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.
Pope Francis released this document on June 18, 2015. The encyclical states that humans have made "irresponsible use" of the Earth, that climate change affects most people living in poverty, and that all must unite to protect the planet.
After decades of stalled or blocked reforms, China’s environmental protection effort may finally be gaining traction. Elizabeth Economy looks at four barometers for gauging the progress of China’s “war on pollution.”
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.
India now faces many of the same environmental challenges that China does. But there are striking differences in how the two countries are confronting environmental issues, says Elizabeth Economy, and both countries have much to learn from one another.
China is cleaning up its act at home, but will leaders be willing to tackle illegal environmental depredations abroad? Elizabeth Economy looks at what more China can do to protect the world’s natural resources.
The Wall Street Journal asks Michael Levi and Andrew P. Morriss whether the U.S. should act unilaterally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Levi answers “yes,” arguing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions now would enhance public health and the international credibility of the United States, and that reasonable action now would reduce long-term costs.
The recent U.S.-China climate deal has inspired both celebration and skepticism. Michael Levi responds to each, noting that while the terms of the agreement are in themselves insufficient to reign in global warming, the deal is a “genuine success” as diplomatic progress toward reducing climate risk.
The United States should consider joining the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a means of guaranteeing that it matches financing strength with sustainable environmental practices, says Elizabeth Economy.
Environmental activists have long been at the forefront of civil society development in China, despite the resistance of the Chinese leadership. But given the high importance of pollution to the Chinese people, it is time for Beijing to rethink its top-down approach to environmental governance, says Elizabeth Economy.
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.
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.
Many observers have noted that the loss of Arctic ice is already leading to stepped-up human activity in the high north, particularly in the form of increasing commercial traffic and development. This trend has brought forth a range of issues on the geopolitical front, from environmental protection to search-and-rescue capabilities to the delineation of national boundaries—which will determine access to natural resources. These concerns are being addressed cooperatively in both bilateral and multilateral fashion, especially under the aegis of the Arctic Council and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
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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.
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