Global solutions from Oregon

CONNECTING THE pARIS aGREEMENT (and COP26!) TO sOUTHERN oREGON

Addressing Climate Change is a global effort, and you can get involved in the process from right where you are in Oregon. And as of today, February 21, 2021, the United States is back in the Paris Agreement with American scientists, policy makers, businesses and diplomats once again contributing to the work of the United Nations on climate. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This video is a recording of Paris Agreement 101 presented by Oregon State University and the Southwestern Oregon Chapter of The Climate Reality project with presenters (scroll down for bios) Zac Pinard, Grace Doleshel and Frank Granshaw, with thanks to Gregg Walker. As you watch, you will hear an alphabet soup of terms. UNFCCC? COP26? YOUNGO? RINGO? Don’t let it throw you off. Scroll down for links and terms.

Some terms

  • UNFCCC = United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, pronounced ‘U-N-F-triple C,’ the UN effort on Climate Change.
  • COP = Conference of the Parties (Everyone gets together, this year in Glasgow for COP26, meets, greets, and makes decisions.)
  • NGO = Non-governmental Organization (An organization often focused on an issue that is independent from government, like The Climate Reality Project or OXFAM.)
  • NDC = Nationally Determined Contribution or INDC, Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (What individual nations have said they will do or intend to do.)
  • SBI = Subsidiary Body for Implementation (A group within the UNFCCC that keeps an eye on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, mitigations and other things climate with the goal of supporting national efforts to meet climate goals.)
  • SBSTA = Also SBs, Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice. (When you need an expert to help you with implementation and policy, these guys are also within the UNFCCC.)
  • ACE = Action for Climate Empowerment. (A group designed to encourage people from all walks of life and all nations to learn about climate change and efforts to address it.)
  • YOUNGO = Also called COY (Conference of Youth), a group of young people who have come together over social media to address climate within the UNFCCC effort. The ‘NGO‘ at the end is for Non-governmental Organizations.
  • RINGO / BINGO = You get the idea, there are a number of groups of those brought together by interests, expertise, and collegiality. YOUNGO as well as RINGO for researchers (Research and Independent Non-governmental Organizations), BINGO for Business and Industry Non-governmental Organizations.
  • Climate Bridge = an effort to allow interested parties, individuals and organizations to attend the COPs virtually.

A Climate Bridge in Oregon. Not everyone can–or should–travel to Glasgow for COP26. But the more folks who can participate in this global process to address climate change the better. Folks are needed from all and everywhere if we are going to tackle the challenge that is right-now all around us. Frank Granshaw has invested tremendous effort into development of a virtual bridge that last year linked Portland, Oregon, to COP25. This Prezi presentation walks you through the idea with links, a timeline, and information. If there is leadership and interest, we could organize a Virtual Bridge to COP26 right here in Southern Oregon.


Need another video? Get some latest policy hopes as you dig deeper with this video, released in honor of today–our first day back into the Paris Agreement!–by TEDCountdown, featuring Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the Paris Agreement, Al Gore, Chairman of The Climate Reality Project, and John Kerry, the new US Special Envoy for Climate.

Find this video on TED

A Key Resource:

Be sure to order the 8th Edition.

Zac mentioned this book in his presentation, Global Environmental Politics, 8th Edition, by Pamela S. Chasek and David L. Downie. I ordered one! What I liked about the book is that it is packed with information yet organized in a way that I can actually navigate that information. It begins with an introduction as to how Global Environmental Politics started, and covers basics, timelines, stakeholders, research, wealth and energy management, developmental goals, and there is even a little rah-rah in there as people come together in teams to roll up their sleeves and get the work done. It is an academic introduction, and I appreciated that the book covers the changing scope of the effort. This work started with careful measurement of greenhouse gasses. It has grown into an awareness that climate is about environment and so it touches everything from food and water systems to economic systems to pollution to energy to human culture and every life on earth. A great recommendation.

One more resource invitation: Zac works for Climate XChange, a nonprofit focused on research, education and advocacy tools designed to move us toward a clean energy economy. Consider plugging into the State Climate Policy Network!  The SCPN is a nationwide network of professionals in the climate space, a great place to connect with important people and organizations. Send your email to zac@climate-xchange.org to join and receive newsletter updates!


Thank you to our organizers and presenters!

Zac Pinard grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to the Pacific Northwest for college. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Science, specializing in Environmental Economics and Policy. In 2020, he worked as a legislative assistant for the chair of the Oregon House Committee on Energy and the Environment. During that short session, he gained significant exposure to the political battle surrounding an economy-wide carbon pricing bill. He hopes he can take that experience forward to help implement robust carbon pricing mechanisms throughout the nation.


Grace Doleshel is a 19 year old environmental activist and student at Oregon State University pursuing a BS in Environmental Public Policy with a minor in Social Justice. She has worked in environmental advocacy and policy since age 14 and has policy experience at a local, state, national and international level, most recently she attended the COP 25 Climate Conference in Madrid, Spain.  Grace’s experience includes environmental education, policy, public speaking and writing.  She currently works as the Coordinator of Environmental Affairs for the Associated Students of Oregon State University.


Frank Granshaw is a retired geoscience educator, glacial geologist, and insufferably proud grandpa from Portland, Oregon. In addition to being actively involved  in climate education and advocacy through Portland State University, the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Creation Justice Program, American Geophysical Union, and the Oregon Science Network of the Union of Concerned Scientists, he has been an observer delegate to two UN Climate summits and is one of the founders of the PDX Climate Bridge.


Gregg B. Walker is Professor and Chair of the Department of Speech Communication, Adjunct Professor of Forest Resources, and Director of the Peace Studies program at Oregon State University in Corvallis. In addition, Professor Walker conducts training programs on collaborative decision making, designs collaborative public participation processes, facilitates collaborative learning community workshops, and researches community-level collaboration efforts. Gregg is also a co-author for Working through Environmental Conflict; The Collaborative Learning Approach.


We plan to do more webinars. Please check back for events, or add your name to the chapter mailing list by emailing us your name. Consider applying to a Leadership Corps training from The Climate Reality Project, and/or joining an Oregon Chapter.

The Paris Agreement 101

This event is over. View the recording and plenty of info and resources on our global solutions from Oregon post!

The Eiffel Tower in Paris France. The Paris Accords, an international agreement to keep earth’s temperature below 1.5 C was signed in 2015. We are not yet anywhere near meeting these goals.

“What goes on at Climate Change COPs?” Now that the U.S. has rejoined the Paris Climate Accords under President Biden, it is more important than ever to learn how the international debate on climate change is conducted and what the U.S. will be participating in going forward.  Join us February 10th at 4pm for a presentation and discussion about the Paris Agreement, COP26, and the work of the United Nations UNFCCC led by The Climate Reality Project SW Oregon Chapter’s two COP alums, Grace Doleshel and Zac Pinard.

This is an opportunity to learn the basics–COP, what? Paris, which?–then dig a little deeper, as well as learn how to get connected with the global effort from right here in beautiful Oregon.

This discussion and presentation offered in partnership with Oregon State University UNFCCC and student programs.

Want to get prepped and ready to go for the discussion? Read up on The Paris Agreement at The Climate Reality Project.

Our Presenters:

Zac Pinard grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to the Pacific Northwest for college. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Science, specializing in Environmental Economics and Policy. In 2020, he worked as a legislative assistant for the chair of the Oregon House Committee on Energy and the Environment. During that short session, he gained significant exposure to the political battle surrounding an economy-wide carbon pricing bill. He hopes he can take that experience forward to help implement robust carbon pricing mechanisms throughout the nation.


Grace is a 19 year old environmental activist and student at Oregon State University pursuing a BS in Environmental Public Policy with a minor in Social Justice. She has worked in environmental advocacy and policy since age 14 and has policy experience at a local, state, national and international level, most recently she attended the COP 25 Climate Conference in Madrid, Spain.  Grace’s experience includes environmental education, policy, public speaking and writing.  She currently works as the Coordinator of Environmental Affairs for the Associated Students of Oregon State University 


Frank Granshaw is a retired geoscience educator, glacial geologist, and insufferably proud grandpa from Portland, Oregon. In addition to being actively involved  in climate education and advocacy through Portland State University, the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Creation Justice Program, American Geophysical Union, and the Oregon Science Network of the Union of Concerned Scientists, he has been an observer delegate to two UN Climate summits and is one of the founders of the PDX Climate Bridge.


The more you know…Explore the links and learn more. A lot more.

What exactly IS climate change? Explore the links to learn more. A lot more.

Greenhouse gasses are a natural part of our planetary system. But humans are dumping 152 million tons of global warming pollution into our atmosphere every year–enough to destabilize climate and planetary systems. The effect is catastrophic and our time to deal with it is running out.

Keep scrolling for a lot of links. Because climate change impacts everything, there is a lot to learn. Start where you are. Learn a little. Learn a little more. Because the more you know…

climate change courses

This one. Climate Change: the Science and Global Impact. It’s free online through Edx.org, but for a small fee you can earn a certificate. It is taught by Michael Mann Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University. It’s a big step in terms of jumping in, so if you are not quite ready keep scrolling for other options. There are also other climate change courses available at Edx.org

Experts on Video

Global Weirding by climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. Her blog and youtube channel are absolutely chock full of information, delivered in a digestible way. Among her many videos, this answers a question that comes up a lot, what is the difference between climate and weather? Also, check out her TED talk, Let’s Talk About It.

TedTALKs have for decades now been leading the conversation on the human conversation and especially the human imperatives. They have curated a section on Climate Change, but what may frustrate you is how long we have been having this conversation with so little headway! Climate Reality Project founder Al Gore has offered three TED talks, most recently June 2020. The appear here in order of most current. This final of the three, from 2008, seems already a lifetime ago. The information in the 2008 talk is dated, but still relevant.

Trusted Institutions & Reports

The Big Reports are the IPCC, NA4, COP26, SOCCR2, and, for Oregon, the OCCRI reports. These are the gold standard for statistics and analysis. Especially look to the NA4 and Oregon OCCRI, those are very accessible. Ideally, people and governments use the information gathered into these reports to make informed international commitments to keep our earth habitable, such as the Paris Agreement.

The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is a production of global researchers and scientists working with the United Nations. The document is broken into many reports, you can find the list on the reports page.

To highlight just a few of the reports, see this list:

  1. Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate which include sections on:
    1. Changing Ocean, Marine Ecosystems, and Dependent Communities and
    2. Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-Lying Islands, Coasts and Communities.
  2. Climate change on Land, which includes a section on:
    1. Land Degradation and
    2. Food Security.

The NA4, The Fourth National Climate Assessment focuses on the United States. This report was completed in 2018, with the Climate Science Special Report completed in 2017. These comprehensive assessments are also made up of reports. The Climate Science Special Report is very science-y but awesome. If you are up to it, dig in! The 2017 reports are all listed here. The 2018 Climate Assessment reports are also comprehensive but easier to read through. You have to access them using the dropdown menu on the top bar, ‘chapters.’

Find reports including these:

  1. Water
  2. Human Health
  3. Forests
  4. The Regional Northwest

COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference/Summit that brings leaders from around the world together to address climate Change. While this isn’t a report per se, the conference generates a tremendous amount of material. More than you can sift through. Some links:

  1. COP26 Climate Summit home page.
  2. UN Climate Change home page.
  3. United Nations News.

SOCCR2, the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report, which is produced by an interagency working group incorporating North American experts in the US, Mexico, and Canada. This is again a more science-y document, so prepare when you read through it. To access specific topics, look to the dropdown menu from the Chapters tab on the top menu bar.

Some sample report chapters from this report:

  1. Observations of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Methane.
  2. Future of the North American Carbon Cycle, including subsections on:
    1. future land,’
    2. future ocean,’
    3. future freshwater.’
  3. Energy Systems.
  4. Agriculture.

What is the Carbon Cycle? Check out this video from the World Meteorological Organization. There is a lot more chemistry to learn if you are inclined.

OCCRI, the Fourth Oregon Climate Assessment Report from the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, published in 2019. Most of what is included is the 2018 NA4 report for the Northwest. But there is also a preceding chapter with basic summaries for Oregon. (Here’s the full report PDF.)

The Paris Agreement. From the tremendous energy of governments, policy makers, economists, and scientists world wide has come a agreement of the highest imperative–literally a road map to how to stabilize the climate and give future (and living) generations a chance. The Paris Agreement must be ratified THIS YEAR and is a big push for The Climate Reality Project and many other climate concerned people and organizations. So far 189 out of 197 parties have ratified the agreement. Learn more about the Paris Agreement.

Listen to this TED talk by Tom Rivett-Carnac, one of the architects of the Paris Agreement with Christiana Figueres. They are also co-authors of The Future We Choose, and have a podcast, Global Optimism.

The US became a signatory to the agreement by Executive Order under President Obama. The Trump Administration is now in the process of withdrawing US support.

Former Vice President Al Gore released a statement and tweeted encouragement to those who are committed the Paris Agreement as a vital step toward a livable planet.

Important! Register to vote. Your voice is important in the global efforts agreed to in The Paris Agreement, and more.

news and blog sites

There are a lot of excellent resources out there from media and institutions addressing climate change. These are but a very few:

National Geographic (paywall), The Guardian, New York Times (paywall), NOAA Climate, Union of Concerned Scientists Climate Impacts and Climate Science and a 2019 Oregon Climate Factsheet (pdf), DeSmog, Yale Climate Communications, Oregon Public Broadcasting on climate change, US Forest service on Climate Change, and so many more.