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.
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.
The Copenhagen conference won't solve the problem of climate change once and for all. Rather than aiming for a broad international treaty, negotiators should strengthen existing national policies and seek targeted emissions cuts in both rich nations and the developing world.
Authors: David G. Victor, M. Granger Morgan, Jay Apt, John D. Steinbruner, and Katharine Ricke
As climate change accelerates, policymakers may have to consider "geoengineering" as an emergency strategy to cool the planet. Engineering the climate strikes most as a bad idea, but it is time to start taking it seriously.
China's environmental woes are mounting, and the country is fast becoming one of the leading polluters in the world. The situation continues to deteriorate because even when Beijing sets ambitious targets to protect the environment, local officials generally ignore them, preferring to concentrate on further advancing economic growth. Really improving the environment in China will require revolutionary bottom-up political and economic reforms.
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.”
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.
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.
Los Angeles was once choked with smog and dependent on passenger vehicles for personal transportation. Reporting on his time as Senior Advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Varun Sivaram describes the dramatic progress that L.A. has made in improving the quality and sustainability of urban transportation.
Author: Michael A. Levi Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements
Michael Levi proposes the creation of a new multilateral mechanism for climate policy review, so as to better evaluate the success understand the viability of the climate policies of both developing and developed nations.
Authors: Annette Hester, Jennifer Jeffs, Shannon K. O'Neil, Denise Gregory, Adriana de Queiroz, Anthony T. Bryan, and Timothy M. Shaw The Centre for International Governance Innovation
This report from the Center for International Governance (CIGI) identifies opportunities to lay the groundwork for the development of concrete initiatives to address the strategic needs of the Western Hemisphere for a sustainable energy future.
Senator Kerry says, as president, he would "restore America's leadership on combating climate change." He equates national security with energy security and says he would decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
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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.
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 »