Pre-Paris: What every development professional should know about climate change

By Jenny Lei Ravelo 13 October 2015

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Environment Minister of Peru Manuel Gerardo Pedro Pulgar-Vidal (first right) and Foreign Minister of France Laurent Fabius (second right), presidents of COP20 and COP21, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The upcoming COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris, from November 30 to December 11. Photo by: Eskinder Debebe / United Nations

At the end of a packed year of big development events, COP21 looms.

Climate change impact on ecosystems and livelihoods will affect the work of professionals in WASH to education to urban planning, and not one sector has been left out of the call to mainstream it in programming and strategies.

Most countries have already committed to specific target emissions in negotiations over the last year, although advocates argue they’re still short of what’s needed to keep the earth below its 2 degrees Celsius threshold. Financing remains a sticking point as the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris approaches — which will, in theory, lead to a new and more ambitious deal on greenhouse gas emission targets.

But the road to COP21 is fraught with unfamiliar terms for those non-climate experts now tuning in to the debate. What are they negotiating in Paris? What’s the deal with climate finance? We already have something called the Green Climate Fund, right?

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About the author

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Jenny Lei Ravelo@JennyLeiRavelo

Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.


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