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Call for Proposals: Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network

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For those doing research into conservation and low-carbon economies:

The Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network (EEPRN) is seeking academic research project proposals in the following research areas:

  • Policies for a Low Carbon Economy;
  • Innovation and Competitiveness;
  • Conservation (including species at risk protection);
  • Data Set Development and Linkages;

We particularly encourage proposals in these research areas that feature the use and application of behavioural economics to study expected responses to environmental policy, including regulatory approaches and the use of market based instruments (MBIs). We will also prioritize in the review process those proposals that include specific case studies or empirical analysis of programs in Canada or internationally (that Canada may learn from), as well as proposals for surveys or innovative experimental approaches to evaluate the role of, or advantages to, alternative policy options for the design of environmental policy in any of the proposed research priority areas.

Click here for more information on application.

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Call for Applications: Russell E. Train Fellowships

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Check out this opportunity for Graduate students:

Russell E. Train Fellowships support individuals pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in conservation. Each year, WWF supports committed conservationists from target countries to receive financial support for their studies and field research. Applicants can apply to attend any university around the world and must return to their home countries to work in conservation for at least two years after completing their degree.

See below for competition guidelines, eligibility criteria, selection process information, and access to the application.

Click here for more information on the various competitions, eligibility criteria, selection processes, and application, click here.

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Our ‘Climate Nexus’ Book Featured in Focus Magazine

Jon O'Riordan January 2016

Focus Magazine in Victoria has a feature on our new book, “The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy, and Biodiversity in a Changing World.” Co-author Jon O’Riordan is also interviewed for the article.

“In their book The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy and Biodiversity in a Changing World (Rocky Mountain Books, December 2015), Robert William Sandford and Victoria’s Dr Jon O’Riordan explain the Earth’s delicately interconnected systems—our life-support systems—and how our daily decisions affect them. The book’s goal is not to pretend we can stop the changes already set in motion but to encourage us to understand the nexus and to actively plan and adapt rather than just react when crisis hits. If we can’t stop the train, we can at least learn what power we have to steer or slow it.

“As the authors state simply, the nexus of where our demands for food, water and energy meet ‘lies at the very heart of human civilization.’ But through population growth and climate change, which have become mutually entangled, human civilization is bumping up against the planet’s ability to meet those ever-increasing demands. ‘Nature is gradually foreclosing,’ O’Riordan tells me matter of factly over morning tea. ‘It’s not overnight, but it is inexorable….’

“O’Riordan hopes that a better understanding of the nexus will motivate people to change their behaviour, not because it’s financially expedient but because it’s the right thing to do. His ideal would be for everyone, from primary to university, to take a course on the climate nexus. He’s currently helping develop a pilot course for use in high schools.

“Academic but applicable, the book is a call for us all to be creative engineers of our future. ‘In the end,’ O’Riordan and Sandford conclude, ‘the entire human population on Earth is one…If we are to solve the crisis in the nexus, we will have to act in concert as one overall system, and learn to co-operate and support each other in ways that we have never thought of before. For better or worse, we are all in this together.’ Full steam ahead.

Read more from the article here.

 

 

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On Energy East and Real National Unity

Source: The Calgary Herald; Mark Ralston/ AFP/ Getty Images

Source: The Calgary Herald; Mark Ralston/ AFP/ Getty Images

Some proponents of the Energy East pipeline tout that it will help create ‘national unity’. They point to past large-scale development projects, like the national railway, which connected the country and made people feel a sense of national pride.

However, as this ope-ed points out, the dying oil and gas sector should not be the cause of our unity:

“When B.C. Premier Christy Clark made it clear in 2014 that British Columbia had no intention of supporting Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, we didn’t hear Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall questioning her commitment to national unity. Nor were British Columbians raked over the coals earlier this month when her government also rejected Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. We should stand in solidarity with the decision of Quebec mayors to choose a different future for their province — and the country.

“Canadians from all across the country, and from all political stripes, have had enough of an economy that depends so heavily on fossil fuels, which are destructive to produce, dangerous to transport and dirty to burn. Never mind the havoc that is unleashed on Canada’s job market thanks to unpredictable and volatile global commodity prices.

“According to an April 2015 poll conducted by Oracle Research for Climate Action Network Canada, 61 per cent of Canadians believe tackling climate change is more important than building the Energy East pipeline and developing the oilsands further. So why the outrage when 82 Montreal-area mayors say out loud what the majority of Canadians are already thinking?

“With oil at around $30 a barrel, and most oilsands production unable to break even, now isn’t the time to double down on a fossil-fuelled sunset industry. It’s time to diversify Canada’s economy by investing in a clean energy future, and we need our leaders to step up to the plate.”

Read more from the article here. 

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Upcoming Webinars on Urban Resilience

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Check out this series of webinars on urban resilience:

EMI’s Institute of Urban Resilience (EMI-IUR) recently launched its Urban Resilience Webinar series where participants can learn from and interact real-time with world-renowned experts on the most pressing urban resilience and disaster risk management (DRM) topics today. The webinars provide a structured and comprehensive lecture on the topic with pertinent examples and case studies to facilitate the learning process. The webinars will be extremely relevant and useful to policy makers, DRM practitioners, planners, architects, engineers, social scientists, researchers, educators, community leaders, from both private and public sectors, as well as anybody who has a genuine interest to expand their knowledge in the fields of DRM and urban resilience.

The second webinar entitled Nature-Based Strategies to Coastal Defense” will be held on February 9, 2016, 15:00 (Philippine Standard Time). Our subject matter expert will be Anne Ronelle Siders, Atty. Anne Siders is a scientist and a lawyer, and currently works as a Research Fellow of EMI. Atty. Siders took her bachelor’s degree in Human Evolutionary Biology and doctorate of jurisprudence at Harvard University. She is a candidate for doctorate degree in Environment and Resources at Stanford University. She also has post-doctoral research scholar at the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University and a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Navy. This webinar will highlight natural and structural solutions (soft and hard armoring) and discuss the pros and cons of these nature-based strategies, together with examples of where these solutions have been implemented and some of the lessons learned.

The next webinar will be on Hazard, Vulnerability, and Risk Assessments (HVRA) and will be conducted on March 10, 2016, 15:00 (Philippine Standard Time). This webinar will discuss the concept of disaster risk and will cover the different assessment techniques used in determining the risk (e.g. hazards and vulnerabilities) of various sectors (e.g. social, economic, physical, and institutional) and critical facilities. The subject matter expert for this webinar is Dr. Engr. Fouad Bendimerad, Chairman and Executive Director of EMI. Dr. Bendimerad is a former faculty member of the School of Engineering at Stanford University and is currently in charge of that university’s seismic reduction program, which recently received the ATC-ENR award for being one of the ten top seismic projects in the USA.

Click here for more information and to register.

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UPDATED- Operation: Supply Chain Workshop

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The Operation: Supply Chain Workshop is an interactive program comprised of training activities, interactive exercises and cutting edge presentations focused upon climate change implications that supply chain and procurement professionals should be considering in their decision-making.

Workshop participants will explore and discuss decision-making factors such as understanding tradeoffs, dealing with data gathering and quality control, and assessing materiality. Speakers and attendees will examine real-world examples of how large public and private organizations have assessed climate related risks and adapted practices to reduce risk and strengthen core business value and mission.

Preliminary Program Agenda

Additional details and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Please visit http://supplychain.ACCOonline.org for the most current program information.

Monday, April 25, 2016
Pre-Event CCO Training BootcampTM
> SupplyChain-101: Assessing Climate Related Risks in the Supply Chain (8:30am – 12:00pm)
Main Workshop Program
> Welcome & Introduction: Why We Care – Supply Chains in the Context of a Changing Climate (1:00pm – 1:30pm)
> An Overview of Expectations for Climate Action in the Supply Chain (1:30pm – 2:30pm)
> How Companies are Addressing Climate Risk & Performance Management in Their Supply Chains (2:45pm – 3:45pm)
> Developing Approaches and Tools for Leveraging Data to Drive Climate Action Initiatives (3:45pm – 5:00pm)
> Networking Reception (5:00pm – 6:00pm)
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
> The Links Between the Nodes: Transportation in the Supply Chain and Why It’s Important (9:00am – 9:45am)
> The Role of Associations, Industry Groups and Nonprofits in Tackling Sustainable Supply Chain Management and Climate Risk (9:45am – 10:45am)
> Overcoming Challenges and Working Collaboratively for Supply Chain Action (11:00am – 12:-00pm)
> Working Lunch: Supply Chain Questionnaire Harmonization Discussion (12:00pm – 1:00pm)
> Engaging Suppliers & Other External Stakeholders to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Supply Chain Strategy (1:00pm – 2:00pm)
> Interactive Exercise: Communications & Engagement with Leadership (2:00pm – 2:30pm)
> The Business Context of Incorporating Risk and Performance Management for Supply Chain and Procurement Professionals (2:30pm – 3:30pm)
> Interactive Exercise: Decision-Making & Tradeoffs (3:30pm – 4:00pm)
> Wrap-Up & Conclusion (4:00pm – 4:15pm)

Click here to register for this event.

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Shivaji Competition: Creative Sea Level Rise Solutions

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Calling all artists, architects, scientists, engineers, animators, and other creatives:

Shivaji Competition:  Islands, Deltas and Rising Seas
Animated GIFs due on March 10, 2016
Shivaji2016.com

Contact:  Glenn Weiss at ShivajiCompetition@gmail.com
Rising Waters Confab II, April 25-May 26, 2016

In GIF format, the Shivaji Competition seeks actual and impossible ideas to maintain human habitation on islands and deltas doomed by the predicted sea level rise of at least one meter in the 21st century.  All entries will be submitted as animated GIFs for social media broadcast and museum exhibition.  One finalist will be selected to participate in the Rising Waters Confab 2016 to be held on Captiva Island, Florida, USA in May, 2016.  Roundtrip transportation provided.  Visit Shivaji2016.com.  All entries due on March 10, 2016.  Free to enter.

  1. International competition of ideas for islands, deltas and their cultures doomed by sea level rise in the 21st century.
  2. Proposal competition using animated GIFs format for mass social media distribution
  3. Named after Shivaji Maharaj, the great 17th century warrior king and protector of India’s islands.

“The Shivaji Competition: Islands, Deltas and Rising Seas.” The great warrior king of 17th century India, Shivaji Maharaj, established the Maratha Empire against the dominant Mughals and held off the territorial ambitions of the Europeans. Part of his legacy is a group of island forts in the Arabian Sea with stonewalls ringing the edges against the sea and the Europeans. The Shivaji island forts are the starting metaphor and reality for responses to the invasion of the seawaters for the barrier islands and low elevation islands and deltas around the world.

With the predicted sea level rise of at least one meter, thousands of islands and deltas and millions of people around the world will be threatened with frequent saltwater floods from storms and king tides. Freshwater may disappear.  Sewer and rainwater drainage will not function.  Evacuation will intensify a refuge crisis and tensions in national borders.  Most islands have a light human or agricultural intervention. Others like Miami Beach are dense urban places.

The competition asks artists, architects, designers, planners, scientists and writers to propose the practical and impossible to maintain the continued human habitation of these islands throughout the 21st century. The ideas should be demonstrated on an island or delta under high risk to bring worldwide attention to these threatened places and push the world to live up to Article 8 of the COP21 agreement signed in Paris.

Responses can be elaborate infrastructures for urban cities and DIY methods for agricultural islands by residents with very limit economic resources. (or vis-a-versa). Both parody and reality are welcome as long as the proposals help wake up politicians, engage the minds of a broad public and respect the people of the islands or deltas. Think like Shivaji. The old political structure has lost its ability to respond and the invasion of the little known outside forces from the sea pose a serious threat to your way of life.

Each entry will be submitted online as an animated GIF demonstrating a proposal when the sea rises at least one meter.  The GIFs should be persuasive to an international audience.  Humor, drama, paradox and factual reality in photographs, anime, renderings and all other visual formats are acceptable.  Clarity of idea and message is important.

A group of 10-25 finalists will be selected by Glenn Weiss and Buster Simpson in consultation with Rising Waters Confab participants.  These finalists will become part of a traveling exhibition available to museums, global warming conferences and outdoor giant screens.  One of the finalists will be selected to join Confab 2016 for one week in May 2016.  Round trip travel provided.

Visit the website here for more information.

 

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Event: Bringing the Global Climate Agenda Home

sfuenv

On February 11th, check out this event hosted by SFU’s Faculty of Environment:

At the Nexus of Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Bringing the Global Agenda Home  

Thursday, February 11 (5:30 – 7:00pm)

Room 1420, SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

In the wake of the agreement reached at the 2015 COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris and the newly launched UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this roundtable discussion will explore how academics, NGOs, the City of Vancouver and the federal government will contribute to global change. Speakers will highlight initiatives contributing to the SDGs and how these global goals can and must be realized not just in the developing world, but also in our own city and country.


Joanna Ashworth, Director of Professional Programs, Faculty of Environment, SFU (Moderator)

PRESENTERS

Keeping Score: UN Sustainable Development Goals 
Michael Simpson, Executive Director, BC Council for International Cooperation 
 
Partnerships for the Goals:? Joint Canada-Africa Research and Training Networks 
Zabrina Brumme, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU 
 
The Role of Cities in Addressing Climate Change 
Mark Roseland, Director, Centre for Sustainable Community Development, SFU 
 
Gender Equality and the SDGs: Best Practices for Building Long-Term Sustainability in Human and Gender Rights  
Laura Parisi, Associate Professor, Women’s Studies, University of Victoria 
 

Closing Remarks: The Honourable Pam Goldsmith-Jones, MP West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

THIS EVENT IS SPONSORED BY

Faculty of Environment, SFU

British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC)

SFU International

To register for this event, click here. 

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Next Phase of Consultation on BC Climate Leadership Plan

climate_leadership_plan

The second phase of public consultation on BC’s Climate Leadership Plan is now open. This consultation period runs from January 25th until March 16th.

Phase 1 of the engagement process saw thousands of British Columbians provide their ideas and priorities for climate action. The province also received the Climate Leadership Team’s Recommendations Report, which included 32 recommendations. The wealth of input to date informs this current round of engagement.

Click here to access the BC government’s online form for feedback, and also to see more information about the process so far.

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36% Renewables by 2030 Will Boost Global GDP by $1.3 Trillion

Source: IRENA, UNFCCC

Source: IRENA, UNFCCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new article from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) says that renewable energy can boost the global economy significantly:

“Achieving a 36 per cent share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030 would increase global gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 1.1 per cent, roughly USD 1.3 trillion, according to new analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring the Economics, released today at IRENA’s sixth Assembly, provides the first global estimate of the macroeconomic impacts of renewable energy deployment. Specifically, it outlines the benefits that would be achieved under the scenario of doubling the global share of renewable energy by 2030 from 2010 levels.

“‘The recent Paris Agreement sent a strong signal for countries to move from negotiation to action and rapidly decarbonise the energy sector,’ said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. ‘This analysis provides compelling evidence that achieving the needed energy transition would not only mitigate climate change, but also stimulate the economy, improve human welfare and boost employment worldwide.'”

From hearing conclusions like this, it seems the biggest achievement of the Paris agreement was not that negotiators were able to get all countries on board with a plan; rather, the biggest achievement was the signals it sent to markets that investment in renewable energy is a smart business move.

Now, we’ll see what policies countries put in place to support or bolster the development of renewable energy.

Continue reading the article here. 

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ACT Book Featured at Literary Lights Event

Let your friends in the Canmore area know that ACT author Bob Sandford will be featured at an upcoming literary event.

Our publisher Rocky Mountain Books is holding an event next week to feature their writers. See below for details:

Literary Lights: A Celebration of Canmore Writers and Rocky Mountain Books 

Thursday January 28th, 7:00 pm

Rose & Crown Pub, Canmore, 749 Railway Ave

Check out the Facebook event page here. 

Our most recent publication with Rocky Mountain Books is The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy, and Biodiversity in a Changing World, by Bob Sandford and co-author Jon O-Riordan. Learn more about our book by clicking here. 

LiteraryLights_evite

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Webinar: Sea Level Rise Flood Risk Assessment and Planning Approaches

webinar

Check out this upcoming webinar from Natural Resources Canada:

Sea Level Rise Flood Risk Assessment and Planning Approaches on Canada’s Coasts

Wed. Jan. 27th | 10:30am to 12:00pm PST

This webinar will present the results of two projects, by the Capital Regional District and the City of Vancouver, both of which studied the impact of sea level rise on coastal communities in BC. The webinar will also include a presentation from the Fraser Basin Council focused on regional-scale planning for sea level rise.

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California’s gas leak should spur Canadian action on methane emissions

The leaking Aliso Canyon well pad in Los Angeles County on December 17, 2015. Source: Pembina Institute; Earthworks.

The leaking Aliso Canyon well pad in Los Angeles County on December 17, 2015. Source: Pembina Institute; Earthworks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new blog from the Pembina Institute makes an important point about the ongoing Aliso Canyon methane gas leak in California.

While the situation in California is definitely an important crisis, here in Canada we also emit huge amounts of methane every year:

“While the Aliso Canyon disaster has rightly been grabbing headlines, it’s a timely reminder of the much larger volumes of methane that are regularly released from all oil-and-gas operations — including those in Canada. Based on an analysis by the consulting firm ICF International, oil-and-gas methane emissions in Canada totalled 81.9 million tonnes in 2013 — that’s equivalent to almost seven Aliso Canyons. Those 81.9 million tonnes are spread across thousands of sources in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan’s oil-and-gas sectors.

“If what’s happening in California warrants a state of emergency, why aren’t Canada’s methane emissions considered a disaster? And why are we not acting faster to deal with the problem?”

Continue reading the blog post here. 

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Webinar: BC’s New Water Law

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Check out this upcoming free webinar, offered by the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria:

WHAT: Awash with Opportunity: Sustainability in BC’s New Water Law
DATE: Thursday, January 28th, 2016
TIME: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PT ( 3 p.m. to  4:30 p.m. ET)
 

In May 2014, the Province of British Columbia enacted the Water Sustainability Act, which provides an unprecedented opportunity to fully modernize the province’s water laws. In this webinar, speakers Oliver M. Brandes (Co-Director, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and Lead, POLIS Water Sustainability Project) and Rosie Simms (Water Law & Policy Researcher, POLIS Water Sustainability Project) will share insights from the recent POLIS research report “Awash with Opportunity: Ensuring the Sustainability of BC’s New Water Law.” The research provides an analysis of the Water Sustainability Act and the core regulations required to bring the Act’s sustainable aspects into full effect. The speakers will highlight recommendations for effective regulation development in five core areas, based on best practices from around the world:

1) Groundwater licensing;

2) Environmental flows;

3) Monitoring and reporting;

4) Water objectives; and

5) Planning and governance.

The speakers will also offer specific insights on the need for a fundamental shift to a partnership-based approach to water governance and management in British Columbia, with shared roles and responsibilities to protect the province’s freshwater resources—now and into the future.

For more information and to register, click here.

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Food Waste: Tips to Save Money, Food, and the Environment

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Even with the best intentions, wasting food is a problem for many of us. We buy too much at once, we go out to eat with friends, or we forget about that fresh produce until it goes bad. This article points out that the problem of food waste is growing, and has important consequences.

“Over the past decade, food waste has reached epidemic proportions. According to a recent report from the World Resources Institute, about one third of all the food produced worldwide never makes it from production to plate. …An estimated two billion people could be fed from the food the U.S. throws away each year.

“The results of abundant global food waste run deeper than just the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots. This ever-increasing waste takes a toll on local environments, too. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps are the number one material sent to U.S. landfills. This organic waste is responsible for almost 25 percent of methane emissions and $1.3 billion in landfill and transportation costs. Our careless food production system also costs the U.S. nearly 35 percent of its freshwater supply and 300 million gallons of oil each year.”

The article also has lots of great ideas for smarter purchasing and storage to make sure we reduce our food waste. With tips on bulk buying, understanding expiration dates, and knowing where to store each item, this is a handy resource for smart shoppers.

See more from the article here. 

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Financing Adaptation: Addressing the Gap

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A girl walks along the shore as strong waves from Typhoon Hagupit hit Atimonan in the eastern Philippines on December 6, 2014. Source: Centre for American Progress; AP/Aaron Favila

An interesting new piece from the Center for American Progress discusses the challenges in financing adaptation.

While traditionally nations have focused more funding on mitigation than on adaptation, COP21 in Paris did recognize the importance of adaptation. But how will these effects be financed?

“In December 2015, world leaders convened in Paris to adopt a historic agreement to limit carbon pollution and adapt to the effects of climate change. The promise of the agreement lies in the fact that it establishes a framework to drive progress, requiring successive national goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prescribing ongoing national submissions on climate resilience. It defines a new era of multilateral climate action.

“Successive national goals, however, are insufficient for the success of the agreement, even if they are increasingly ambitious. Success requires implementation, and implementation requires investment. A fundamental shift in finance flows will be necessary to achieve climate resilience and carbon neutrality on a global scale….

“This brief examines the gap in adaptation finance that must be bridged in order to fulfill the values of the Paris agreement, with a focus on regions such as Southeast Asia that are at particular risk from the effects of climate change. It also discusses new adaptation finance commitments from governments and the private sector; the landscape of existing adaptation finance channels and initiatives onto which these commitments build; and the undiminished role of developed countries—such as the United States, Japan, EU countries, and others—to facilitate an increase in adaptation finance as the Paris era begins.”

Read more from the article here. 

 

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