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Two Guys In Paris Aim To Charm The World Into Climate Action

Here’s a job that sounds perfect for either a superhero or a glutton for punishment: Get nearly 200 countries to finally agree to take serious action on climate change.

Two men have taken on this challenge. They’re leading some international negotiations that will wrap up later this year in Paris at a major United Nations conference on climate change.

“It’s kind of like taking 196 cats and trying to get them all to move in the same direction,” explains Daniel Reifsnyder, whose normal job is being deputy assistant secretary for environment at the U.S. Department of State.

For the rest of this year, though, he’s co-chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). This is diplomat-speak for the effort to get a meaningful global agreement to rein in the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet.

The other co-chair is an ambassador from Algeria named Ahmed Djoghlaf, who says he’s only doing this “thanks to Dan” — because Djoghlaf probably wouldn’t have agreed to lead these negotiations with anyone else.

To read and listen to this full story on NPR’s website, click here

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