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Posts Tagged ‘Rio2012’

Rio+20 Outcome: The Anthropocene Challenge

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

By Marcos Orellana, Rio de Janeiro (originally posted 22 June 2012)

Marcos, Alyssa and Andrea, part of CIEL’s delegation

On June 20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) officially started in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The Conference opened with a documentary, Welcome to the Anthropocene, which was introduced by the UN’s Secretary-General.  The documentary visually portrays the alteration in Earth’s natural cycles induced by human activities.
Welcome to the Anthropocene echoes the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) 5th edition of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5), published on June 6, 2012.  The report concludes that the “scientific evidence shows that Earth systems are being pushed towards their biophysical limits.” Also it “cautions that if humanity does not urgently change its ways, several critical thresholds may be exceeded, beyond which abrupt and generally irreversible changes to the life-support functions of the planet could occur.” Read more…

What’s at stake at Durban? We are.

November 23, 2011 1 comment

By Kristen Hite, Interim Director, Climate Change Program

In recent years we’ve seen global predictions on climate change becoming increasingly dire.  In recent weeks it’s gone from bad to worse:  The International Energy Association, often criticized for how its future projections of energy production rely too heavily on fossil fuels and nuclear energy just issued a report that says our current energy patterns will lead us to a global rise in temperature of 4 degrees Celsius or worse, leading to “irreversible and potentially catastrophic climate change.”  This comes on the heels of a new analysis by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which tells us that impacts are worse than expected and that climate change is increasingly responsible for natural disaster damages to the tune of billions of dollars annually.  Put simply: we can’t avoid climate impacts—we’re already experiencing them and they are getting worse.  But we can avoid locking in an unsustainable future that guarantees widespread destruction to communities and ecosystems across the globe—that is, if diplomats representing 190+ countries agree on how to act. Read more…

Multilateral Environmental Agreements and You

July 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Mary Tharin, CIEL Intern

By Mary Tharin

BASEL, CITES, CBD, CMS? Remembering the acronyms of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) is challenging enough, much less trying to recall their technical details. Thankfully, the MEA Information and Knowledge Management Initiative, facilitated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), just launched a user-friendly information portal called InforMEA to help navigate the complex landscape of international environmental law. CIEL’s attorneys and interns helped to assemble, analyze and index international environmental treaties and decisions for this Initiative.

The website presents major MEAs and protocols in three over-arching categories: 1) biological diversity, 2) chemicals and waste management, and 3) climate, atmosphere and deserts. With a few easy clicks you can access the full text of each agreement, a list of parties, national focal points, and subsequent decisions. The site also features a useful chart listing every country to ever sign an MEA, along with their date of ratification. It’s interesting to note how some countries (like the United States) compare with the rest of the world.

Read more…