Category Archives: climate divide

Happy Earth Day, Bonne Journée Mondiale de la Terre 2010

While readers in the United States are still busy doing the millions of activities organized this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day,  I’m just closing up shop on my favorite one to date.  I spent the day in Thies, Senegal’s 2nd largest (but rapidly developing) city, giving a talk about climate change.  […]

The climate divide after Copenhagen and its impact on international climate change law

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the new political dynamics on display in Copenhagen are likely to change the way international climate change law is made.  “The format of the consultations at the UN level, in which every member state can exercise veto power, holds no promise for any success. The balancing of interests between […]

A new international masters program in sustainable development at UCAD

Last week, the MacArthur Foundation,  Earth Institute at Columbia University, and the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD)’s  Faculte des Sciences Economiques et de la Gestion (FASEG), announced their partnership to offer a new Global Masters in Development Practice (MDP). In a launching ceremony in the grand amphitheater of the modern UCAD II building, UCAD’s Rector […]

Tick, Tock

In Copenhagen, one of the many civil society groups urged negotiators to work hard by reminding them constantly of the passage of time.  Tick, tock was written on buttons and posters all around the Bella Center.  Ads that greeted me upon arrival at the airport showed world leaders like Ban Ki-Moon and Yvo de Boer, […]

U.S. climate change time

I understand the concept of “Africa time,” having lived in Rwanda and now Senegal.  I came to embrace “res time” when working on an American Indian reservation in law school.  But Todd Sterns’ declaration yesterday – his first public comments about the Copenhagen negotiations since their conclusion on December 19 – that President Obama and […]

Totaling the check and tallying the score

When I arrived in Copenhagen about 10 days ago, the Hopenhagen signs plastered on the walls of the arrivals area – many of them sponsored by Coca Cola – perked me up after a late night flight.  Today, reading the post-mortems in the Sunday NYT and reflecting on the roller coaster ride of the last […]

Climate Divide: The Common Blind Spot of China & U.S. pre-COP15

The last few days have been busy ones for announcing opening positions for the COP15 negotiations.  The United States announced on 11/26 that it would reduce the total tonnage of its greenhouse gas emissions “in the range of” 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050.  These numbers reflect targets specified in […]

Talking Turkey at COP15

Good news!  The White House announced today that President Obama will attend the COP15 meeting on Wednesday, December 9, on his way to Oslo to accept the Nobel Prize the following day. In the nick of time, for scientists have recently given policymakers even more incentive to come to Copenhagen prepared to talk turkey (in […]

A Bend in the Road: The Copenhagen Two-Step?

Newsflash:  Why are we all going to Copenhagen if President Obama agrees with other western countries that they are not ready to make a real deal?  As the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum wrapped up four days ago, participating world leaders backed a two-step process offered by Danish PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen that would […]

Rich and Poor States on the Bumpy Road to Copenhagen

In the run-up to the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen this December, developing countries have voiced concerns about climate change’s disproportionate effect on them.  The Prime Minister of Grenada, Thomas Tillman, spoke at a meeting of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) the day before the U.N. General Assembly opened its September 22nd session.  AOSIS’s […]