15 May 2013 Addressing Climate Change Is Focal Point of Arctic Summit The Arctic Council presides over one of the Earth’s coldest places, but the warming of the Arctic and the overall planetary trend of climate change were the dominant topics as the council met in Kiruna, Sweden. Representing the United States, Secretary of State John Kerry said the “ominous” threat of climate change is a shared challenge for the world.
14 May 2013 Arctic Nations Plan for Spills, Environmental Change Secretary of State John Kerry will join counterparts
from seven other nations May 15 to discuss their shared stewardship of
the Arctic, its fragile environment and its unique biodiversity. Members of the Arctic Council are set to sign an agreement on
oil-spill response in the region and to review the first assessment of
Arctic biodiversity ever conducted. The Arctic Council is the only diplomatic forum focused solely on the
entire Arctic region, monitoring environment, climate change,
biodiversity, marine issues and other topics.
• Kerry on Climate Change, Future of the Arctic
22 April 2013 Earth Day - Statement by Secretary of State John Kerry "The science is screaming at all of us and demands action. From the far reaches of Antarctica’s Ross Sea to tropical wetlands in Southeast Asia, we have a responsibility to safeguard and sustainably manage our planet’s natural resources, and the United States remains firm in its commitment to addressing global environmental challenges."
18 April 2013 Global Clean Air Group Makes Progress in First Year Warmer temperatures, melting polar ice and rising sea levels are focus issues for Earth Day 2013 April 22. An international initiative to address those problems over the last 14 months has mobilized governments, international organizations and world mega-cities to actions aimed at slowing warming and preventing releases of methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants.
04 April 2013 Cloud Cover Seen as Cause in Greenland Glacier Meltdown The melting of Greenland's glaciers in the summer of 2012 was as extensive as it has been in more than a century, and U.S. scientists now conclude that a very particular type of cloud formation made the difference. The research team found that July 2012 cloud conditions over Greenland's ice sheet caused just enough surface warming and retention of planetary heat to cause an abnormally high level of warming on the world's largest island.
29 March 2013 U.S. Shapes Climate Change Response Plans The Obama administration is developing action plans to adapt to and lessen the impact of climate change, with two reports issued by different government entities in late March. The recommendations emerging from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the Department of Interior follow through on a priority that was front and center in President Obama's State of the Union address delivered in January.
12 March 2013 New Evidence on Earth and Within It Affirms Climate Change Two research projects releasing data in early March provide new evidence that the Earth is warmer than it used to be. One group used satellite data to track the spread of plant life into higher latitudes than cold temperatures ever allowed in the past. Another group has examined ice and sediment cores gathered around the globe to calculate an unbroken record of temperatures over the past 11,300 years.
28 January 2013 Cities' Heat Changing Weather in Far-Away Places The heat that seeps out of leaky buildings and the warmth of cars purring in traffic contribute to the mass of heat that pulses into the atmosphere from urban centers. Research just published in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that urban heat can change the behavior of major atmospheric systems that sweep across North America and Northern Asia.
15 January 2013 State's Stern Shares Hopes for Climate Talks at World Summit U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern told delegates to
the 6th World Future Energy Summit that the world faces “a fundamental
challenge and a genuine opportunity” in new international climate talks. Stern said that at the recent conference on climate change,
participants pointed the way forward for development of a new agreement
having legal force that would be applicable to everyone, not just
developed countries, in contrast to the Kyoto Protocol.
• The New Climate Negotiations: Ambition, Differentiation and Flexibility
05 January 2013 U.S. Climate Envoy Stern at State's Foreign Affairs Policy Board "We need a broad, national conversation about climate change so that we can start thinking rationally about policy, rather than just losing the issue to hot-button politics".
20 December 2012 Scientists Report Climate Impact on Animals, Ecosystems Animals and plants are moving up mountainsides seeking cooler temperatures. Some fish species have smaller ranges and less abundance. Other species are diminishing in their numbers, unable to adjust to climate change, with extinction being a possible outcome. These findings come from a wide-ranging study produced by a collaboration of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), academia and environmentally oriented nongovernmental organizations.
19 December 2012 Data Show Less Ice, Snow in Arctic; Implications Are Global An annual assessment of climatic conditions in the Arctic shows record-breaking declines in summer sea ice, spring snow cover and the Greenland ice sheet. "The Arctic is changing in both predictable and unpredictable ways, so we must expect surprises,” said Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and the NOAA administrator.
11 December 2012 Lamps Add to Global Emissions; Soot-Cutting Campaign Grows Kerosene lamps used to light small spaces produce soot emissions that fuel global warming, but changing lighting technology could help contain global temperatures. Real-world measurements of the lamp emissions accumulated by the research team reveal that a relatively high percentage of the fuel is converted to black carbon, also called soot. The black wisps of smoke drifting upward from a burning lamp are almost pure carbon.
27 November 2012 Talks on Global Climate Change Open in Doha, Qatar The world’s top decisionmakers on climate are meeting in Doha, Qatar, over the next two weeks for the U.N. Climate Change Conference. The 18th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework on Climate Change is expected to focus on strategies for accelerating actions to reduce greenhouse gases and to inhibit the increase of global temperatures.
14 November 2012 California Puts a Price on Carbon California is holding its first carbon emissions permit auction November 14. The auction is a critical component of the state’s cap-and-trade program, a market-based initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating incentives for companies to limit their pollution.
18 October 2012 U.S., Partners Make Progress in Soot Emission Reductions School buses, locomotives, garbage trucks and fleets of other dirty machines are being replaced thanks to funds provided by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. EPA has announced winners of $30 million in grants for replacing or re-fitting diesel-fueled equipment with more environmentally friendly technology .
12 October 2012 Scientists Theorize Global Sunblock Could Lessen Warming Blocking the sunlight that reaches Earth might be another means to lessen the effects of climate change, some U.S. scientists theorize. Scientists backed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are testing the idea with computer projections on future climate change.
11 October 2012 Arctic Wind Shift Could Affect Ice Loss and Weather, Study Says Changes in summer Arctic wind patterns contribute not only to an unprecedented loss of Arctic sea ice, but could also bring about shifts in North American and European weather, according to a new NOAA-led study published in Geophysical Research Letters.
01 October 2012 Marshlands, Hungry for CO2, Could Slow Warming Rising sea levels are among the most threatening consequences of climate change, but new research suggests that higher waters in coastal marshlands may help slow climate change as they enable the ecosystem to more quickly capture and consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
20 September 2012 U.S, European Satellites Work Together for Weather The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites launched the environmental satellite METOP-B from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite will provide data for NOAA to feed into numerical prediction models used to forecast weather and climate, according to the agency’s top satellite official.
01 September 2012 NASA-Funded Study Helps Untangle Methane Mystery Increased capture of natural gas from oil fields probably accounts
for up to 70 percent of the dramatic leveling off seen in atmospheric
methane at the end of the 20th century, according to new University of
California Irvine (UCI) research.
• Methane Q & A
30 August 2012 Antarctic Ice Sheet Holds Methane Reservoir, Studies Say The remains of life forms that thrived long ago in a temperate Antarctic have probably been converted into a large cache of methane that could be released if the ice sheet shrinks, researchers report
02 August 2012 NOAA Says Oceans, Ecosystems Soak Up Half of Carbon Emissions The planet’s capacity to absorb carbon emissions is almost keeping pace with the increasing amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) spewed into the atmosphere by human activities. But that won’t last forever, scientists say. GHGs have increased substantially over the half-century span of the data examined by these scientists.
11 July 2012 2011 Weather Data Show Effects of Climate Change The year 2011 will be remembered for extreme weather events, most notably two occurrences of the Pacific La Niña phenomenon that contributed to droughts in some places and worse-than-average cyclone seasons in others.
27 June 2012 Interior Secretary, Deputy Secretary at Norway Arctic Roundtable U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes spoke at the Norway Arctic Roundtable in Trondheim, Norway. These discussions and meetings aim to expand safe and responsible production of energy from domestic resources while ensuring the strongest possible safety and environmental oversight of offshore oil and gas activities.
26 June 2012 U.S. Makes Strides in Clean Energy This week’s U.S. government highlights cover wind, solar power, and clean coal initiatives, part of President Obama’s All-of-the-Above energy strategy. Our Science Officer focuses on sustainability projects in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and on Native American tribal lands.
20 June 2012 Rio+20: NASA Satellite Data Support Sustainable Development Forest fires in Guatemala, snow pack in the Himalayas, changes in ground cover in Africa — their potential impact on populations, water supplies and farmlands is better understood when seen from a satellite. U.S. agencies are collecting this data and giving it to decisionmakers in other countries so they’ll be better informed about how to protect their lands and their people.
20 June 2012 U.S. Envoy for Climate Change Stern at Rio+20
08 May 2012 Polar Bears Can Adapt, But How Quickly? Scientists from Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United States find the evolution of the polar bear shows the species has adapted to past climate changes but question whether the species can adapt quickly enough to survive the changes now occurring in the Earth’s climate.
02 May 2012 Warmer Arctic Brings Opportunities and Risk, Experts Say Warmer temperatures causing global climate change are recorded month after month, but the greatest evidence of environmental change appears in the Arctic. Increased summer melt of the Arctic Ocean is opening new navigable sea lanes, creating both new opportunities and new risks for the nations with interests in the northernmost ocean.
24 April 2012 Climate Change Coalition Gains New Members, Momentum A two-month-old international plan to accelerate action against climate-damaging pollutants is gaining momentum with decisions from Stockholm. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is targeting a subgroup of greenhouse gases with an oversized effect on global warming, including methane, soot and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
11 April 2012 Long-Term Study Reveals Potential Results of Climate Change Ecosystems dependent on snow and ice may suffer the most adverse impacts from climate change, according to a body of information accumulated through the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
16 March 2012 NASA Renews Arctic Flights Studying Polar Ice From mid-March through mid-May, researchers working on Operation IceBridge will spend a lot of the time in the air, as they fly daily missions over the planet’s most northern regions to collect data on sea and land ice. IceBridge will join efforts to validate and calibrate sea ice measurements by CryoSat-2, the European Space Agency’s ice-monitoring satellite.
16 February 2012 Campaign Launches to Cut Methane, Soot and Reduce Climate Change The United States and a group of international partners launched a new battle in the campaign against climate change, forming a coalition to reduce the release of a subgroup of greenhouse gases (GHG) that have an oversized effect on global warming.
09 February 2012 New NASA Data Offer Greater Detail in Earth Ice Depletion Satellite observations accumulated over a seven-year period show that the volume of Earth’s land ice mass decreased by 4.3 trillion tons (more than 4,150 cubic kilometers) and increased global sea level by 12 millimeters. A research team at the University of Colorado reached these conclusions based on satellite measurements collected from 2003 to 2010 by the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).
Climate Change : COP-17
The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol, will be held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.
We will be streaming the news from Durban as we have it from our Facebook page.
13 December 2011 U.S. Satisfied with Outcome of Climate Change Talks The U.S. special envoy on climate change is calling the two-week round of talks in Durban, South Africa, a “successful conference,” saying the United States is satisfied with the agreement reached by negotiators from almost 200 participating nations.
08 December 2011 Global Climate Talks Near End with Appeal for Common Ground With the U.N. summit on climate change about to enter its final day in Durban, South Africa, the U.S. special envoy to the meeting asked fellow negotiators to “seek the common ground needed to deliver a successful outcome.”
08 December 2011 Remarks by U.S. Envoy Stern at COP-17 Conference in South Africa
05 December 2011 Statement by Special Envoy Stern at COP-17 Conference in Durban
29 November 2011 U.S. Hopes for Progress at Climate Change Talks U.S. negotiators in Durban, South Africa, are hoping that “a substantial step forward in the global effort to address climate change” can be made at the 17th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, according to the deputy special envoy leading the U.S. delegation this week.
26 September 2011 New Data from Pacific May Help Save Coral Reefs A new coral reef observation station is operating in Saipan in the Northern Mariana island chain of the North Pacific. The station, installed in August, will transmit an array of environmental observations, providing another monitoring tool for the Coral Reef Early Warning System developed by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
19 September 2011 U.S. Climate Negotiator: “Real Progress Can Be Made” Seventy days remain until international leaders will gather in South Africa to discuss ways to tackle climate change. A meeting held between leaders from 17 major economies in Washington to discuss the road forward was productive, U.S. lead climate negotiator Todd Stern said, adding that several outstanding issues, such as the future of the Kyoto Protocol, remain thorny.
15 September 2011 Cleaner Fuel on Ships Produces Fewer Emissions, NOAA Finds Air pollution emitted by a seagoing vessel drops sharply when the ship switches to a cleaner, low-sulfur fuel, according to a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
25 August 2011 Seattle’s Climate Strategy Pays Off It is difficult to imagine a water shortage in Seattle, Washington. Yet the threat of water shortages — triggered by glacier melt and accelerated by warming temperatures — has inspired the city of 609,000 to embark on one of the most ambitious climate protection plans in the nation. The city has launched plans to cut energy waste by insulating and retrofitting buildings, to reduce driving by building new transit networks, and to position itself as a hotbed of clean-energy jobs and innovation.
29 June 2011 Climate Report: Warmer Temperatures, Extreme Events Mark 2010 The year 2010 ranked as one of the two warmest years on record, according to an assessment compiled by almost 370 scientists in 45 countries. The findings present “multiple indicators, same bottom line conclusion,” according to a NOAA briefing paper. “Consistent and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the oceans: The world continues to warm.”
24 June 2011 U.S. to Discuss Climate Change, Poverty with Pacific Islands The Obama administration is sending a high-level delegation to the Pacific Islands to engage governments in the region on climate change, the welfare of Pacific Islanders and U.S. assistance to the region.
24 May 2011 Trees Have Carbon Task Want to do something about climate change? Plant a tree.
13 May 2011 "Cool Roofs" Save Energy Cool roofs are made of materials that reflect solar energy, moving heat away from the structure below it. These materials can include specially coated metal, tile and even asphalt shingles.
11 May 2011 Are You Living on an "Urban Heat Island"? When you are living in a busy city, it’s hard to think of yourself as living on an “island.” But you are: an urban heat island, to be exact. All those concrete buildings, paved streets and sidewalks are absorbing heat, promoting smog and increasing air pollution.
10 May 2011 U.S. Takes High-Level Interest in Arctic Meeting Two U.S. Cabinet secretaries head to Nuuk, Greenland, for a meeting of the Arctic Council May 12, devoting a “historic” level of executive branch attention, according to one U.S. official, to this meeting of nations with territorial claims to the top of the world.
25 April 2011 Studies Say Cities Are Ill Prepared for Hazards of Climate Change A U.S. researcher says cities worldwide are particularly vulnerable to damage from the effects of climate change — and doing little to prepare for them. The cities also are failing to reduce the damage they are causing through carbon emissions, the researcher said.
20 April 2011 State Department Releases Benchmarks to Meet Energy and Sustainability Goals The Department of State released its Fiscal Year 2010 scorecard on sustainability and energy performance in accordance with Executive Order 13514, which directs Federal agencies to meet a range of energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets. The scorecard, issued by the Office of Management and Budget, indicates the Department is meeting most of its environmental requirements.
11 December 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Cancun Agreements
VIDEO: Andrew Light on the American public's engagement on climate
The European Media Center talks to Andrew Light, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
23 December 2009 VIDEO : An Insiders View of COP-15 Jock Whittlesey, the Environment Counselor at the U.S. Embassy London, talks through his experience at the UN Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen
18 December 2009 Remarks by President Barack Obama at Copenhagen Summit
17 December 2009 Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton The Obama administration is prepared to join other major economies in coming up with $100 billion per year over the next 10 years for a fund to help developing countries cope with climate-change needs. However, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says, any global climate-change agreement will also need to include transparency standards to help verify that each country is fulfilling its commitments.
15 December 2009 The U.S. Is on Board By U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
14 December 2009 Behind the Scenes At COP-15 Watch our man in Copenhagen, Jock Whittlesey, the Environment Counselor at the U.S. Embassy London, reporting from COP-15 climate summit.
14 December 2009 Fact sheet: Clean Energy Technology Announcements Today at the Copenhagen climate conference, on behalf of President Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the launch of a new initiative to promote clean energy technologies in developing countries. Secretary Chu also welcomed progress under the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) and invited his counterparts in MEF and other countries to a first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial next year.
09 December 2009 Press Briefing from COP15 by Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change (links to COP15.state.gov)
07 December 2009 Press Briefing by Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing U.S. Delegation press conference at COP15 in Copenhagen on December 7, 2009.
25 November 2009 U.S. Department of State Announces
U.S. Center at Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiation and Launches COP-15 Web
For the first time, the U.S. Department of State, in coordination with the White House and multiple federal departments and agencies, is organizing and hosting a U.S. Center at the annual Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The COP-15 Web site (www.cop15.state.gov) will serve as the central resource for public information about United States policy positions and U.S. Center programs at the Copenhagen negotiation.
ExchangesConnect - An International social network from the U.S. Department of State
18 November 2009 State Department launched second Annual ExchangesConnect Video Contest
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today launched the Department of State’s second annual ExchangesConnect Video Contest, “Change Your Climate, Change Our World,” with a video message on the ExchangesConnect social network at http://connect.state.gov/
The contest is a call to action for global citizens around the world to engage in cross-cultural community building and mutual understanding. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State launched ExchangesConnect social network in October 2008 and it has attracted over 14,000 members.
16 September 2009 The 21st-Century Challenge Award-winning writer and journalist Michael Specter, writes on the realities of global warming and how urgent steps must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late.
28 August 2009 Adaptation to Climate Change Focus of Meeting in Geneva For the first time since scientists determined unequivocally that the planet is warming, experts who collect and analyze climate data and those who manage the world's land and water resources will meet to decide how to help each other adapt to a changing climate. At the third World Climate Conference (WCC-3) in Geneva, August 31-September 4, some 1,500 policymakers and resource managers — the end users of climate forecasts — from more than 150 countries will join with scientific experts to begin the hard work of translating science into practical steps that people can use to adapt to a changing climate.
11 May 2009 New Research Reveals Droughts Common in West Africa The decades-long drought that began in West Africa in the 1960s is not an anomaly compared with what the region has faced during the last three millennia. An analysis of sediment from a crater lake in Ghana shows periods of severe drought lasting from decades to centuries throughout the last 3,000 years, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of Science magazine.
24 April 2009 Washington Hosts Climate Change Talks with 17 Nations The Obama administration is convening a meeting of 17 major nations April 27–28 in Washington to begin talks on international action to address climate change. The talks are a prelude to a U.N. meeting set for December in Copenhagen when a new global treaty on greenhouse gas reduction is expected to be forged.
• Preparatory Session for the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate
21 April 200 Antarctic Treaty Nations Tackle Tourism, Protect Native Species Native Antarctic animal and plant species will be better protected and the number of tourists to the planet's southernmost continent will be limited after a two-week meeting in Baltimore of representatives from 28 nations that have ratified the 50-year-old Antarctic Treaty.
30 March 2009 United States to Host Climate Change Forum in April The United States has invited 16 major economies to a forum in April to discuss climate change and clean energy ventures, the White House said.
19 March 2009 "Planetary Skin" Tool Aims to Improve Response to Climate Change Every day, on and above Earth, millions of sensors collect vast amounts of data representing interactions among the planet's systems of land, air, water and life. This is the kind of data needed to address the complexities of climate change or a move to a low-carbon-dioxide world economy, but gathering it is just the first step.
06 March 2009 Those Most Affected by Climate Change Seen as Unaware of Dangers The issue of climate change has gained prominence in the Western press, but in many developing countries the topic rarely appears in headlines, and citizens remain relatively uninformed about the risks they face from environmental degradation.
27 January 2009 Obama Makes Climate Change a National Priority Climate change is a planetary process, but its effects — sea level rise, shrinking glaciers, changes in plant and animal distribution, early-blooming trees, permafrost thaws — are regional and local. Some of the effects are already occurring, and the newly installed Obama administration, in power for just more than a week, is moving fast to put the United States in a leadership position to work with nations of the world and meet the challenges of climate change and energy security.
26 January 2009 Obama Sets Bold New Principles for U.S. Energy, Climate Policies President Obama vowed the United States will lead the global fight against global warming as he moved emphatically to overturn Bush administration's energy and climate change policies. During his campaign, Obama promised to fight global warming, cut energy consumption and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources.
01-12 December 2008 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznań
UN Climate Change Conference 2010
Representatives from 192 countries travel to Mexico in November for another round of climate negotiations. The 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place from 29 November to 10 December 2010.
Briefings and daily remarks (when available) are listed on the COP-16 Press Room page.
The latest press materials are:
- 11 December 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Cancun Agreements
- 07 December 2010 Daily Briefing at COP-16 by Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern
- 06 December 2010 Daily Briefing at COP-16 by Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern
Reports & Publications
- U.S. Fast Start Climate Financing in Fiscal Year 2010
- Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (PDF, 83Kb)
- COP-16 program (PDF, 576Kb)
Quick reference assistance available from the Information Resource Center between 10.00 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday to Friday, on 020-7894-0925.
Further research services are provided to U.K. media, government departments and academics.