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Obama Will Look for ‘Every Opportunity’ to Push Climate Plans in 2016, Experts Say – December 29, 2015

The president is likely to focus on the environment in his final year in office, and Congress can do little to stop him

Barack Obama will defend the Paris climate change agreement and forge ahead on his environmental agenda until his final days in the White House, according to analysts. And there is very little Obama’s opponents in Congress can do to stop him — unless they win the elections and install a Republican in the White House in 2017.

Photo of President Obama COP21 Photo by COP PARIS After an epic year in 2015, including the Paris climate agreement in December, Obama is expected to keep pushing his climate agenda in 2016.

Republicans’ initial attempts to derail the Paris agreement fell flat,… more

by: The Guardian

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Man Who Identified Cecil the Lion’s Killer Vows Death Will Not Be in Vain – December 25, 2015

Zimbabwean activist Johnny Rodrigues says he now has an unprecedented platform to promote conservation

For 35 years, Johnny Rodrigues has been trying to get people to pay attention to conservation issues in Zimbabwe’s Hwange national park, with limited success. Then, in July, a dentist from Minneapolis killed Cecil the lion, the park’s most famous resident, and Rodrigues found himself at the centre of an international media storm.

Cecil the LionPhoto by paulafrenchp Cecil the lion was killed by a trophy hunter in July after being lured out of Hwange National Park.

As the head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), the organization which he founded, Rodrigues was besieged by interview… more

by: The Guardian

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Paris Climate Deal: Nearly 200 Nations Sign In End of Fossil Fuel Era – December 12, 2015

Two decades of talks have come to this: an ambitious agreement to hold states to emissions targets – but already low-lying countries are worried

graphic depicting a leaf with the silhouette of the Eiffel tower

Governments have signalled an end to the fossil fuel era, committing for the first time to a universal agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.

After 20 years of fraught meetings, including the past two weeks spent in an exhibition hall on the outskirts of Paris, negotiators from nearly 200 countries signed on to a legal agreement on Saturday evening that set ambitious goals to limit temperature rises and to hold governments to account for reaching those targets.

Government and business leaders said the agreement,… more

by: The Guardian

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New Draft of Paris Climate Change Deal Cuts Through Many Sticking Points – December 10, 2015

Talks are ‘extremely close’ to the finish line, says French foreign minister. Leading non-government observers agree headway is finally being made

graphic depicting a leaf with the silhouette of the Eiffel tower

Negotiators in Paris are within reach of a new global agreement to curb greenhouse emissions to 2030 and beyond, with the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, saying the meeting was “extremely close to the finishing line” as he presented a draft text that cut through many sticking points.

After reading the new draft and chairing a meeting of the so-called “umbrella group” of developed nations, Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop said she thought the text was “about 80 percent there”.

“There’s a lot of work still to be done, particularly on the issue… more

by: The Guardian

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Backchannel Meetings Could Decide Outcome of Paris Climate Talks – December 2, 2015

UN hopes small ad hoc meetings outside of conventional negotiations will help facilitate an agreement

graphic depicting a leaf with the silhouette of the Eiffel tower

In huddles in corners, sitting on the floor in corridors, crowded around smartphones at cafe tables around the sprawling conference center in Paris where crunch climate change talks are ongoing, a new form of meeting is taking place.

These are the “informal informals” – groups of negotiators meeting outside the conventional apparatus of plenary sessions in large halls in order to facilitate a deal.

These meetings are intended to tease out and resolve the remaining differences over the detailed wording of the text of a possible Paris agreement. Often,… more

by: The Guardian

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