Looking Back at COP20: How Should We Feel?

The Lima Accord lets countries name their own price to address climate change. But that doesn’t mean it failed.

As you’ve probably heard by now, this year’s UN climate change conference has produced an agreement, the “Lima Accord.” The Accord invites each of the nearly 200 negotiating countries to develop an “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) to reduce its GHG emissions. INDCs represent some step forward from each country–in the words of the Accord, “a progression …


Progress at the UN?

A view from the Lima climate COP

The annual Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change opened this week in Lima, Peru, drawing delegates from around the world, including a few from UCLA Law.  I am in Lima along with Legal Planet blogger Jesse Lueders and three students from our UCLA Environmental Law Clinic, Sarah Kozal ’16, Jacob …


COPs: The Erratic Evolution of Global Climate Policy

The latest Conference of the Parties (COP) in Warsaw didn’t make headlines — more like footnotes.  Two things have become clear.  First, the formal UN negotiations are only part of the transnational development of climate policy.  And second, the UN negotiations are moving slowly and fitfully, but they are making progress.  Neither of these things …


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, …


On the Irrelevance of Doha: The Demand for an Absence of International Regimes

Just compare for a moment the high expectations around Copenhagen in 2009 and the obscurity of Doha today, and you can quickly get a sense of the basic contemporary irrelevance of UN bodies in the creation of climate policy.  (At the New York Times website as of this writing, Doha doesn’t even merit a mention …


An Inconvenient Treaty

Should the U.S. join an international treaty to limit carbon emissions?  The little-known answer: we already have.  No, this wasn’t a secret Obama Administration initiative.  The treaty was signed by none other than President George H.W. Bush. The treaty is called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC.  The word “framework” can …


Climate Change and Tonight’s Debate

A key issue is missing from the list of topics for tonight’s debate. Climate change is a global problem with global impacts, ultimately requiring a global solution.  Climate change is a threat multiplier from the point of view of national security, intensifying the risk of international conflict and terrorism. (See here for more.) It has …


The Durban Outcome: End of CBDR?

I wasn’t in Durban for the last days of wrangling, so I missed some late nights, dramatic speeches, and unexpected alliances. ClimateWire has the best account I’ve seen of the last-minute drama (sub. req’d.: “How a Belligerent, Sleep-Deprived Crowd in Durban Arrived at Consensus”).  Highlights include a ministerial-level “huddle to save the planet”; invocations of …


Images from Durban

If you want a flavor of it, here are some images from COP17 (all credits mine):


Youth Involvement at COP 17

Special blog post by Lauren Bernadett, UCLA School of Law 2L A striking feature of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) is the extensive youth involvement.  The International Convention Centre in Durban is constantly abuzz with young interns and volunteers from various delegations, including some delegations exclusively comprised of young people.  The youth network is …