CFR’s New Online Guide to Climate Change Examines Global Impact and Policy Options

October 20, 2008 2:34 pm (EST)

News Releases

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has produced a new online multimedia feature, "Crisis Guide: Climate Change," the latest installment in the Emmy Award-winning Crisis Guide series. Using an array of audio, video, imagery, and text, the guide provides a comprehensive exploration of climate change, its global impact, and policy options for addressing it. The guide, narrated by veteran journalist Michael Goldfarb, includes:

More From Our Experts
  • an overview of the international dialogue on climate change, including video clips of speeches by world leaders;
  • a video slideshow with CFR fellows Michael A. Levi and David G. Victor summarizing the scientific evidence and explanations of climate change and the international policy framework in place to address it;
  • an analysis of the contributors to and impact of climate change, including a discussion of changes in the Arctic by CFR fellow Scott G. Borgerson and an examination of the link between climate change and global health by CFR fellow Laurie A. Garrett;
  • a wide-ranging survey of policy choices, energy and infrastructure options, and technological advances that may help to mitigate the impact of climate change, including international treaties, cap and trade systems, forest management, solar and wind power, biogas, mass transportation, carbon capture and storage, electric vehicles, and fusion power;
  • an interactive map examining development and emissions indicators from across the world;
  • perspectives on climate change from experts in various fields, including military affairs, the insurance industry, and geoeconomics, the last of which is discussed by Sebastian Mallaby, the director of CFR’s Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies; and
  • a chapter offering links to more than sixty treaties, speeches, and other documents from CFR and other institutions, as well as links to experts and organizations addressing the issue of climate change.

More on:

Climate Change

Among the information contained in the guide are these surprising facts:

  • Melting ice caps are not the largest cause of sea-level rise. Instead, the water in warming oceans is expanding, thus increasing sea levels.
  • Coal, not oil, is the world’s most abundant fossil fuel.
  • Canada uses more energy per capita than the United States.
  • France produces 80 percent of its energy with zero emissions.
  • Some studies show Antarctica is actually getting cooler.
  • Cities, home to half the world’s population, consume three-quarters of the world’s energy.

More on:

Climate Change

Crisis Guides, CFR’s interactive, award-winning franchise, seek to bring context and historical perspective to the world’s most complex issues. Produced with MediaStorm, the series also includes "Crisis Guide: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," which offers an in-depth look at the history of the conflict and its geopolitical repercussions, "Crisis Guide: The Korean Peninsula," which looks at the standoff between the two Koreas, and "Crisis Guide: Darfur," which looks at the tragedy in Sudan’s Darfur region. The next guide will focus on the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.

More From Our Experts

"Crisis Guide: Climate Change" is available at


More on:

Climate Change

The Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.


Top Stories on CFR


U.S.-Russia bilateral relations have fallen to a new low, with Ukraine, Belarus, cyberattacks, and nuclear weapons among the biggest disagreements. What’s the best way to judge this summit’s success?

Latin America

The U.S. government is responding to another wave of migrants fleeing poverty, violence, and other challenges in the Central American region.

International Law

Fishing provides a critical source of food and income for many countries, but much of it occurs unlawfully, harming vulnerable populations and eroding maritime governance.