The Arctic region is undergoing unprecedented and disruptive change. Its climate is changing more rapidly than anywhere else on earth. Rising temperatures are causing a retreat of sea ice and changes to seasonal length, weather patterns and ecosystems. These changes have prompted a reassessment of economic and development potential in the Arctic and are giving rise to a set of far-reaching political developments.
Asked by Lindsey Wahlstrom, from Columbia University
Climate change has both direct and indirect health consequences. Direct consequences include those resulting from high temperatures and severe weather events; while indirect ones arise from changing air and water quality and ecological shifts that favor tropical diseases and parasites.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano gave these remarks to the Board of Governor on March 4, 2013, to open IAEA's first meeting of 2013. As mentioned in the press release and Amano's remarks, the meeting will discuss the Fukushima nuclear accident, nuclear safety, nuclear energy, and safeguards in North Korea and Iran.
Since 1988, Brazilians have cleared more than 153,000 square miles of Amazonian rain forest, devastating the environment and driving global climate change forward ever faster. Recently, however, Brazil has changed its course, reducing the rate of deforestation by 83 percent since 2004. At the same time, it has become a test case for a controversial international climate-change prevention strategy that places a monetary value on the carbon stored in forests.
Michael A. Levi, CFR's David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment, and director of the program on energy security and climate change, leads a conversation on President Obama's climate change policies.
A groundbreaking analysis of what the changes in American energy mean for the economy, national security, and the environment, authored by one of America's most prominent experts on energy's role in the world.
With this new American energy renaissance, Meghan L. O'Sullivan says, "The United States needs to rethink its grand strategy; strength in the energy domain can be a major driver of U.S. influence in a world in which American power is more diffuse."
"If a government can finance itself through the profits on oil, it needn't collect taxes. Let me suggest that this is not a good thing. Taxes create accountability — citizens want to know how the government is spending their money. Substituting oil revenues decouples government from the people. The list of the world's worst-governed countries today features many that are dependent on the production of oil: Nigeria, Angola, Chad, Venezuela, Libya, Equatorial Guinea."
Taxes on oil consumption have long been a legislative third rail, yet concerns about the national debt may soon change that political calculus. Daniel Ahn and Michael Levi demonstrate that energy taxes can reduce the national debt and improve economic performance, all while reducing U.S. oil consumption.
Michael A. Levi says, "The benefits of the oil and gas boom—jobs, wealth and, in the case of natural gas, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions—offer plenty of reasons to continue to develop these resources judiciously. But we should beware of turning this potential blessing into an unintended curse."
Drawing on lessons from a Council on Foreign Relations workshop in January 2012, Blake Clayton and Michael A. Levi examine the connection between global oil markets and international relations, saying that in many cases the oil trade is politically consequential simply because policymakers believe that it is.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 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 »