Category Archives: UNFCCC

Momentum Builds on the Path to Paris: Papal Encyclical and Dutch Court Demand Greater Climate Action


June 25, 2015 As the international community prepares to negotiate a global agreement on climate change at COP21/CMP11 this December in Paris, two institutions have recently taken unprecedented actions to help build momentum, calling for swift and ambitious action. Last week, Pope Francis issued a wide-ranging teaching letter calling for unified global action on climate change and the environment. And ... Read More »

Canada and Ontario set mid-term GHG Reduction Targets


Federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced today that Canada will cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. This would reduce total emissions to approximately 524 megatons CO2-equivalent, representing a 27.8% reduction below 2013 emissions levels and a 14.5% reduction below 1990 emissions levels. In comparison to Canada’s 2030 target, Ontario’s recently-announced 2030 emissions target of 37% below 1990 levels is ... Read More »

UN Climate Talks in Lima Further Countries Along Bumpy Road to a Global Agreement in 2015

Lima COP20 Canada

The 20th yearly Conference of the Parties (“COP 20”) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”) ran December 1-12, 2014 in Lima, Peru. It also served as the 10th session of the Meeting of the Parties (“CMP”) to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 and sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse ... Read More »

White House Provides Clarity on Climate Action

President Barack Obama removed his jacket as the temperature reached 32ºC during an address on climate change at Georgetown University on June 25, 2013.
Photo: Georgetown University

Written by Summer Law Student Jonathan McGillivray Former vice president and climate change crusader Al Gore called it “the best address on climate by any president ever.”  President Barack Obama delivered a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University in which he outlined his administration’s climate change action plan.  The plan brings clarity to the administration’s position on climate change and throws ... Read More »

Pursuing a “Global Solution” – Canada’s Response to Climate Change on the International Stage

Article by Jessica Vaianisi, Summer Law Student   Canada’s action on climate change, both domestically and internationally, has been largely criticized. Despite its formal withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol in 2011, Canada has stated that it recognizes that “climate change is a global challenge requiring a global solution.”[1] However, Canada’s presence in recent international conferences has attempted to reiterate their ... Read More »

Federal Court rules Federal Government Was Allowed to Pull Out of Kyoto


In a decision released on July 17, 2012, Federal Court Justice Simon Noël held that the Federal Government’s decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol was not in violation of the rule of law, the principle of the separation of powers or the democratic principle. Justice Noël focused mainly on his holding that withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol did not violate the Kyoto Protocol Implementation ... Read More »

An Update On Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reduction in Canada


By Meghan Babin, Zizzo Allan Climate Law Summer Intern According to a recent study published in the journal Nature, Earth may be on the brink of an ecological tipping point, due in large part to the destruction of natural ecosystems, climate change and population growth.[1] Released just weeks shy of the United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, ... Read More »

Australia: Carbon Credits from Farming and Forestry

Australia’s parliament has passed bills allowing the creation of carbon credits from farmland and forests, known as the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI). Reuters reports that the CFI is a world first, creating a comprehensive national scheme to regulate carbon from forestry and agriculture. The CFI is also important as an important component of a broader package of climate laws and ... Read More »