Most discussions about using international institutions to address climate change focus narrowly on the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. However, many other international institutions also have a significant role to play in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. This paper examines the existing climate-related efforts and capabilities, as well as the future potential, of a variety of international institutions, including those that deal with environment, energy, and economics. While there are still major shortfalls, the paper argues that there is significant existing institutional capacity to draw from in addressing climate change.
Speaker: M. Granger Morgan Presider: Ruth Greenspan Bell
As the international community continues to work toward emissions reductions, some climate scientists are turning to the concept of geoengineering-the deliberate manipulation of the Earth's climate-to offset the effects of climate change. The concept, however, raises scientific, political, and ethical questions. Join M. Granger Morgan and John D. Steinbruner to discuss the development of an international framework for geoengineering and the implications of these technologies for U.S. foreign policy.
Environmental economist Robert Stavins says Obama's energy plan is designed to make a climate bill more politically feasible, but he points out energy policy and climate policy often have different goals. Without cap-and-trade, it will be hard to meet the country's Copenhagen target, he notes.
Speakers: Senator Mark Begich and Senator Lisa Murkowski Presider: Scott G. Borgerson
Senator Mark Begich (D-Ak) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak) speak to the Council on public and private strategies for adapting to climate change in Arctic Alaska. Scott G. Borgerson, visiting fellow for Ocean Governance at the Council, presides.
Jagdish Bhagwati says that in a new climate change protocol rich countries must accept a tort liability for past emissions. All countries should accept liability for current emissions, although grace periods could be granted to developing countries.
Despite lingering uncertainty about the outcome of Copenhagen's climate negotiations, there are signs that carbon markets will continue to make gains, says World Bank carbon finance expert Joelle Chassard.
The Economist offers two explanations for the failure of carbon markets to take off. One is that the markets had already priced in the likelihood of seeing neither a deal in Copenhagen nor a cap-and-trade bill on Barack Obama's desk. Another is that their long-term prospects remain reasonable, if humble.
Authors: Paula J. Dobriansky and Vaughan C. Turekian
This Belfer Center publication stresses the importance of linking the efforts of governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to combat climate change. It provides a concise overview of international initiatives, multilateral groups' efforts, and various partnerships and offers insights on how to move forward.
Listen to CFR's Michael A. Levi discuss the Copenhagen Accord and the implications of last month's UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
This publication from Harvard University’s Belfer Center addresses the challenges in reaching an effective international climate agreement, particularly the cost and uncertainty associated with renegotiating commitments, and offers several suggestions for improving the effectiveness of international climate agreements.
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 »