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Assessing the Governance Practices of Sustainability Reporting

Friday, 8 January 2016
publication
Jason Thistlethwaite, Melissa Menzies
To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes, this task will be challenging. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the Climate Disclosure Task Force.

We must ‘Reply All’ to the Collective Action in Paris

Tuesday, 22 December 2015
blog
The climate accord just concluded in Paris is a victory for diplomacy. After so many failed attempts, the 196-country agreement has been rightly lauded in media and capitals around the globe. Furthermore, and hopefully in the knick of time, government leaders have acknowledged that humankind is the cause of global warming: a victory for science and the beginning of the end for our dependency on fossil fuels. But does this mean we’ve been saved? Not by a long shot.

Worrisome Gaps in the Paris Agreement

Tuesday, 22 December 2015
blog
The world’s nations recognize in the preamble to the December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement “that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet” and “that deep reductions in global emissions will be required…” Yet in the main provisions of the agreement, the parties failed to commit to actions necessary to save the planet and protect the human rights of those most vulnerable to climate change.

Institutions for Climate Change

Friday, 18 December 2015
blog
The deal is done. Contrary to the expectations of the skeptics, negotiators in Paris agreed on a final text to climate change accord. It is, I think, an historic agreement if for no other reason that it brings all members of the international community into the climate change tent. Lest we become inebriated by the euphoria of the moment (and the celebratory champagne), however, we need to cast a sober eye to the challenges ahead.

Onward from Paris to Nairobi

Thursday, 17 December 2015
blog
In Paris, 196 countries negotiated tirelessly for two weeks and the result was an unprecedented global environmental agreement setting the target for future global temperatures to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.” The momentum coming out of such an agreement should now be picked up by other multilateral mechanisms, capable of adopting and implementing rules that will help achieve this ambitious temperature goal. In particular, the WTO member states, whose ministers will gather in Nairobi this week (December 15-18) can do a lot to ensure the 1.5°C can be reached.

Paris Agreement: What Was Once Unthinkable is Now Unstoppable

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
blog
Christopher Campbell-Duruflé
There was electricity in the air when the COP21 President took everyone by surprise and declared the adoption of the Paris Agreement late on Saturday night in Le Bourget. All who were present rose up as one and screamed their joy, hope and relief. A full plenary with over 100 interventions, with each country requesting addition or suppression of language in different articles, would have been more transparent, inclusive, and democratic — attributes for which French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had ironically been praised throughout the two preceding weeks.

A Salute to a COP Pioneer

Monday, 14 December 2015
blog
It has occurred to me that the climate talks provide a fitting memorial to Maurice Strong, the extraordinary Canadian who died on the eve of the Paris Conference. Maurice was the Head of the first intergovernmental environment conference in Paris in 1972. He and I sat down before the Rio Earth Summit, which he ran 20 years after Stockholm, and we reviewed what was new on the agenda. I immediately said "ozone depletion," and he agreed. The ozone hole was only discovered in the mid 1970s. I then said "climate change," and he reminded me of a remarkable book that he had commissioned for Stockholm. The Study of Man's Impact on Climate was the result of research by MIT scientists, led by Carroll Wilson. It set out the case for climate change action in some detail. It played a small role in the Stockholm discussions, but Maurice made sure that it was put on the agenda. Something in that study worried him.

Historic Climate Change Deal Reached

Monday, 14 December 2015
article
CIGI's Distinguished Fellow David Runnalls talks COP21 and the Paris Agreement and what's next for Canada and other countries.

Success in Paris climate talks isn't certain. 5 things to remember

Monday, 14 December 2015
article
More than 150 countries have come to the Paris talks with plans to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions, an encouraging global response to this major global problem. But, as in all such major negotiations, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Success in Paris is not yet in the bag.

Mitigating the Adaptation Debate

Monday, 14 December 2015
blog
Erik Davies
With the final draft of the historic Paris agreement in place, there is a reference that could be easily overlooked. Article 40 requests that further work be done on how to enhance linkages and create synergies between…mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity-building. It points to a fundamental relationship that has, surprisingly, not been addressed until now.
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