“The United States, through Alaska, is a significant Arctic nation with strategic, economic, and scientific interests,” asserts a new Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored (CFR) Independent Task Force report, Arctic Imperatives: Reinforcing U.S. Strategy on America’s Fourth Coast. With the Arctic “warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet” and melting sea ice opening up this resource-rich region to new trade routes and commercial activities, the report stresses that “the United States needs to increase its strategic commitment to the region or risk leaving its interests unprotected.”
Speaker: Virginia Burkett Speaker: James C. Cason Speaker: Merdith W.B. "Bo" Temple Presider: Sherri Goodman
As sea levels rise around the world, experts discuss the adaptation policies for U.S. coastal cities and the budgetary and national security implications of rising sea levels on U.S. coastal communities.
At climate talks in Morocco, negotiators will try to move forward on issues left unresolved by the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, developed and developing countries still remain far apart on major issues, write CFR’s Varun Sivaram and Sagatom Saha.
The next president of the United States will play a critical role in shaping the country's climate policy, deciding whether and how to reduce emissions, while minimizing any impact on economic growth. This video explains the domestic and global challenges.
Last month, energy ministers from around the world gathered in San Francisco for the annual Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), which for the past seven years has focused on deploying existing clean energy technologies around the world. But for the first time, clean energy innovation was on the gathering’s agenda as well. In a parallel “Mission Innovation” Ministerial (MIM), twenty countries and the European Union — accounting for over 80 percent of the world’s public energy research and development (R&D) funding — committed to collectively double R&D funding to $30 billion by 2021.
As the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris came to a close in December 2015, foreign ministers from around the world raised their arms in triumph. Indeed, there was more to celebrate in Paris than at any prior climate summit.
After dithering for decades, governments finally seem to be paying serious attention to the problem of global climate change. Late last year, at the Paris climate conference, they adopted a major new agreement to limit global warming, beginning a process to strengthen commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over time.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released this statement on March 10, 2016. The leaders agreed to move forward on the Paris Agreement and support other international efforts to combat the effects of climate change. The joint statement also details U.S.-Canada cooperation on curbing emissions, integrating renewable energy into existing grids, and developing additional clean technologies.
Global leaders including the United States participated in the Paris Climate Change Conference (also called Conference of the Parties 21, or COP21), which took place November 30 to December 11, 2015. They extended negotiations one day and 195 nations adopted the Paris Agreement (FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1). According to the UN's press release, the agreement's "main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels."
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »