Climate rocky road to Paris
RIAC Digest - september, 2015
Climate
Rocky Road to Paris
Climate is one of the hot picks of international agenda 2015. We are steadily moving towards grand UN conference on climate which will take place in Paris this December. This conference is set to work out a new comprehensive agreement on climate change which has to replace the outdated and worn out Kyoto protocol. Climate change is one of the hardest areas for the international players to reach an effective agreement which will satisfy all parties concerned. In this digest RIAC has gathered together publications which will explain why it is so important that Paris conference does not fail and why the issue of climate change does not bring countries together but divides them even more apart.
RIAC Digest - September, 2015
Climate
rocky road to Paris
Climate is one of the hot picks of international agenda 2015. We are steadily moving towards grand UN conference on climate which will take place in Paris this December. This conference is set to work out a new comprehensive agreement on climate change which has to replace the outdated and worn out Kyoto protocol. Climate change is one of the hardest areas for the international players to reach an effective agreement which will satisfy all parties concerned. In this digest RIAC has gathered together publications which will explain why it is so important that Paris conference does not fail and why the issue of climate change does not bring countries together but divides them even more apart.

Everything you need to know

For starters, British Guardian has featured a long read made of bullet points illustrating the core moments of the upcoming climate event. You will find a lot of "Whys" and short and sharp answers to them. With a digestible historic background and ongoing political disagreements between the nations this a precious piece of reading for climate dummies.

Photo: People sign the Earth pledge made at the the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992. Photograph: UN Photo

From Rio to Paris

And now we move deeper. In order to grasp the main idea and numerous stumbling blocks of the climate negotiations rounds which have been pathetically dragging along for the past decade or so bullet points are just not enough. An ambitious British think tank Green Alliance – Leadership for the environment in a 12-page document breaks down the climate agenda into several independent blocks giving through explanation why each of them is important and cannot go without the others. Furthermore, here you will find the clear picture of legal framework template created for the climate regulations mechanism and how it will be shaped in post-December 2015 era.

Academic approach

If interested in a more detailed and academic approach to the climate regulation matters, click this link to the London School of Economics page where key publications by LSE staff professors and visiting fellows are highlighted. Here is a collection of a very diverse topics – from strictly scientific (for example, "What are implications from greenhouse gas emission for 2030?") to a more political discussion on the proposed forms of the future climate agreement. It's hard to pick one article for the review so we let the readers decide for themselves which one will be most useful.

Photo: Flikr/Yoann JEZEQUEL/Pollution and smog in Paris

Obama's bets

Moving on to a very hard and strict-to-the-point legal piece on climate regulation, here is a brief featured by Center for climate and energy solutions in the US. For the US Paris conference is a major event bearing in mind all the problems and hard moments Washington has caused over the years the for the overall process of elaborating a universal agreement. Climate is one of the biggest Obama's political bets so the stakes are high and the pressure is hard.

Picture: Flikr/Ben Heine/Climate Footprint: Change the Climate

Nordic nature

The US has a very specific approach to settling international matters. Amercian vision of the future agreement on climate is also debatable. So in order to keep balance we will highlight a brief from the other side of the Atlantic – Nordic Council of Ministers has sponsored a paper on lessons and goals of the December conference. With graphs and diagrams, this is a short brief which will make the picture bright and clear.

Photo: Nikolaj Bock
Female of polar bear,
Svalbard Island,
July 2015

Kerstin Langenberger

Widening picture with case studies

Once the basics of the coming conference are set out, it is good to look at the wider picture. International Institute for Sustainable Development has written a long report on climate and global development. Water, land, forests, emissions – everything is analyzed and listed in this report followed by statistics and a great deal of figures. A very interesting chapter "How Development Can Help the Environment: Co-benefits and interlinkages". The report is flooded with case studies which is a great help.
Oil from the condemned tankers
is siphoned off to be sold at market
before the ships are broken up for scrap

Immersion in regional food policy

International Food Policy Research Institute gives open access to a book chapter on regional developments. Here readers will find analysis on economic challenges and opportunities, food security, diseases, water supply and forestry in Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Latin American and Caribbean. This is a solid reading for anybody who wishes to gain insight on the regional development and local effects of the climate change in view of the coming UN winter event.

Image by © Gideon Mendel for The International HIV/AIDS Alliance/Corbis

Trade fears climate

Geneva based International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development has issued an interesting think piece where the author stipulates that climate has a lot to fear from trade. Trade is having a strong impact on how climate is shaping. And, surprisingly, there is strong correlation between climate change and economic sanctions. Find out more by hitting the link.

Photo: Flikr/Carly Carpenter

City design for fresher air

And a soft touch to this green digest edition – a piece on how to make our cities cleaner, fresher, nicer and more sustainable. World Resource Institute has featured a report on urban recommendations for citizens and architects who are working on the future cities and remodeling the existing ones.

Photo: Flikr/Emma Rooney/Robertson Building green roof
Produced by Maria Gurova and Dmitry Puminov
© 2015 Russian International Affairs Council
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