Aligning Climate Action with National Interest and the Short-Term Focus of Governments

“The virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea”  Franklin D. Roosevelt   “Governing for the future is … difficult because it rubs up against the short-termism that is inherent in the politics of the electoral cycle. Its difficulty is compounded when governing for the future involves painful choices in the present”  House of Commons, […]

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Capitalise, Leverage, and Diversify: Africa’s GCF Portfolio and Opportunities for Engagement

Along with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Green Climate Fund (GCF or the Fund hereafter) serves as an operating entity under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) financial mechanism. The GCF became fully operational in 2015 and has thus far disbursed US $147.7 million (as of April 2018) in funds for […]

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Assessing the US Retreat from the Paris Agreement: Backtracking to Kyoto?

Perhaps the most widely debated event in global climate policy since the Paris Agreement’s adoption in 2015 was the United States’ decision in June 2017 to withdraw from the treaty, pending possible re-engagement under different terms. When the announcement was on the cards, some commentators argued that the US would be ‘better out than in’, […]

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Fairness in the Eyes of Parties to the Paris Agreement: What Explains Divergences?

The question of how to differentiate efforts fairly has always been central and controversial in UN climate negotiations. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement include different formulations and compromises relating to the distribution of efforts between parties. In a new study published in Climate Policy, we […]

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Non-State Actors are Here to Stay, but Delivery Mechanisms Need Improvement

The surge in transnational governance schemes led by non-state actors can be traced back to the incipient globalisation that followed the liberalisation of trade markets in the mid-1970s. These schemes provide public goods, thus complementing – and sometimes replacing – traditional, state actor-led governance schemes. A diverse set of reasons move non-state actors to engage […]

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Read All About It!? Media, Accountability and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

As the curtains closed on the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech in November 2016, we can soon analyse how much media attention it raised. One could imagine that the unprecedented speed of ratification of the Paris Agreement leading to its entry into […]

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Lessons from European Climate Monitoring Crucial for Paris Agreement Success

As the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech draws to a close, it is becoming increasingly clear that credible monitoring and transparency procedures are urgently needed. Otherwise national pledges to address climate change in the spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement will not build sufficient global trust. The 2015 […]

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Climate Finance: Time to Know Who Gives What

As the first climate change negotiations after December’s landmark Paris Agreement  open in Bonn this week,  controversies around levels of funding for poorer countries to fight climate change may re-emerge. The absence of internationally-agreed accounting rules for climate finance makes it harder to establish whether promises are being met and which countries are doing their part.  Most debates […]

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