A gift from the Montreal Protocol parties to the Climate Convention

Montreal Protocol parties agree to negotiate amendment to limit HFCs

Last week, the parties of the Montreal Protocol took an important step to broaden their treaty’s chemical controls to contribute to limiting climate change. The chemicals at issue are the HFCs, or Hydrofluorocarbons. (Like the other halogenated chemicals relevant to ozone depletion, the acronym tells you the chemical composition of the class of chemicals. The …


The Olympics of Climate Change: Warsaw 2013

What to know, where to watch

It’s that time again! The United Nations’ COP19/CMP9 Climate Change Conference kicked off this week in Warsaw, the start of two weeks of international discussion on climate change.  The conference hosts the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, as a yearly update and check-in on these treaties, …


A new treaty on global mercury: not much, but better than nothing

Next week in Japan, an international diplomatic meeting will sign and adopt a new environmental treaty, the Minamata Convention on Mercury Pollution, which was finalized in negotiations earlier this year. In its name – and in locating the conference in Minamata and the nearby city of Kumamoto, in Kyushu– the convention commemorates the victims of …


World Environment Day

It may well have escaped your notice — I have to admit it had escaped mine — but today is World Environment Day.  UNEP has chosen Rwanda as the main site for this year’s celebration, which is one reason you might not have known about this if you’re in North America.  You may also be …


Bad climate news round-up

Sometimes it’s hard to be an optimist. The recent climate news all seems ominous: Sciencereports (subscription required) on the latest paper in press from a satellite-based study of the mass of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Isabella Velicogna of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory finds that both ice sheets shrank at accelerating rates over the …