Forty years ago, the Club of Rome produced a best-selling report warning humanity that its escalating wants were on a collision course with the world's finite resources and that the only way to avoid a crash was to stop chasing economic growth. The predictions proved spectacularly wrong. But the environmental alarmism they engendered persists, making it harder for policymakers to respond rationally to real problems today.
South Korea is on track to set a double precedent: creating the first nationwide greenhouse gas emission trading scheme in a developing country and being the first in Asia. To be successful, however, the scheme will have to overcome political and private-sector hurdles.
Coal combustion is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions on the planet. But the fuel isn't going away anytime soon, since demand for it is ballooning in the developing world. So instead of indulging in quixotic visions of a coal-free world, policymakers should focus on supporting new technologies that can reduce how much carbon coal emits.
Meghan O'Sullivan says that discoveries of large, underwater gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean could bring economic and political benefits as well as regional clout to Israel at a time when Israel's regional standing is more uncertain than it has been for decades.
This General Accounting Office (GAO) report on Climate Change, "The Quality, Comparability, and Review of Emissions Inventories Vary Between Developed and Developing Nations", was published in July 2010.
Emerging economies taking advantage of mineral and petroleum wealth often face corruption and conflict rather than benefit from sustainable development. This resource curse can be obviated, CFR Fellow Terra Lawson-Remer argues, if capital-exporting countries, banks, and corporations insist on transparency.
The Environmental Investigation Agency released this report, "Unfinished Business - The Continued Illegal Trade in Ozone-Depleting Substances and the Threat Posed to the Montreal Protocol Phase-out", in October 2001.
Leading U.S. policy experts have identified energy and climate change as issues vital to economic and national security. CFR's research, meetings, interviews, backgrounders, and interactive content provide an essential source of analysis on these issues.
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.