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The Challenge of Climate-Safe Development | Living on Earth

India’s President Narendra Modi announced a bold new $1 trillion initiative at the COP21 to increase solar energy in about 120 countries. We hear about the global role of solar in sustainable development and how India is shaping these climate talks.

Source: Living on Earth: PRI’s Environmental News Magazine

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As climate negotiators at the COP21 summit in Paris celebrated a global accord on greenhouse gas emissions, tens of thousands of activists from all over the world gathered on the city’s streets, having obtained a last-minute permit despite a ban on assembly. A disconnect between the official view on climate change and the popular desire for climate justice remains wide.

Source: Thank Climate Justice Activists for Doing All They Can to Curb Warming | Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines

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The deadline for coming up with an agreement at COP 21 has been extended until Saturday.  But the penultimate draft of the agreement has been published, and we now know the basics of what will emerge.

There are some positive things coming out of the meeting, but it’s important to understand what it does—and doesn’t—accomplish in terms of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

On the plus side the High Ambition Coalition picked up steam as the conference came to a close.  This is a group of nations who are advocating a stringent reporting regime to measure the extent to which countries are meeting their pledges, as well as limiting warming to no more than 1.5 C.  Led by the island nations, as the Meeting progressed, Canada, the US, the EU, and other developed nations came together joined the coalition. On Friday, Brazil joined the group. While the final wording on the overall goal is still being hammered out, the agreement recognizes 1.5 C as a safer target in several areas.

Source: COP 21: What It Does—And Doesn’t—Accomplish

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After working arduously for two weeks, COP21 delegates have adopted the Paris Agreement that ambitiously aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and while many agree that the final text is not perfect, leaders say it’s what the world and humanity need now.

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Indigenous nations and peoples from across the globe converged on Paris for the COP21 to demand climate justice, an end to fossil fuel extraction, and the protection of indigenous rights in the COP21 text. Climate change disproportionately affects indigenous people, and they worry that some climate change solutions will violate their rights.

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One promising carrot-and-stick method to cutting emissions is to put a price on them with a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system. Following the recent change of government, Canada is increasingly adopting carbon pricing within its borders and looking beyond.

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This Week’s Show
December 11, 2015
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Historic Climate Agreement Reached in Paris

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After working arduously for two weeks, COP21 delegates have adopted the Paris Agreement that ambitiously aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and while many agree that the final text is not perfect, leaders say it’s what the world and humanity need now.

Indigenous Peoples Fight for Their Rights at COP21

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Indigenous nations and peoples from across the globe converged on Paris for the COP21 to demand climate justice, an end to fossil fuel extraction, and the protection of indigenous rights in the COP21 text. Climate change disproportionately affects indigenous people, and they worry that some climate change solutions will violate their rights.

Financing Forests to Cut Down on Carbon

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The REDD program aims to restore tropical forests to offset carbon emissions and buy time for humanity to green economies. REDD has seen some limited small scale implementation, but it’s still unclear whether REDD reforms will incentivize climate innovation and achieve meaningful emissions reductions or deliver vital cashflow to small farmers and indigenous people.

Canada’s Bottom-up Approach to Cutting Carbon

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One promising carrot-and-stick method to cutting emissions is to put a price on them with a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system. Following the recent change of government, Canada is increasingly adopting carbon pricing within its borders and looking beyond.

Poetic Plea for the Marshall Islands

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The Marshall Islands are extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but some still call it home. Poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner describes life on the island and the rising seas that threaten it, and performs her poem “Tell Them”.

 

Special Features

A River Town in Transition

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Wrangell, Alaska is a small, isolated town at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River and a former a timber capital. But since the saw mills shut down in the ‘90s, the small town has reinvented itself as a tourist destination and a commercial fishing hub. Since both of these industries are dependent on the Stikine, some locals worry that a mining development upriver could put the whole town’s livelihood at risk.
Blog Series: Alaskan River Riches

Cowee, North Carolina

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Living on Earth is giving a voice to Orion magazine’s longtime feature in which people write about the place they call home. In this week’s edition, songwriter Angela-Faye Martin uses her words and music to picture her North Carolina valley on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.

 

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