"Militia-controlled mines in eastern Congo have been feeding raw materials into the world's biggest electronics and jewelry companies and at the same time feeding chaos. Turns out your laptop—or camera or gaming system or gold necklace—may have a smidgen of Congo's pain somewhere in it."
Multinational corporations dominate markets, trade, investment, research and development, and the spread of technology. To fight climate change, the international community needs to harness this power.
Authors: Varun Sivaram, Antonio R. Villaraigosa, and R. Nichols Nature Climate Change
The City of Los Angeles is nearly two thirds of the way towards its goal of generating a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Cities around the world can glean valuable technical, economic and political lessons from its experience, writes Varun Sivaram.
Although public trust in nuclear safety has faltered in South Korea, it can recover. Nuclear power expansion is likely to continue under President Park Geun-hye, though it is uncertain whether Park will be as eager as her predecessor to embrace green growth as a justification for it.
"The hard edges of Syria's frontlines—dogmatic, revolutionary, Islamist or pure murderously sectarian—almost melt away outside the oilfields. New lines emerge pitting tribesmen against battalions, Islamists against everyone else, and creating sometimes surreal lines of engagement."
President Obama spoke at Georgetown University, before the release of his Climate Change Plan, on June 25, 2013. The plan focuses on cutting carbon pollution, preparing for the impact of climate change, and leading international ifforts to address global climate change.
In a Foreign Affairs snapshot, Thomas E. Donilon says, "Energy is a profoundly important aspect of U.S. national security and foreign policy: the availability of reliable, affordable energy is essential to economic strength at home, which is the foundation of U.S. leadership in the world."
Asked by Matthew Woltmann, from American Military University, California Author: Daniel P. Ahn
Determining the "most urgent" global environmental issue is somewhat subjective; many would argue that carbon emissions and climate change is the most pressing issue. Others are just as passionate about deforestation, water scarcity, groundwater contamination, loss of biodiversity, landfills, ocean acidification, air quality… the list goes on.
Asked by Larry Davenport, from Virginia Beach, Virginia
Israel has discovered substantial natural gas deposits off its shores in the last four years. While these gas finds are not significant in terms of global gas supply (they constitute less than two percent of the world's proven gas reserves), they do appear large enough not only to meet Israel's needs, but to enable Israel to export significant quantities.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released this report on June 10, 2013. It explains current and future energy and climate policies and the importance of the energy sector's help to meet international targets on greenhouse gas limits.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California June 7-8, 2013. Based on the Montreal Protocol findings regarding ozone layer-depleting emissions, they issued this agreement to reduce the production and consumption of HFCs, to address one aspect of climate change. In 2014, the United States and China committed to additional carbon emissions reductions.
"The United States is more entangled in the global energy system than it has ever been," argues Michael Levi, "and ever-rising world demand for energy will remain at the root of transformations in American energy for years to come."
The costs of China's deep and enduring environmental crisis are growing, yet Beijing's response to the country's environmental challenges has been far from sufficient. Increasingly, the Chinese people are pushing the government to do more to protect the environment, and Beijing must rise to the occasion, says Elizabeth Economy.
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 the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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 »