Northern America

UNGA Debate Addresses Climate Change [viewed]

unga703 October 2015: During the general debate of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Heads of State and Government as well as Vice-Presidents, ministers and other high-level officials addressed climate change, among other issues. The statements to the UNGA, which were delivered from 28 September to 3 October 2015 in New York, US, tackled, inter alia: the 2015 agreement; the long-term global goal; climate finance; climate impacts and losses; and mitigation pledges. The general debate followed on the heels of the UN Sustainable Development Summit, during which the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted.

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New IPCC Chair Elected [viewed]

Hoesung_Lee7 October 2015: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has elected Hoesung Lee, Republic of Korea, as its new Chair. Lee was elected by 78 votes to 56 in a run-off with Jean-Pascal van Ypersele of Belgium. Speaking after the vote, Lee said he was "honored and grateful" to have been elected. He underscored the need for more information regarding existing options for preventing and adapting to climate change.

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Second Our Ocean Conference Galvanizes 80 Initiatives, US$2.1 Billion in Commitments [viewed]

Second Our Ocean Conference6 October 2015: The Second Our Ocean Conference generated US$2.1 billion in commitments on oceans, including announcements of more than 80 initiatives on marine conservation and protection and the protection of over 1.9 million square kilometers of ocean. The Conference aimed to promote voluntary governmental and institutional commitments to care for the world's oceans.

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IEA Reports Accelerated Growth of Renewables [viewed]

IEA2 October 2015: The International Energy Agency (IEA) launched a report, titled ‘Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015,' which assesses market trends for renewable energy in the electricity, transport and heating sectors. The report also identifies drivers and challenges to renewables' deployment and projects their growth through 2020. The report, launched during the G20 Energy Ministers Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October 2015, further assesses potential impacts of enhanced policy actions under an accelerated case for renewable power.

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Major Economies Forum Meets on Sidelines of UN General Assembly [viewed]

mef30 September 2015: The Major Economies Forum on Climate and Energy (MEF) convened from 29-30 September 2015 in New York, US, on the sidelines of the general debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). In a statement to the MEF, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his country's determination to reach an ambitious, effective climate change agreement in Paris, at the upcoming 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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Event: 2nd Session of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency [viewed]

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will convene the 2nd session of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency to discuss best practices and financial, technical and policy barriers to improving energy efficiency in the UNECE region. The agenda includes: a workshop on best policy practices for promoting energy efficiency; the report on the implementation of the Work Plan of the Group of Experts for 2014–2015; the International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development; renewal of Mandate and Draft Work Plan of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency for 2016–2017; and key messages for the Committee on Sustainable Energy. The Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency was established to carry out concrete, results-oriented activities that enhance energy efficiency, mitigate climate change, and strengthen regional cooperation in the region.  

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Sixth US-India Energy Partnership Summit Addresses Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Finance [viewed]

india.us21 September 2015: The Sixth US-India Energy Partnership Summit convened under the theme, ‘Past Cooperation, Future Strategies and New Opportunities.' It took place following bilateral energy talks between the US and India. The Summit focused on expanding the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, clean coal technology and accelerating clean energy finance.

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Five Environmental Leaders Receive Champions of the Earth Award [viewed]

champions_of_the_earth27 September 2015: Five environmental leaders received the UN's Champions of the Earth Award for their roles in policy leadership, science and innovation, entrepreneurial vision and inspiration and action. The award ceremony took place at the end of the UN Sustainable Development Summit.

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US, China Leaders Outline Vision for Paris [viewed]

china_us_flag25 September 2015: The Presidents of the US and China have issued a Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change comprising a vision for the UN Paris Climate Change Conference, and announcements on advancing domestic climate action and enhancing bilateral and multilateral climate cooperation. China announced plans to launch a national emissions trading system (ETS) in 2017 and ¥20 billion (US$3.14 billion, September 2015) for climate finance. The US highlighted its Clean Power Plan.

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Four Arctic Council Working Groups Address Cross-Cutting Issues at "Historic" Joint Meetings [viewed]

Arctic Council18 September 2015: Four of the six Arctic Council Working Groups met in parallel from 14-18 September 2015, in Tromsø, Norway. According to the Arctic Council Secretariat, the meeting was unprecedented, allowing the four Working Groups to meet in a joint session mid-week to discuss cross-cutting issues. Arctic State and indigenous Permanent Participant organization delegates to the Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP), Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Groups were joined by accredited intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and non-Arctic State observers for the meetings.

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