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The climate movement must find the courage to kill some of its many darlings

Tuesday, 1 December 2015
blog
I think the followers of the UN’s Twitter account were supposed to be impressed. The institution last week sent around a video that described the Paris climate jamboree —otherwise known as the 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP 21 — in terms of some really big numbers: 45,000 attendees, officials from 196 countries, 166 proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, etc.

Let us not forget the WTO

Monday, 30 November 2015
blog
To tackle climate change and Greenhouse Gas emissions is no easy task. In a recent article, Don Pittis discusses the possibility of carbon taxes and suggests they would not work. Pittis’s article neglects consideration of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which stands at the centre of the international trade regime and has enormous impact on global trade.

CIGI at COP21: Experts available for comment

Monday, 30 November 2015
article
Paris, France – As the global climate change community gathers in Paris, France for the latest talks on one of the world’s most pressing issues, experts from the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) are available for comment and analysis on the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21), held November 30 – December 11, 2015.

A State of Emergency in France: Draconian Measures Threaten Civil Liberties

Monday, 30 November 2015
article
Bianca Jagger, Senior Fellow for the International Law Research Program, discusses the security measures taken in Paris for the COP21, following the horrific November 13th Paris terrorist attacks.

Remembering Maurice Strong on the Eve of COP 21

Sunday, 29 November 2015
blog
David Runnalls
We are leaving for COP21 in Paris with the knowledge that one of the greats in the environmental field has died. Maurice Strong passed away in Ottawa, Canada, on the eve of the conference. He had not been well for the past few months, but he still followed the preparations for the meeting with keen interest, meeting only last weekend with Klaus Töpfer, one of his successors as Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Question Period: Trudeau heads to Paris

Sunday, 29 November 2015
article
David Runnalls, CIGI's distinguished fellow for the Global Security and Politics Program, comments on Prime Minister Trudeau heading to the Climate Summit in Paris.

Climate Change and Human Rights: How? Where? When?

Friday, 27 November 2015
publication
Actions taken to mitigate and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change must be centred on human rights. This paper analyzes a few examples of national, subnational and corporate climate change policies to show how they have either enshrined human rights principles, or failed to do so. It also examines the challenge of integrating human rights principles in climate change actions. Climate change policies, if they are to respect all human rights, must actually use human rights language to articulate adaptation or mitigation measures.

When CO2 Goes to Geneva: Taxing Carbon across Borders — Without Violating WTO Obligations

Friday, 27 November 2015
publication
Carbon taxes become relevant for international trade when they are coupled with border tax adjustment (BTA) legislation for imported products. BTAs are intended to level the playing field between domestic and foreign products, but such tax schemes, if not designed properly, can be found to violate a country’s international commitments before the World Trade Organization (WTO). This paper argues that environmentally conscious governments can impose a WTO-compatible BTA to offset domestic CO2 legislation, and that federal governments need to engage in coordinated efforts to harmonize treatment of high CO2 emitters domestically, since domestic industries will not bear the burden of environmental regulation alone.

Global Patent Pledges: A Collaborative Mechanism for Climate Change Technology

Friday, 27 November 2015
publication
Access to and timely diffusion of green technologies required for adaptation and mitigation are among the major challenges faced by the international community. The role of the patent system has become the subject of increased attention in climate change discussions on technology transfer. New mechanisms for collaborative innovation are required to foster the green technology sector.

Climate Change Solidarity and Resolve: Post-Paris Strategy, Policy and Law to Translate Ambition into Action

Friday, 27 November 2015
publication
The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), being held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, is expected to articulate guiding principles and set the level of global ambition around climate change. The real work, however, will come afterward, in translating general ideas into strategies, policies and laws that actually change behaviour. This will have to be done at international, transnational, national and subnational levels, using a holistic approach that integrates and supports the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September of this year. This commentary outlines how senior fellows and researchers within CIGI’s ILRP will contribute to creating effective climate change strategies, policies and laws consistent with and supportive of global SDGs.
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