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  • Author: David B. Sandalow
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: In 2017, China was the world’s leading emitter of heat-trapping gases by a wide margin. Its policies for limiting emissions will have a significant impact on the global climate for decades to come. From a historical perspective, China’s status as the world’s leading emitter is relatively recent. During most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Chinese emissions were modest. Then, in the early part of this century, as the Chinese economy boomed, Chinese emissions began to skyrocket, overtaking those from the United States around 2006. China’s cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution are less than half those from the United States or Europe. (Carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping gas, stays in the atmosphere for many years once emitted.)
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Schmalensee, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The U.S. Clean Air Act, passed in 1970 with strong bipartisan support, was the first environmental law to give the Federal government a serious regulatory role, established the architecture of the U.S. air pollution control system, and became a model for subsequent environmental laws in the United States and globally. We outline the Act’s key provisions, as well as the main changes Congress has made to it over time. We assess the evolution of air pollution control policy under the Clean Air Act, with particular attention to the types of policy instruments used. We provide a generic assessment of the major types of policy instruments, and we trace and assess the historical evolution of EPA’s policy instrument use, with particular focus on the increased use of market-based policy instruments, beginning in the 1970s and culminating in the 1990s. Over the past fifty years, air pollution regulation has gradually become much more complex, and over the past twenty years, policy debates have become increasingly partisan and polarized, to the point that it has become impossible to amend the Act or pass other legislation to address the new threat of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Walsh
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: In recent years, the conversation on energy in the United States has shifted from a theme of scarcity to one of abundance. The surge in domestic production of oil and gas alone, which provides a significant advantage to the US economy, may also have drained some of the urgency and enthusiasm from efforts to improve energy efficiency while achieving economic growth targets, particularly in the industrial sector. Yet even in this age of abundance, smarter, cleaner, and more efficient energy use could still provide enormous benefits to American industry, workers, and the country as a whole. Greater national focus on improving industrial energy use could help to: • Increase Economic Competitiveness and Job Growth - US manufacturers are the cornerstone of our nation’s industrial sector and a vital source of good-paying jobs. By improving energy performance, we can help businesses reduce waste, create and sustain jobs, save money, and invest in long-term growth. • Achieve Climate Goals - The industrial sector is America’s biggest end-use emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Unless we have a strategy to reduce these emissions, we have little chance of hitting our climate targets
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsey Walter, Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: Climate advocates might have missed this one in the midst of election chaos. Just days after millions of Americans decided on candidates and ballot initiatives, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) made a pretty important decision of its own, choosing to release a report on nuclear energy that was likely to ruffle some feathers in the environmental community.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Emmy Simmons
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Renewed and expanded international collaboration to anticipate and prepare for recurring storms of food insecurity is essential. Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Syria are examples that vividly underscore the explosiveness of situations in which people find themselves unable to get the food they want and need. The experiences of post-conflict countries highlight some critical issues that need to be prioritized in order to regain sustainable food security. Averting future storms will require the recognition that food security challenges will extend long beyond 2030, political leadership must be visibly committed to these issues, and actions to reduce fragmentation of effort will be critical.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Food Security, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David F. Gordon, Divya P. Reddy, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The dust is now settling on President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. This decision was a foreign policy mistake. It will make sustaining American credibility more difficult in other multilateral institutions and settings. It will exacerbate anti-American sentiment in Europe, making trans-Atlantic leadership collaboration more difficult well beyond climate policy. On climate, it threatens to undermine the balance achieved in Paris between the centralized and top-down approach favored by the Europeans and the more decentralized and market-friendly approach of the United States, which was supported by China. As a result, it also could lead to the creation of an uneven playing field for U.S. businesses.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: A conference report on CCSI’s Conference on “Climate Change and Sustainable Investment in Natural Resources: From Consensus to Action” is available here, and a shorter outcome document , which was disseminated at COP22, is available here. These documents summarize the discussions at the eleventh annual Columbia International Investment Conference, which took place on November 2-3, 2016, at Columbia University. The Conference offered a high-level opportunity to discuss how countries can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, while also advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the important implications for the world’s approach to natural resource investments. It featured leaders from government, the private sector, civil society, and academia, and brought together nearly 400 participants. In the lead-up to the Conference, CCSI also published a Blog Series on the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet Blog.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ana Belén Sanchez
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: La Fundación Alternativas presenta un nuevo estudio: ¨Cambio climática y salud. Mayor impacto en los más vulnerables¨. Informe encargado y financiado por DKV y ECODES; ha sido elaborado por ana Belén Sánchez y Waleska Guerrero Lemus.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Bacchus
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is a looming collision between the rules frameworks of the two separate international institutions that have been created and entrusted with addressing trade and climate change. Links between trade and climate change can no longer be ignored by either the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Neither has considered the consequences of the trade restrictions that are likely to be part of many national measures enacted to address climate change, which will fall within the scope of the WTO Agreement and will surely lead to a lengthy WTO dispute settlement process. Such trade-restrictive national measures will be fed by domestic fears of “carbon leakage” and a loss of national competitiveness, and WTO disputes resulting from such measures will confront numerous unanswered legal questions due to an absence of relevant WTO jurisprudence. To minimize the political risks of such a collision to both the WTO and the COP, and to combine the most benefit for the climate with the least risk to trade, a WTO climate waiver is urgently needed. The adoption of a WTO climate waiver should be only the first of the ways in which WTO members revise and realign WTO rules in accordance with the objectives of sustainable development.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eduardo Viola, Leonardo Paz Neves
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In December 2015, members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathered in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP). Expectations regarding the Conference were high: having failed to agree on a legally binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol at COP 15, in Copenhagen, when expectations were very high because of the new climate friendly presidency of Obama and the possibility of a shift in the Chinese position, and in 2012, when the first commitment period of the Protocol expired, members settled COP 21 as the new deadline. Achievements of the Conference, especially the Paris Agreement, will be judged differently depending from the point of view.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus