Asia in 2016: Philippines

Asia in 2016: PhilippinesThe Philippines has endured a turbulent year under Rodrigo Duterte, who assumed the country’s presidency from June 30. His agenda, which has included extra-judicial killings as part of a war on drugs and sidelining the United States as an ally, has put the Philippines back in the headlines. The controversial campaign against drugs, in which…

UN Marrakech Climate Talks End with Little Action

UN Marrakech Climate Talks End with Little ActionHampered by the cloud of President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to lead the United States out of the landmark Paris pact on climate change, the &United Nations-sponsored 22nd Conference of Parties (COP) concluded in Marakech, Morocco at 2:00 am on Nov. 19, hours delayed from the time it was originally meant to end, with a fight…

Working Around US Pledge to Leave Climate Pact

Working Around US Pledge to Leave Climate PactGlobal carbon emissions can still go down even if the US plans to cancel its Paris Agreement goals and go the dirty energy route under the administration of President Donald Trump, said Washington’s top negotiator on Nov. 14 at climate talks in Marrakesh, Morocco.  “Of course they are going to move forward,” Jonathan Pershing, a…

Marrakech Climate Talks Thrown into Confusion by US Election

Marrakech Climate Talks Thrown into Confusion by US ElectionNews broke that Donald Trump had won the US presidential election on the third day of United Nations-sponsored annual talks on climate change in Marrakesh, Morocco. Given Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric calling global warming a Chinese plot, understandably the news came as a shock. Hundreds of delegates are attending the 22nd session of the Conference of…

Can the World Meet its Climate Change Commitments?

Can the World Meet its Climate Change Commitments?There is growing concern over whether developed countries will meet their pledges to finance the historic pact agreed in Paris in 2015 on climate change, with no concrete plans on how to do so, according to critics at current United Nations-sponsored climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco. Instead, a women’s protest group said on Nov. 7…

Southeast Asia Grapples with Renewable Energy

Southeast Asia Grapples with Renewable EnergyWith the Paris Agreement on climate change entering into force on Nov. 4, the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations far behind on the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy to power their development. Southeast Asian nations have collectively outpaced the rest of the world in GDP growth since the 1970s,…

Unilever Concert Deaths Test Philippine President Duterte’s Drug War

Unilever Concert Deaths Test Philippine President Duterte’s Drug WarWithin hours of taking his oath as the 16th president of the Philippines on June 30, Rodrigo Duterte stood in front of a group of Manila’s slum dwellers and thundered profanity-laden vows to kill all drug traffickers. It’s nothing the tough-talking former Davao mayor hasn’t said before, and Ariel Radovan is hoping that the president’s…

Southeast Asia Stumbles on Biofuels

Southeast Asia Stumbles on BiofuelsAlthough countries in Southeast Asia have respectfully committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the landmark pact adopted in Paris in 2015, regional economic and political developments have either slowed or halted the momentum for biofuel production and slowed the development of other renewable energy sources. These countries, collectively growing at a 5 percent annual…

Bonn Climate Negotiations

Bonn Climate NegotiationsThe past few days of United Nations-sponsored climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, have been the focus of heated discussions over whether or not private companies should be allowed to participate as observers in the Conference of Parties (COP) 22 in Marrakech. Last week, a group of developing countries — Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, and Nicaragua —…

Global Climate Change: Impossible Goals?

Global Climate Change: Impossible Goals?Given the overwhelming and seemingly almost uncontrollable amount of greenhouse gases pouring into the world’s atmosphere, it is starting to seem impossible to meet the 1.5C rise limit in temperatures by 2030. Governments may have to turn to carbon capture – so-called “negative emissions” – in the effort to control temperatures, a solution that critics…
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