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  • Author: Deborah Gordon, Frances Reuland
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Earth's temperature is rising to dangerous levels. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is increasingly urgent. Although carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas, short-lived climate pollutants like methane are rapidly accelerating global warming in the near term. Methane emissions are on the rise. The global growth in oil and gas production and consumption is a prime driver. A new report released today by researchers at the Watson Institute identifies a multi-pronged approach for mapping and measuring methane and provides new tools to more effectively manage this super pollutant. Under a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, authors Deborah Gordon, Watson Institute Senior Fellow, and Frances Reuland, former Brown University Researcher, assess the many ways that methane escapes from the oil and gas sector, both unintentionally and purposefully. Using a first-of-its-kind model under development, the Oil Climate Index + Gas, they estimate that oil operations are at greater risk for intentional venting and flaring of methane while gas operations pose a higher risk of inadvertent fugitive methane and accidental releases. The ability to focus detection and policymaking on the operators who bear direct emissions responsibility holds out the best prospects for methane reductions worldwide. While governments, NGOs, and companies continue to improve their methods to pinpoint and measure methane, difficulties remain. Overcoming these barriers requires: increased transparency and data collection; improved oversight through monitoring, reporting, and verification; regulations and binding agreements; research and development (R&D) and technology transfer; and financial incentives and penalties. In order to offer durable climate solutions, efforts to mitigate methane must be designed to withstand future political pressures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Science and Technology, Pollution, Fossil Fuels, Methane
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report provides insights into building a gender sensitive climate smart agriculture while reducing the vulnerability of women, youth and refugees to the adversity impacted by climate change. It shows that successful mainstreaming of climate change in the agricultural sector and implementation of gender sensitive climate resilient agricultural policies, programmes and practices require strong and reliable climate information services and early warning systems, enhanced technical and institutional capacities, enabling legal framework, and strong monitoring and reporting mechanisms. A strong commitment to innovative climate financing and increasing budget allocation for climate change to the sectors especially Local Governments (LGs) is also essential.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Gender Issues, Government
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Carl Death
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Can protest really make a difference? Can social movements change any- thing? Do campaigns like those for fossil fuel divestment rapidly snowballing across campuses, cities, churches, and institutional investors in North America, Europe, and elsewhere have any real impact on global political economies of energy? This article argues that the answer to all of these questions is a qualified “yes.” The fossil fuel divestment campaign is a specific manifestation of environ- mental protest, which, since emerging in 2011, has changed some things and has the potential to change others more profoundly.1 Considering the case of the fossil fuel divestment campaign in detail can illuminate important insights about the role of protest in contemporary global politics. Protest movements can impact the world, as evidenced by both the fossil fuel divestment campaign and longer histories of other divestment movements that have contributed to significant struggles for structural change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Natural Resources, Protests, Global Warming, Fossil Fuels
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Pedro Naso
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: I study the economic motivations behind a reduction in the discretionary power of environmental regulators, and the impact that such reduction has on perceived corruption in South Africa. I examine the transition from the Air Pollution Protection Act of 1965 to the Air Quality Act of 2005, a change from full to partial delegation of regulation. By constructing a principal-agent model, I argue that this transition might have occurred because of an increase in the dispersion of rent-seeking motivations of public agents. This happens because, from the principal’s perspective, the possible harm— loose pollution control and misappropriation of environmental fines— generated by corrupt agents is greater than the potential benefits brought by diligent agents. In my empirical analysis, I use diff-indiffs models for a two-period panel with 191 South African firms to show that the regulatory change decreased treated firms’ perceived corruption, but did not improve other institutional quality measures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, Regulation, Pollution
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Pedro Naso
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Since the second half of the 20th century, with the contributions of Coase, Williamson and North, the economic literature has emphasised the role of institutions in explaining differences in economic performance. According to the most diffused view, countries with good institutions will invest more in physical and human capital, will use productive factors in a more efficient way, and will achieve greater income level. But what are good institutions? And how should governments implement them? Answers to these questions have proven to be difficult mainly because of two characteristics of institutions: (i) institutional functioning is complex: the way institutions affect economic agents’ incentives is dependent on these agents’ individual preferences and the way they interact, which are difficult to predict; and (ii) they are context specific – the same institution in different contexts might result in a different economic outcome.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, Regulation, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Author: José Eduardo Cassiolato, Maria Gabriela von Bochkor Podcameni, Elisa Possas Gomes, Manuel Gonzalo
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: In the 21st century, economic growth, increasing urbanization, demographic expansion, and advances in electrification as important drivers of energy demand have put significant pressure on the Indian energy landscape. Indeed, energy infrastructure problems are a major hindrance to India’s economic growth. The central objective of this paper is to present and analyze some of the main State-led policy efforts that have been put in place to address India’s energy challenge. In particular, we examine three main types of state-led energy policy in India: a) infrastructure expenditure, b) Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) investments and Research and Development (R&D) strategies, and c) electrification. Firstly, we present and examine current data on the role of the state in the development of India’s energy sector. Secondly, we provide a nuanced examination of the role of public-private relations in India’s energy sector, especially in contrast to the widespread advancement of the neoliberal agenda in the country recent years. We conclude that the Indian State has fostered an increasing participation of the private sector in infrastructure, especially in renewable energies in which PPPs type of procurement have been more relevant. CPSEs’ expenditure in R&D has been of main importance in oil as well as in power. However, most of them tend to adapt foreign technologies instead of balancing foreign technologies with domestic technological efforts. Therefore, a main contemporary challenge for the Indian CPSEs performing in the energy sector is to deepen their connections and interaction with the other Indian NSI actors. Through the electrification process, the State has created markets for the private sector. Finally, we recommend further energy-related questions to be addressed in future research projects.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, United Nations, Public Sector, Renewable Energy, Private Sector, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: India