The penultimate climate negotiation sessions start today in Bonn, ahead of Paris’ landmark UN talks in December where the world’s governments are expected to adopt a new legal agreement on climate change.

 The Chair of the 48-member Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group at the negotiations, Mr. Giza Gaspar-Martins of Angola said: “Progress in our technical negotiations on the new agreement has been far too slow. Now, there are only ten negotiating days left before the Paris COP. The LDCs believe a strong outcome can be reached this December, but this will require all of us to double efforts and ambition for success during these final months. We stand ready to work with our partners at this critical point of negotiations. ”

 The 90-page draft negotiating text agreed to earlier this year (also known as the Geneva text) still forms the basis of negotiations. However, the co-chairs of the body negotiating the Paris agreement has put forward a tool to help navigate the text and guide discussions this week.

 All 195 countries Party to the UN climate change convention (UNFCCC) are invited to communicate how they intend to contribute towards stabilising global greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a safe level, and to do so in advance of the Paris COP.

 So far only 29 submissions – referred to as ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) – have been made, with 57 Parties represented including the EU member states, the US and China. Independent scientific analyses show that the reductions these INDCs do not represent even a 50-66% chance of not breaching the 2 degree limit in global average temperature increase (let alone 1.5 degree limit, as called for by most vulnerable countries).[1]

 Mr. Gaspar-Martins said: “The Group is encouraged that the number of INDCs continues to grow and we congratulate Ethiopia, Benin, Djibouti and the Democratic Republic of Congo for being the first LDCs to submit theirs. Other members of the Group are also in the process of preparing their INDCs[1]. We urge all developed countries and major emitters to put forward their contributions as early as possible, well before the Paris Conference. It is the efforts of these countries which will determine whether or not the world will be able to stay on the path to limiting global average temperature increase below 1.5oC – the defence line that should not be crossed in order to minimise risks associated with climate change impacts in all countries.”

The combination of over fishing and climate change may be putting the oceans' health---   and our own well being---   at risk. As State of the World 2015 contributing author Katie Auth explains, protecting lives and livelihoods will require urgent and concerted action to improve the oceans' condition (www.worldwatch.org).

"Our sense of the oceans' power and omnipotence---   combined with scientific ignorance---   contributed to an assumption that nothing we did could ever possibly impact it," writes Auth. "Over the years, scientists and environmental leaders have worked tirelessly to demonstrate and communicate the fallacy of such arrogance."

Read more: Overfishing and Climate Change, Combined, Intensify Ocean Threats

The Obama administration unveiled a major climate change plan on Sunday aimed at a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the nation's coal-burning power plants. On Monday, President Barack Obama started selling it to the public at a White House event (see the Video).

"Today after working with states and cities and power companies, the EPA is setting the first ever nationwide standards to end the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from power plants," Obama said Monday from the White House, adding shortly thereafter "Washington is starting to catch up with the vision of the rest of the country. "

Read more: President Obama Introduces Major Climate Change Proposal

July was the hottest month on Earth since records began, averaging 16.6 C (61.9 F), according to US scientists.

That is 0.08 degrees higher than the previous record, set in July 1998 - a significant margin in weather records.

Scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a report that they expect 2015 to be the hottest year on record.

Nine of the 10 hottest months since records began in 1880 have occurred since 2005, they NOAA report said.

Scientists say global climate change and the impacts of the El Nino weather phenomenon are behind the record temperatures.

The first seven months of 2015 have already set an all-time temperature record for the period.

Read more: July was Earth's hottest month on record, NOAA says

Journalists from all over the world can apply for grant on Climate change story. 

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is commissioning a series of stories that capture the effects of climate change on increasingly vulnerable populations around the world, looking to highlight what is at stake for those most directly impacted by the consequences of our changing planet. These stories will be published ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in December of this year.

Read more: Climate Change Story Grants for Journalists