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Climate, Energy & Transport

First-of-its-Kind Guide Calls on Companies to Align Corporate Sustainability Initiatives and Climate Policy

WASHINGTON– For the first time ever, companies have a guide to manage and report on their direct and indirect influences on climate policy. The UN Global Compact, in cooperation with seven leading international organizations, today released guidelines to help companies engage in climate policy in a transparent and accountable way that is consistent with their sustainability commitments.

Designing “Measurable” Post-2020 Emissions Reduction Commitments

Designing an international climate action agreement that can reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the coming decades will be a key focus of discussions at COP 19 this week. A critical component of this new agreement will be the design of national mitigation commitments for countries’ emissions reductions post-2020. This is a complex process, involving a significant number of options. The ease with which emissions and emissions reductions associated with mitigation commitments can be measured is a key consideration. It is critical for strengthening domestic GHG management and helping track national and global emissions reductions. New WRI analysis focuses on how to maximize “measurability” and aims to shed light on how countries can most effectively design their commitments accordingly.

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3 Lessons for Long-Term Climate Finance

In order to understand where the climate finance agenda is likely to go, it is first necessary to grasp where it stands today. To that end, Overseas Development Institute, WRI, and IGES – in partnership with the Open Climate Network – have conducted the first in-depth examination of Fast Start Finance (FSF), the period from 2010-2012 in which developed nations pledged to deliver US$ 30 billion in climate finance. As of September 2013, countries reported providing $35 billion in public FSF from 2010 through 2012, exceeding their pledge. Just five countries – Germany, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States— provided US$ 27 billion of this finance.

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4 Things Germany and Partners Can Do to Strengthen the International Renewable Energy Club

After winning Germany’s federal elections on September 22nd, Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the middle of difficult coalition talks to form a new government. Because Merkel’s party, the Christian Democrats, did not win an absolute majority in parliament, it must find a new coalition partner. The party has begun negotiations with Social Democrats to form a grand coalition.

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Looking in the Pipes of Climate Adaptation Finance

The amount of adaptation finance has increased in recent years, at least in part as a result of agreements reached at the U.N. climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009. In the past year, Oxfam, WRI, Overseas Development Institute, and civil society networks in Nepal, the Philippines, Uganda and Zambia have been working together to figure out just how much adaptation finance has been flowing to these four countries and where it’s going. It’s a bit like trying to figure out the tangle of plumbing and pipes in an old house. There is money for climate change adaptation coming from different sources, flowing through different channels, and being used for different purposes.

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5 Issues to Watch at COP 19, the “Construction COP”

The stakes are high at this year’s international climate negotiations in Warsaw, Poland (COP 19). It is vital that negotiators get down to business on designing the international climate action agreement, including actually constructing the pathway needed to reach this agreement by 2015.

Making progress across five key issues will be critical to achieving this goal.

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Q&A with Jennifer Morgan: How Do We Secure a Strong, International Climate Agreement by 2015?

The next few years will be critical when it comes to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Under the UNFCCC, countries around the world committed to produce an international climate action agreement. This agreement will be finalized at the annual Conference of the Parties, meeting in Paris in 2015 (COP 21). How UNFCCC negotiations progress between now and then will in part determine whether the world curbs climate change—or feels its worsening effects.

I caught up with Jennifer Morgan, director of WRI’s Climate and Energy programs, to discuss what’s at stake and what steps are needed between now and 2015 to ensure a strong, international climate action plan.

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Do We Need a Standard to Calculate “Avoided Emissions”?

Today, the GHG Protocol is releasing a survey to scope out the need for a new standard to help companies quantify and report the “avoided emissions” of goods and services that contribute to a low-carbon economy—such as low-temperature detergents, fuel-saving tires, or teleconferencing equipment and services.

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UNEP Report Finds Significant “Emissions Gap” Must Be Bridged

A new report from the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that the world is still not taking enough action to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. Assuming countries deliver on the pledges they have made to reduce their respective emissions, the Emissions Gap Report finds that global GHG emissions in 2020 will still be 18 to 27 percent above where they need to be if warming is likely to be limited to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This gap puts the world in a dangerous position of experiencing increased sea level rise, forest fires, and other serious impacts--unless we take action now.

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