Japan, New Zealand to ratify; deal near certain to take effect this year
Chances of the Paris Agreement on climate change taking force this year rose substantially this week after two more significant greenhouse-gas-emitting nations — New Zealand and Japan — pledged to join.
If all the countries that have pledged to become parties to the accord by 2016 follow through, Paris will be in effect by the end of this year.
Does the world really need a clean energy 'moonshot'?
The Obama administration celebrated the Breakthrough Energy Coalition at last year's Paris climate summit as evidence that some of the world's most successful financiers back the president's agenda of addressing warming.
But the pledge by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and others to channel resources toward revolutionary new energy technologies reopened a long-standing debate over whether billions in private-sector dollars should be spent chasing an "energy miracle" or helping market-ready technologies gain traction.
What's happening with Bill Gates' multibillion-dollar energy fund?
Bill Gates believes the key to addressing climate change is an "energy miracle," and in November, he set about trying to conjure one.
Flanked by President Obama and more than a dozen other world leaders in Paris for the first day of a landmark climate summit, Gates claimed a role for the private sector in delivering new solutions.
Brazil could tip global deal into force
Brazil's ratification of the Paris climate agreement last week may not have been the biggest story emanating from Rio de Janeiro, but it might tip the deal into force.
The South American nation's Senate approved the U.N. agreement on Thursday, weeks after the House did the same.
Figueres struggling to get foothold in U.N. race
Christiana Figueres' candidacy to lead the United Nations appears to be faltering despite her role in helping deliver one of the international body's greatest recent successes in Paris last year.
The former U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change chief has made December's landmark climate deal her calling card in the secretary-general race. But while that's served her in public events, the U.N. Security Council that will ultimately choose a candidate has relegated her to the bottom tier of contenders.