Energy and Environment

Foreign Affairs Article

Leading From Between: How California and Germany Can Fix the Climate Agenda

Authors: Varun Sivaram and David Livingston

Climate talks have largely failed to curb rising temperatures, but bottom-up initiatives featuring subnational actors hold great promise if coordinated effectively. Varun Sivaram and David Livingston argue that California and Germany can “lead from between” to bridge international and subnational climate action.

See more in United States; Germany; Environmental Policy

Event

The Challenges of Rebuilding Nepal

Alyssa Ayres, CFR's senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, discusses the international and domestic response to the recent earthquakes in Nepal, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.

See more in Nepal; Disasters; Religion

Event

Iran Update

Ray Takeyh, CFR’s senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, discusses U.S. policy toward Iran in light of the ongoing nuclear program negotiations and regional security challenges, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.

See more in Iran; Nuclear Energy; Religion

Article

Ensuring Tesla Doesn't Crowd Out the Batteries of the Future

Author: Varun Sivaram
Forbes

Tesla is planning to scale up production of its lithium-ion batteries, which today power electric vehicles but tomorrow could back up the electricity grid, by building a massive “Gigafactory” in Nevada. Varun Sivaram argues that while positive in the short run, Tesla’s mediocre battery could crowd out more promising, advanced battery technologies in the long run, impeding long-term progress on climate change.

See more in Global; Renewable Energy

Interview

Rebuilding Nepal

Nancy Lindborg interviewed by Eleanor Albert

Nepal's earthquake underscores how vital it is for governments to invest in resilient infrastructure, says U.S. Institute of Peace President Nancy Lindborg.

See more in Nepal; Disasters

Article

Why Moore's Law Doesn't Apply to Clean Energy Technologies

Author: Varun Sivaram
Greentech Media

For fifty years, Moore’s Law has governed the startling pace of innovation in the computer chip industry. That Moore’s Law is an extraordinary phenomenon, unique to a single industry, is often forgotten by clean energy commentators who misappropriate it for predicting the progress of technologies like solar panels and batteries. Varun Sivaram argues that this sort of analogy is misleading, and that the clean energy sector should aspire to Moore-esque advances.

See more in Global; Renewable Energy; Clean Technology

Primary Sources

Arctic Council: Iqaluit Declaration 2015

The Arctic Council released this Iqaluit Declaration on April 24, 2015. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting and discussed five priorities for cooperation as the United States chairs the council for the year: increased participation in the Arctic Council from indigenous populations, support for the Arctic Economic Council, reduction of emissions, and reduction and response to oil spills.

See more in Arctic; Environmental Policy; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity

Primary Sources

U.S. Global Change Research Program: The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released this draft of its report Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States on April 7, 2015, in response to President Obama's Climate Action Plan. The final report, expected to be published in early 2016, is "intended to present a comprehensive, evidence-based, and, where possible, quantitative estimation of observed and projected public health impacts related to climate change in the United States."

See more in United States; Climate Change; Public Health Threats and Pandemics