the following Guardian headlines: Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure (19th December 2009) and Paris climate change agreement: the world’s greatest diplomatic success (14th December 2015)...


Two crucial omissions that could jeopardise Paris climate hopes

Tristan Smith, UCL Energy Institute

Hosted by The Conversation, 15 December 2015

One of the biggest gaps between the reality of our climate situation and the text of the Paris Agreement is in the absence of two sectors that are major contributors to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Shipping and aviation were referred to in the world’s previous climate change deal, the Kyoto Protocol, and were still referred to in the draft of the Paris Agreement until just a few days before it was signed. But they disappeared from the final text, perhaps in an attempt to secure a stronger agreement...


2 degrees or 1.5? Either way it’s the local action that will count

Dan Osborn, Prof of Human Ecology, UCL Department of Earth Sciences

Hosted by the UCL Environment Domain, 14 December 2015

Given that a 2°C rise in global mean temperatures is thought to represent the “threshold” around which point dangerous impacts of climate change would kick in at a global scale; it must be a relief to risk assessors, as well as to the world’s more vulnerable nations and communities, to see some margin for error being built into the policy position in the form of thinking on 1.5°C. Keeping below 2°C will be very challenging as we are already close to, or even at, 1°C...


The Paris Agreement – second time lucky?

Peter Mallaburn, UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources

Hosted by the UCL Energy Institute blog, 14 December 2015

As I said in the first part of this blog, the Paris Agreement is our second attempt at implementing the UNFCCC. The idea was to move away from the top-down mandatory, rich country approach of the Kyoto Protocol to a more bottom-up, voluntary approach with all countries involved.  To their enormous credit, the negotiators have succeeded...


Five things you need to know about the Paris climate deal

Simon Lewis, UCL and University of Leeds reader  

Hosted by The Conversation, 12 December 2015

The UN climate talks in Paris have ended with an agreement between 195 countries to tackle global warming. The climate deal is at once both historic, important – and inadequate. From whether it is enough to avoid dangerous climate change to unexpected wins for vulnerable nations, here are five things to help understand what was just agreed at COP21...


But what will our world look like?

Emma Terana, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

Hosted by UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources blog, 11 December 2015

I am in the business of foresight, projections and scenarios. As a scientist I cannot tell you what the future brings nor what our world will be under +2, 4 or 6 degree warming. What I can say, is that as an individual I have deep concerns...


Why we need a ‘space race’ approach to saving the planet

Christopher Grainger, Doctoral Candidate in Energy and Economics, UCL

Hosted by The Conversation, 2 December 2015

The space race might be a thing of the past, but the basic economic model still makes sense: massive, targeted investment in research & development remains the best way to make startling technical leaps forward and solve mankind’s greatest challenges...


CSP vs PV – Understanding the current situation and future outlook

Seyed Mehdi Mohaghegh, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

Hosted by UCL Energy Institute blog, 30 November 2015

Next month, the largest concentrated solar power plant (CSP) in the world will launch its first phase at the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate on the edge of the Sahara desert. The project consists of four plants and could generate 580 MW of electricity. This possibly will be enough to supply electricity to more than a million homes in Morocco. The first phase of the project, called Noor1, has the generating capacity of 160MW...


Paris – outside looking in

Peter Mallaburn, UCL Energy Institute

Hosted by UCL Energy Institute, 30 November 2015

With COP21 upon us I must admit to being a bit of a Framework Convention outsider, which is, perhaps, a bit strange for the editor of Climate Policy Journal. In 1990, as a civil servant I worked, peripherally, on the Berlin Mandate. I was at COP 7 in Marrakech, but at the margins. Some of the 1995 IPCC WG1 report is mine. But mostly I have been outside the COP process looking in...


Explainer: how scientists know climate change is happening

Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology, UCL

Hosted by The Conversation

The Paris climate conference will set nations against each other, and kick off huge arguments over economic policies, green regulations and even personal lifestyle choices. But one thing isn’t up for debate: the evidence for climate change is unequivocal...


Straight Thinking and the Paris Climate Negotiations

Chris Rapley, Professor of Climate Science 
Hosted by Huffington Post (04/10/2015)

In eight weeks time 195 nations will meet in Paris to agree on a course of action to respond to climate change. The aim is to prevent 'dangerous' human interference in the climate system. The decisions taken will affect us all. The need for straight thinking will be paramount...


How does the IPCC know climate change is happening?

Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology, UCL
Hosted by The Conversation

Climate change is one of the few scientific theories that makes us examine the whole basis of modern society. It is a challenge that has politicians arguing, sets nations against each other, queries individual lifestyle choices, and ultimately asks questions about humanity’s relationship with the rest of the planet...


We need to talk about the Climate

Chris Rapley, Professor of Climate Science
Hosted by Huffington Post (13/08/2015)

"I'm here to talk about the Future. As a climate scientist it is part of my job to explore what it might bring."  Thus opens the play 2071, which I wrote last year with the playwright Duncan Macmillan, and performed at the Royal Court theatre in London, the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, and, more recently, at the BOZAR theatre in Brussels. I had never written a play before. I had never delivered a one-man show from prestigious stages. But when the director, Katie Mitchell, suggested the project I embraced the challenge. Because now, more than ever, we need to talk about the climate...


Why I’ll talk politics with climate change deniers – but not science

Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology, UCL
Hosted by The Conversation

There are many complex reasons why people decide not to accept the science of climate change. The doubters range from the conspiracy theorist to the sceptical scientist, or from the paid lobbyist to the raving lunatic...


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‘Observing’ the Paris Climate Change Conference: In the shadow of the Copenhagen Accord in flower

Friday, 18 December 2015

Author: Adam Byrne, UCL PhD Student in the Department of Geography The Paris Agreement that was adopted last Saturday has been greeted with much fanfare and comment from those involved in the process. I had the privilege as a PhD student to attend the COP and was funded by the ESRC doctoral training school. In […]

2 degrees or 1.5? Either way it’s the local action that will count

Monday, 14 December 2015

Author: Dan Osborn, Professor of Human Ecology, Department of Earth Sciences. Published on 14th December, 2015. Given that a 2°C rise in global mean temperatures is thought to represent the “threshold” around which point dangerous impacts of climate change would kick in at a global scale; it must be a relief to risk assessors, as […]

Thoughts on UCL-French Embassy Event

Monday, 16 November 2015

Author: Professor Robert Lowe, Director of the UCL Energy Institute, first posted on the UCL Energy Blog 27 Oct 2015 On Tuesday 20 October 2015, UCL Energy Institute, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, UKERC and the French Embassy hosted ‘Global Energy, Global Climate’. This was the first in a series of three events organised jointly by UCL […]