Any time the international community convenes to talk about climate change, there’s a predictable mix of criticism and encouragement. This month’s 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration, commemorating the United Nations first official gathering to discuss the “human environment” and ways to protect it, was no different.

After the Stockholm+50 talks this month, and in response to the final remarks by hosts Sweden and Kenya, environmentalists lauded language on the need to “phase out” fossil fuels. Understandably so. This was remarkable. This phase-out language was stronger than last year’s “phase down” language at the UN 26th Conference of the Parties in Glasgow, Scotland.

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