LE BOURGET, France — Keeping abreast of the latest news on climate change can be a tricky task, and following the Conference of Parties (COP) talks is downright difficult. Many of the negotiations are closed to journalists, and even those at the table can get lost in a labyrinth of words in brackets—phrases that are open to deletion in the negotiations.
And there’s no shortage of vulnerable text as climate negotiators labor over every detail: Should climate finance be spent on “adaptation, loss and damage” or “adaptation loss and damage?”
“Climate commitment” or “climate contributions”? Should or shall? May or must? It’s a lawyer’s dream.
And the difference between one word and another could have a ripple effect on policies around the globe for years to come.
So who observes the observers? That’s where climate trackers come in.
ClimateTracker.org, part of the nonprofit Global Call to Action, has tasked 14 writers from around the world to cover the Paris climate talks, called COP21. Since 2009, 75 fellows from 35 countries—most of them under the age of 30—have followed the minutiae of climate negotiations.