The tiny Pacific island nation of Kiribati became the first country to declare that global warming is rendering its lands uninhabitable, asking for help in evacuating its population. Such a rise would be enough to put large portions of the country literally underwater.
When the world's two largest CO2 emitters finally come together, own up to their carbon culpability, and agree that it's time to go down a path of climate cooperation, there is reason--for once in a long time--to be cautiously hopeful.
Okay so, negotiations over a new global climate pact won't break the internet like the new Star Wars trailer. But maybe they should. We are now one year away from the deadline for a new agreement to slow the growing climate crisis.
Among the blizzard of announcements made as part of the UN Climate Summit over the past few days, one that should not be lost in the storm is the pledge made by French President Francois Hollande to contribute $1 billion to the new Green Climate Fund.
The People's Climate March will hopefully set some official pants on fire and speed up the capitalization of the new fund. At the same time, we need to be vigilant that the powers that be don't abuse the GCF as honey pots from which they can fund business-as-usual or outright destructive projects.
These design aspects of the GCF are crucial, and the Board must get them right in order to ensure that the GCF benefits the world's most vulnerable in a sustainable and inclusive manner. But a larger question looms over the whole affair. Where is the money?