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  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, David Pollock
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Areas for especially timely U.S.-Israel cooperation include climate resilience, agtech, and medical research, as well as longstanding work in the military and security arenas. In the fifth in a series of TRANSITION 2021 memos examining the Middle East and North Africa, Michael Eisenstadt and David Pollock assess the multifaceted strengths of the U.S.-Israel partnership and its prospects for growth under the Biden administration. Areas for especially timely cooperation include climate resilience, agtech, and medical research, as well as longstanding work in the military and security arenas. Israel’s recent normalization deals with several Arab states only further widen the horizon. “Israel is a world-class innovator in technologies that will be critical to meeting future challenges, including artificial intelligence, information technology, and cybersecurity; sustainable water, food, and energy solutions; and high-tech medicine,” explain the authors. “All these areas are supportive of America’s foreign policy priorities.” In the coming weeks, TRANSITION 2021 memos by Washington Institute experts will address the broad array of issues facing the Biden-Harris administration in the Middle East. These range from thematic issues, such as the region’s strategic position in the context of Great Power competition and how to most effectively elevate human rights and democracy in Middle East policy, to more discrete topics, from Arab-Israel peace diplomacy to Red Sea security to challenges and opportunities in northwest Africa. Taken as a whole, this series of memos will present a comprehensive approach for advancing U.S. interests in security and peace in this vital but volatile region.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, International Cooperation, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jeff D. Colgan, Thomas N. Hale
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Climate change is the defining global challenge of the twenty-first century. It constitutes a direct threat to the safety and prosperity of Americans. U.S. President Joe Biden has committed to reorienting U.S. foreign policy to meet the climate challenge. This report provides an early assessment of the Biden administration’s international climate diplomacy against these goals in the first 100 days, recognizing that others have focused on domestic policy, and that climate change must be at the top of the U.S. foreign-policy agenda. It builds on a previous report by the Brown University Climate Solutions Lab, issued on October 8, 2020, that identified and recommended ten executive climate actions, which are central to advancing U.S. foreign-policy objectives. Of the 9 internationally-oriented climate pledges evaluated, made by the Biden campaign during the 2020 presidential election, the report finds that the Biden team has already delivered effectively on 4 of them, made some progress on 2, and taken baby steps or made no real progress on 3. These will require further attention and resources in the coming months.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Michael Ruhle
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Environmental change is increasingly recognized as one of the major factors that will shape the global security environment. According to most experts, rising global temperatures will lead to rising sea levels and cause more extreme weather events, such as storms, flooding, droughts and wildfires. The firestorms that engulfed parts of Australia in late 2019 and early 2020, burning an area the size of Belgium and Denmark combined, and severely decimating that continent's wildlife, were a stark reminder of the force of these changes.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Peer Schouten
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Pastoralism is the key to climate change adaptation in African drylands, but it is threatened by conflicts with farmers, regional insecurity and violent extremism. Stabilisation and development efforts should place pastoralism at the centre by strengthening pastoral livelihoods and should include herders as peacebuilding and development partners. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Strengthen pastoralist capacities to cope with risk and variability by boosting inclusive and equitable resource governance in new development programmes. ■ Include pastoralists as potential peace-builders in conflict resolution efforts. ■ Support dialogue between pastoralists and local and national governments in order to prevent the further marginalisation of vulnerable pastoralist groups.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Democratization, Development, Environment, Migration, Non State Actors, Fragile States, Economy, Conflict, Investment, Peace, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Mikkel Funder, Lily Salloum Lindegaard, Esben Friis-Hansen, Marie Ladekjær Gravesen
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The world needs resilient societies. In order to achieve this, adaptation to climate change is key. Denmark’s development cooperation should take a leading role in the integration of climate change adaptation and development. DENMARK SHOULD ■ Develop a clear overall strategy for support to climate action, giving equal attention to climate change mitigation and adaptation ■ Adopt an ambitious approach to integrating climate change adaptation across supported sectors, rather than relying on “add-on” mainstreaming ■ Strengthen the engagement with development partners in the integration of adaptation and development
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Resilience
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Vane Moraa Aminga, Florian Krampe
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: There has been considerable attention on the conventional climate mitigation and adaptation debate in Africa, including the prominent efforts of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change in global climate forums. However, there is little understanding of how the African Union (AU) is discussing and responding to the security implications of climate change. This Policy Brief outlines key strengths of the African Union’s response, such as a rapidly evolving discourse around climate security and efforts to improve collaboration and coordination among different parts of the institution. But also, key weaknesses in the discourse around AU policy responses, such as the lack of tangible policy operationalization as well as financial unpreparedness and limited member state accountability. The Policy Brief makes recommendations highlighting entry points for advancing the understanding and response to climate-related security risks within the AU, such as: (a) develop and institutionalize coordinated responses to climate-related security risks, (b) develop strong climate security leadership within the African Union, and (c) change the narrative to focus on shared problems and therefore shared solutions—multilateralism rather than nationalism.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Multilateralism, Risk, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Robert F. Ichford
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Governments across South Asia face many challenges as they seek to improve the lives of the more than 1.8 billion people that live in the region. Increasing geopolitical competition—especially between and among China, Russia, and the United States—is one factor that is affecting progress. This “great power competition,” including over the South China Sea, is intertwined with regional rivalries (e.g., India and Pakistan, India and China, and the United States and Iran) and has important economic, military, technological, and environmental consequences. Energy is a key strategic sector in this competition as China pursues its expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure and trade vision, Russia uses arms sales and nuclear energy to expand its regional presence, and the United States confronts Iran and gears up its free and open Indo-Pacific Strategy and Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) initiative. This issue brief considers the transformation of the electricity sector in Bangladesh. It is the fourth country analysis in the Atlantic Council’s “Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries” series. This issue brief applies to Bangladesh the analytical framework developed in the first report in the series, which presents general challenges and strategic priorities for developing countries in the context of their implementation of electric power policies and reforms following the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, Governance, Geopolitics, Gas, Renewable Energy, Fossil Fuels, Transition
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Ben McWilliams, Simone Tagliapietra, Georg Zachmann
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: In the wake of COVID-19, some economic recovery policies will help green the economy – for example, energy renovation of buildings. But there are limits to the share of stimulus that can be explicitly green. The European Union should therefore also green the fiscal consolidation by setting out the path to much higher carbon prices than today. This would guide investment and provide revenues to help the fiscal consolidation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, European Union, Economy, Renewable Energy, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia Anderson, Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram B. Wolff
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: COVID-19 has triggered a severe recession and policymakers in European Union countries are providing generous, largely indiscriminate, support to companies. As the recession gets deeper, a more comprehensive strategy is needed. This should be based on four principles: viability of supported entities, fairness, achieving societal goals, and giving society a share in future profits. The effort should be structured around equity and recovery funds with borrowing at EU level.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Global Recession, European Union, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ben McWilliams, Georg Zachmann
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The European Commission should not make the implementation of a carbon border adjustment mechanism into a must-have element of its climate policy. There is little in the way of strong empirical evidence that would justify a carbon-adjustment measure. Moreover, significant logistical, legal and political challenges will arise during the design. The EU should instead focus upon the implementation of measures to trigger the development of a competitive low-carbon industry in Europe.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, European Union, Trade Policy, Carbon Tax
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alienor Cameron, Gregory Claeys, Catarina Midoes, Simone Tagliapietra
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: On 14 January 2020, the European Commission published its proposal for a Just Transition Mechanism, intended to provide support to territories facing serious socioeconomic challenges related to the transition towards climate neutrality. This brief provides an overview and a critical assessment of the first pillar of this Mechanism, the Just Transition Fund (JTF).
  • Topic: Climate Change, Governance, Budget, European Union, Macroeconomics, Renewable Energy, Transition
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Lucie Vinařská
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Lucie Vinařská authored a policy paper for the 12th debate of the Prague Climate Talks series titled "European Green Deal: will it bring structural change?", which will take place online on EUROPEUM's Facebook. The European Union is now taking the lead on climate action when striving to transform Europe into the first climate-neutral continent. This aim is at the core of the European Green Deal, a new strategy introduced by the Commission in December 2019. While the European Union and the rest of the world’s community is mobilizing, the climate change and environmental degradation are reaching unprecedented heights and posing an existential threat to the whole world. Climate change is by its nature a trans-boundary issue that requires a coordinated action. The EU’s ambitious plan was introduced during a time of a “green boom”, when environmental issues were among top political priorities. But is this Deal really going to turn the tables?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Public Policy, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jione Jung, Jihei Song
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Korea has reached milestones in development cooperation over the past two decades. At the same time, it has sought for various measures to better incorporate climate consideration in its cooperation activities. However, a number of challenges remain and further action is required in improving the system and practices to better integrate climate change into Korea’s development cooperation. We aim at providing an overview of Korea’s progress in integrating climate change into its development cooperation to share the experiences and to highlight some achievements. In doing so, we first review how other developed countries have promoted climate change integration. Through comparison with Germany, the United States, and Switzerland, we summarized several achievements made by Korea in the area of development cooperation. In addition, we identified areas for further improvement to better integrate climate change into development cooperation, as well as projections for the next phase of Korea’s development cooperation to begin in 2021.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Asia, Korea
  • Author: Sofia López Piqueres, Sara Viitanen
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: As the European Commission launches its long-awaited Strategy for sustainable and smart mobility, EU and national efforts to continue the transition to sustainable mobility will ensue. However, the green transition often overshadows and, at times, even comes at the expense of the most affected and vulnerable groups of society. The precarious, the elderly, people with disabilities and rural residents still face unfair conditions and access to mobility. Green alternatives are often scarce and far away, if they exist at all. Sofía López Piqueres and Sara Viitanen highlight the lack of inclusiveness in and the omittance of rural areas from European mobility systems and outline 11 recommendations which would ensure distributional justice, procedural justice and recognition justice. The carrots and sticks that are used to incentivise people to adopt more sustainable mobility options must be carefully studied. Moreover, process matters. Achieving buy-in for the transition requires considering the varying needs of people and placing special focus on vulnerable groups with limited mobility options, who may end up carrying a disproportionate cost of the transition without seeing the immediate benefits. It is time to accelerate the transition towards a climate-neutral economy and society with mobility systems that are both environmentally friendly and socially just.
  • Topic: Climate Change, European Union, Green Technology, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Baran Alp Uncu
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Today, we are living in a world that is on average about 1 degree warmer than the pre-industrial period. If we do not limit this human-caused temperature rise to around 1.5 degrees until the end of the century, various disasters we are already experiencing such as the rise in sea levels, melting of ice sheets and glaciers, extreme weather events, floods and inundations, drought and water scarcity will increase in intensity and scope and furthermore assume an irreversible condition.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Governance, Social Movement, Crisis Management, Urban, Justice, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mihnea-George Filip
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Mobilizing private investments for the renewable energy transition requires credible policy support over the long-term. This Policy Brief discusses how Romania’s abrupt policy changes and inconsistent policy signals over the last decade have deterred private investments in the renewable energy sector. The example of Romania provides key policy lessons for other countries engaged in the energy transition. Romania has one of the highest renewable energy potentials in Europe (up to 71 GW), which is approximately six times higher than the country’s current renewable deployment (IRENA 2017). As shown in Figure 1, wind and solar PV energy experienced a significant boom between 2009 and 2013 followed by a more or less complete stagnation since 2014.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Green Technology, Investment, Economic Policy, Renewable Energy, Fossil Fuels
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Romania
  • Author: Lena Kainz, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Kathleen Newland
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
  • Abstract: The world has changed dramatically since the international community came together in December 2018 to adopt the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. Two years on, national governments and UN agencies are working to implement the compacts in an environment of new and intensifying challenges, including those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasingly severe impacts of climate change. Given the significant political energy invested in the compacts, there is immense pressure to turn the commitments made on paper into reality, challenges or not. And while the migration landscape continues to change, the movement of people across borders remains at the heart of many pressing issues, including public health, economic recovery, and social inequality. This policy brief examines how implementation of the two compacts has played out thus far, highlighting areas in which the pacts have lived up to or fallen short of expectations. It also identifies sticking points and opportunities at the intersection of the compacts that merit greater attention. To do so, the brief draws on interviews with government officials and UN agency representatives in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, as well as an in-depth review of countries’ implementation plans and progress updates.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, Migration, Governance, Immigrants, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bernard Bourget
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Robert Schuman Foundation (RSF)
  • Abstract: The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will enter the next decade relieved by Brexit of its fiercest opponent but weakened by the external pressures to which it has been subjected, and disrupted by the enlargement of the European Union. In the 2020s, it will have to take full account, in conjunction with the European Commission's Green Deal, of the environmental and climate issues that are so important for agriculture. It will also have to improve the management of climate, health and market risks, which global warming could aggravate, and strengthen the negotiating capacity of producer organisations with their powerful buyers in the food industry and supermarkets. Budgetary pressure may lead the European Union to distribute direct payments, (which account for three quarters of CAP expenditure), more fairly by placing the burden rather more on large farms, in order to spare the medium-sized family farms, which are still numerous in the western part of the continent. Finally, the CAP should be coordinated with other European policies, particularly trade policy.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Budget, European Union, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Monica de Bolle
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest in the summer of 2019 represent a government policy failure over many years, especially recently, as Brazilian public agencies that are supposed to curb man-made fires have been deliberately weakened. In keeping with his far-right nationalist campaign promises, President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has intentionally backed away from efforts to combat climate change and preserve the environment, which has emboldened farmers, loggers, and other players to engage in predatory activities in the rainforest. De Bolle calculates that if the current rate of deforestation is maintained over the next few years, the Amazon would be dangerously close to the estimated “tipping point” as soon as 2021, beyond which the rainforest can no longer generate enough rain to sustain itself. The tragic fires have demonstrated that protecting the Amazon rainforest is a global cause. The international attention provides an opportunity for the governments of Brazil and the United States to stop denying climate change and cooperate on strategies to preserve the rainforest and develop ways to sustainably use its natural resources. The international community should revive and expand the Amazon Fund to invest in ways to reduce deforestation through the possible use of payments for environmental services. Brazil should adopt and enforce regulations on land use in the Amazon region while cracking down on illegal uses, such as logging and mining, and should restore conditional rural credit policies to fight deforestation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Jair Bolsonaro
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Paul Hofhuis
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: This is the second Clingendael Policy Brief on climate policy development in the Netherlands. The first 'Are the Dutch going Green' was published in January 2019 and dealt with the political context and policy proposals made between autumn 2017 and the end of 2018. This policy brief focuses on the most recent developments until mid-September 2019. During this period the Dutch Parliament adopted a Climate Bill, provincial elections were won by a climate-sceptical party, and political agreement was reached on a comprehensive package of climate policies: the national Climate Agreement. This agreement, referred to as the ‘biggest refurbishment of the Netherlands since the Second World War’, was pre-cooked in an extensive negotiating process between government and civil society. The policies target especially the industrial, energy, transportation, housing and agriculture sectors. A key element of the societal debate focused on the costs of climate policies and how they should be allocated. In order to hammer out a political deal, the Dutch government had to change key assumptions of its constituting coalition agreement of 2017, and adjust some of the proposals developed by civil society, notably those favoured by industry. A lesson learned from the Dutch case is that setting ambitions may be relatively easy, but translating them into effective climate action is a tougher job, particularly when political decisions have to be taken on who will pay for what.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Treaties and Agreements, Green Technology, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Europe, Netherlands
  • Author: Susanne Wolfmaier, Janani Vivekananda
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Hague Declaration is a six-point plan covering a call for an institutional mechanism on climate and security within the UN system, for a process to develop a climate security risk assessment in Lake Chad, and for concrete action in two of the most vulnerable post-conflict countries: Mali and Iraq. It is also a commitment by a growing community of practice to systematically address security risks related to climate change - from analysis to action, built on the conviction that everyone must work together to address and manage risks and threats before they arise. This briefing note by Susanne Wolfmaier and Janani Vivekananda presents the outcome of a survey by the Planetary Security Initiative on the objectives with the Hague Declaration, its achievements so far, and the gaps in and challenges to progress that still need to be overcome.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Treaties and Agreements, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Mali, Global Focus, The Hague
  • Author: Shiloh Fetzek, Oliver Leighton-Barrett
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: A region long-tested by both extreme weather events and illicit economic activity, the Caribbean has developed abundant expertise in climate science and disaster resilience. It also has many underlying governance and security challenges which may amplify each other as climate impacts intensify. In this policy brief authors Shiloh Fetzek and Lt. Commander US Navy (ret.) Oliver Leighton-Barrett identify the key regional security risks exacerbated by climate change, which include: 1. economic contraction, violence and criminal activity; 2. disaster impacts and political repercussions; 3. food and water insecurity, damage to livelihoods and social unrest; and 4. Central and South American security deterioration impacting on the Caribbean. Anticipating and addressing these challenges by integrating security cooperation and climate resilience initiatives could support existing risk management structures and advance long-term economic and socio-political stability in the Caribbean.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Economy, Resilience
  • Political Geography: South America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Author: Tom Middendorp, Reinier Bergema
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Development and security cannot do without the other. It is not enough to counter violent extremism by addressing the symptoms; understanding and focusing on root causes, in regions such as the Western Sahel, is essential to countering violent extremism. Countries in the Western Sahel suffer from the consequences of climate change: increasing droughts and water shortages make it harder for 50 million people – who depend on agriculture and livestock for their survival – to support their families. Joining a non-state armed group, for income and food, becomes ‘a tempting, or sometimes even the only, alternative.’ To address these challenges, the authors propose five recommendations: 1. Routinise and institutionalise attention to climate change in security institutions 2. Factor in (counter)violent extremism and counterterrorism into climate change efforts 3. Create a comprehensive early warning mechanism 4. Ensure comprehensive engagements: terrorist threats are not only a military issue, addressing economic and financial sources, online recruitment, supply chains, and climate change is essential for strong stabilisation efforts 5. Improve regional cooperation
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Development, Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Dan Smith, Malin Mobjörk, Florian Krampe, Karolina Eklöw
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Climate-related events left no region unaffected in 2018. These events demonstrate how climate change impacts are worsening. Despite increased geopolitical tensions that seem to undermine the Agenda 2030 or the Paris Agreement, global and regional organisations have been able to achieve some progress in addressing and mitigating climate-related security risks. This report, prepared for the Planetary Security Conference taking place in The Hague on 19-20 February 2019, feeds into the conversation by sketching the past year’s trends in relation to climate and security. Assisted by Rickard Söder and Mikaela Wang, authors Dan Smith, Malin Mobjörk, Florian Krampe and Karolina Eklöw review the progress made in global and regional organisations on addressing and mitigating climate-related security risks despite the turmoil in global politics at large. It builds on the two previous progress reports for the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI). The report focuses on progress in the UN and in regional intergovernmental organisations, both showcasing achievements and highlighting new challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, United Nations, Sustainability, Paris Agreement
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Georg Zachmann
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: We argue that energy relations between the EU and Russia and between China and Russia influence each other. We analyse their interactions in terms of four areas: oil and gas trading, electricity exchanges, energy technology exports and energy investments. We discuss five key hypotheses that describe the likely developments in these four areas in the next decade and their potential impact on Europe: 1. There is no direct competition between the EU and China for Russian oil and gas 2. China and the EU both have an interest in curbing excessive Russian energy rents 3. The EU, Russia and China compete on the global energy technology market, but specialise in different technologies 4. Intercontinental electricity exchange is unlikely 5. Russia seems more worried about Chinese energy investments with strategic/political goals, than about EU investments We find no evidence of a negative spillover for the EU from the developing Russia-China energy relationship. But, eventually, if these risks – and in particular the risk of structural financial disintermediation – do materialise, central banks would have various instruments to counter them.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe
  • Author: Anthony Dworkin, Richard Gowan
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Multilateralism is core to Europe’s approach to foreign policy, but in recent years this has weakened as EU countries disagree among themselves. The US, China, and Russia have each sought to challenge or disrupt the existing, post-1945 world order; and each seeks to divide Europeans from one another. The turmoil in the current system represents an opportunity for Europeans to shape a new order that meets their strategic needs. In addition to the fight against climate change, European interests include: increasing stability on its troubled periphery; managing migration more effectively; and defending the open world trading system. European countries will need to transform EU foreign policy decision-making processes, deepen their cooperation in multilateral settings, and set multilateral standards for emerging technologies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Migration, Political stability, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Susi Dennison, Livia Franco
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Portuguese people believe that their country’s fate is inextricably tied to that of the European Union. A survey carried out ahead of the Portuguese national election suggests that the Portuguese bounced back quickly from a surge in Euroscepticism linked to the strict conditions of Portugal’s 2011 bailout package. Portugal values the economic benefits of EU membership primarily, but its people believe in the EU as more than just an economic project. The Portuguese are instinctive multilateralists, and hope that the bloc can help them tackle the challenges of globalisation: from climate change to cooperation on the impact of freedom of movement on Europe.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Globalization, International Cooperation, Public Opinion, European Union, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Portugal
  • Author: Markéta Mlčúchová
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Reform of the EU budget is not necessarily of a technical character, rather it is a response to the growing Euroscepticism and populism within EU Member States. Besides restoring the citizens’ confidence and belief in the EU, it is necessary to ascertain that the budget of the EU is prepared and sufficiently agile to react to the growing global instability, migration flows, terrorism, and ensure both internal and external security, combat climate change and the financial drop caused by the exit of the UK. Despite the fact the EU budget has gone through multiple - mostly minor - reforms, those were inefficient in keeping it up with current times. In the context of the financial and migration crises, the budget was not prepared to react to unexpected developments... This contributed, inter alia, to loss of confidence among EU citizens and caused damage to the EU credibility. Reform of the revenue side of the budget is entirely legitimate and essential yet provides only a partial solution to the situation. Revenues reform should be, in any case, accompanied by a critical re-assessment of expenditures, as was emphasized by the EU Commission in its Reflection Paper, since a close link between the expenditures and revenues exists. Although this paper focuses exclusively on the side of revenues, it is important to underline that any reform concerning revenues would not be enough for a successful reform of the EU budget. Only a complex re-design of the whole system can restore the trust and bring about the desired results.
  • Topic: Climate Change, European Union, Carbon Tax, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Štěpán Vaškevič
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Štěpán Vaškevič in his policy paper examines an often neglected activity in climate policies - waste management and its impact on climate change. How is the Czech republic really standing when it comes to this phenomena? And what are the further perspectives? Climate change is a multidimensional issue in both its origins and its solutions as well. The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into human activity often neglected in climate policies – waste management and its impact on climate change. The paper will map main streams of greenhouse gas emissions in waste management sector with a focus on landfills, analyze existing approaches for improvement via optics of circular economy and make notes on existing obstacles and opportunities in Czechia.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Waste, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Andreas Goldthau
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Global energy demand is shifting to Southeast Asia. This new trade flow is altering market power because it not only follows natural economic development, but also results from strategic trade and investment policies that promote national interests. In this context, the EU needs to account for the geo-economic side effects of the new European Green Deal.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, European Union, Risk, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Randolph Mank
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada’s contemporary foreign policy has been shaped by deep integration with, and dependence on, the United States, offset by multilateral support for a rules-based international order. The Trump administration’s confrontational nationalism, combined with other global events and trends, has now disrupted Canada’s position and assumptions. This raises the question of whether or not it’s time for a Canadian foreign policy review. While the Trudeau government deserves credit for several initiatives, a series of discontinuities in Canada’s domestic and foreign policies suggests that our interests could be better served. The Canadian government has two main options: it can follow its current path of adjusting its policies in an ad hoc fashion, while waiting out the Trump administration and hoping for more favourable successors, or it can attempt to set Canada on a new path, in which case a foreign policy review would be warranted. The review option would only be useful if everything were on the table, including what to do about bilateral relations with the U.S., the future of our multilateral commitments, and domestic policies on such critical global issues as energy and the environment. The ultimate goal should be to advance Canada’s national interests through better aligned domestic and foreign policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Marco Giuli, Claire Dhéret, Johan Bjerkem, Marta Pilati, Stefan Sipka
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: European industry is falling behind. New and unprecedented challenges and megatrends, from a slowdown in global trade to digital disruption and climate change, are making it increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the curve. However, despite these fast-paced developments, industry remains the backbone of the European economy, delivering high-quality jobs, innovation and world-class companies. To retain its competitive edge, the EU must embrace change and renew its industrial strategy. There is growing political momentum for a revived EU industrial strategy, both in the member states and in the new von der Leyen Commission, which pledged to put forward a new industrial strategy as part of a “European Green Deal”. This Issue Paper presents the results of the EPC’s Task Force on an Industry Action Plan for the European Union, which started in February 2018. It argues that in renewing its industrial strategy, the EU should put in place an ‘Industry Action Plan’, complete with new policy tools and concrete industrial initiatives. Beyond mainstreaming industrial competitiveness across policy areas, the Action Plan should provide a more holistic and policy-oriented approach, with a vision towards 2030 that focuses on competitiveness, sustainability and strategic autonomy: Firstly, to ensure that the European industry remains competitive, the EU should aim to play a stronger role in global value chains, with a higher value-added. Secondly, the EU must create the conditions for the European industry, as well as the products and services it provides, to become sustainable and thus contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and climate-neutrality in alignment with the United Nation’s Paris Agreement. European industry should become fully climate-neutral by 2050 and seize the opportunity to become a global leader in sustainable and circular business models. Finally, an Industry Action Plan should contribute to achieving greater strategic autonomy for Europe by better responding to distorted competition and levering market power, and moving towards more technological sovereignty. Europe should mobilise all the tools at its disposal to become a global leader in developing digital technologies that address the societal, environmental and health challenges of today. This Paper includes a list of recommendations centred around five policy strands: making the Single Market (including competition policy) work; improving innovation policy and achieving technological sovereignty; acting strategically and enforcing reciprocity; ensuring a fair and inclusive industrial transition; and climate-proofing industry with a 2050 climate neutrality roadmap.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Science and Technology, European Union, Economy, Industry
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Steffen Bauer, Axel Berger, Gabriela Iacobuta
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: With a collective responsibility for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, while representing 80% of global wealth, it is imperative that the countries of the G20 throw their weight behind the implementation of both the Paris Climate Agree-ment and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Develop¬ment. In the past, the G20 has demonstrated that it can do that. The G20 Summit in November 2015 in Antalya, Turkey, provided strong support for the climate agreement signed a month later at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. In 2016 in Hangzhou, China, the G20 adopted an Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Develop¬ment and committed to “further align its work” with the 2030 Agenda. Even though both agendas have emerged in the multilateral context of the United Nations system, the G20 is expected to exert strong political leadership to address global climate change and to achieve sustainable development. Yet, since 2017 the G20 has struggled to provide such leadership, as support for multilateral commitments, especially those involving ambitious climate actions, appears to be fading. Crucially, opposition to strong multilateral climate policy in the US and Brazil resorts to outright climate denialism at the highest levels of government. These developments are challenging the G20, and BRICS and the G7 for that matter, to sustain support for multilateral commitments on climate and sustainable development. The rise of populist and unilaterally minded parties in European club members may further the risk of side-lining climate and sustainability-related issues in the G20 process. This does not bode well at a time when the G20’s support could be a vital ingredient for the success of the United Nations’ summits on climate action and sustainable development, both scheduled to convene in New York in September 2019 – less than three months after the Osaka G20 Summit in Japan. Following our analysis, we identify four ways forward that should be conducive to harnessing the G20’s economic weight and political clout to push more ambitious global action towards climate-friendly sustainable development, in spite of apparent discrepancies between domestic agendas and global understandings.
  • Topic: Climate Change, G20, Sustainable Development Goals, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Europe, Brazil, United Nations, United States of America
  • Author: Benjamin Schraven, Stephen Adaawen, Christina Rademacher-Schulz, Nadine Segadlo
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This paper provides an overview of what is actually known about the relationship between climate change and human mobility in West, East and Southern Africa – the most affected regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Although there is a general lack of data on “climate migration”, trends can be deduced from the growing number of case studies and research projects. This paper also formulates some recommendations for German and European development policies for addressing “climate migration” in Africa. The adverse effects of climate change in the three regions are mainly linked to increasing rainfall variability and a higher frequency or intensity of floods and droughts. These effects are a major challenge for human security. The consequences for human mobility, which range from forced displacement to circular labour migration, are embedded in a complex and very context-specific set of political, social, economic, cultural and ecological factors. Due to generally fragile contexts and armed conflicts, the risk of forced displacement in the context of climate change is probably the highest in the Horn of Africa. In all three regions, many households affected by climate change can be considered “trapped” – mobility is not an option for them at all. If mobility is possible, it often takes the form of individual and circular labour migration. Under favourable circumstance (e.g. in the absence of labour exploitation), money earned by migrants might help their households to compensate or at least mitigate the losses induced by climate change (“migration as adaptation”). The ideal political response towards human mobility in the context of climate change is to avoid forced displacement, to maximise positive mechanisms of migration and to minimise negative aspects like labour exploitation. This demands a multi-sectoral and multi-level policy approach.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Migration, Human Security
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Efe Baysal
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Let us face it: we are in the midst of a catastrophe, a state of calamity unprecedented in human history. We are living in those scenarios that once depicted a terrible future due to “global warming”. Extreme weather events, not-so-natural disasters have become the new norm. Given the fact that more than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas, it is fair to say that these new climate norms pose an especially dire threat to cities.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Governance, Economy, Crisis Management, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Global Focus
  • Author: Sezai Ozan Zeybek
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: I aim to open to discussion one of the critical barriers to potentially transformative environmental policies. In response to challenging problems there are moves being carried out to save the day, to make it seem like the issue is already solved. These moves end up postponing the real solutions. This is a trap that not only municipalities, public institutions and companies, but even civil society falls into.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Environment, Governance, Democracy, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: David Klenert, Linus Mattauch
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP)
  • Abstract: It is common knowledge among economists that the most efficient instrument to mitigate climate change is a price on carbon. However, current carbon prices around the world are too low to reach global climate targets. This essay assesses the difficulties in designing successful carbon pricing reforms. It discusses how to overcome these difficulties by combining traditional public economics lessons with findings from behavioral and political science. We stress insights from public finance about the “second-best” nature of pricing carbon reforms. Further, we highlight how framing a carbon tax reform around tangible benefits can enhance political support. Finally, we explain how certain countries were successful at introducing high carbon prices and what can be learned from these cases for making progress with climate change mitigation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Science and Technology, Natural Resources, Global Warming, Green Technology, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Susanna B. Hecht
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: The dramatic Amazon fires images of Au-gust 2019 triggered a geopolitical outcry. Brazilian President Bolsonaro, however, unflinchingly continues to support his destructive model of Amazonian development. This article recalls the extent of the disaster and delves into the reasons behind such disdain for environmental concerns.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Alice Amorim
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: This brief focuses on climate finance, as it encompasses a substantive part of the resources in this broader sustainability agenda. Having a better understanding of this field is important given the possible risk of other development resources being hijacked by the climate finance rhetoric. The paper also presents updated data on climate finance flows and for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Finally, it presents some evidence of how China and Chinese-led financial institutions are becoming key players in this field.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Trade and Finance, Regulation, Finance, Risk, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Alice Amorim, Marco Antonio Teixeira
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief analysis how the BASIC countries have incorporated gender and energy issues in their NDCs and assesses some of the interrelations between key energy and gender inequalities of the bloc.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Gender Issues, Renewable Energy, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Claire Dhéret, Marco Giuli
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: Energy poverty, defined as the "inability to afford basic energy services such as adequate warmth, cooling, lighting and the energy to power appliances due to a combination of low income, high energy expenditure and poor energy efficiency of dwellings",2 has recently been on the radar of policymakers, leading to some efforts in tackling the issue. Yet, developing adequate policy solutions has remained difficult both at the national and European level, not least due to the complexity and the multidimensional nature of the phenomenon and the limited competences of the European Union (EU) in the social area. Thus, despite some positive developments, there still is a long journey towards eradicating energy poverty. This paper presents some milestones along the way and recommendations for the future.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Dominique Bruhn
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Until recently, environmental concerns have played only a marginal role in trade policy. The rulebook of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rarely touches upon environ­men­tal concerns and mainly features an exception clause for the protection of the environment (GATT, Art. XX). How­ever, the rising number of modern preferential trade agree­ments (PTAs) covers an ever-broader array of policy areas, going far beyond the traditional reduction of tariffs by also including environmental provisions. Numerous PTAs nego­tiated on a bilateral and regional basis have compre­hen­sive “green” components. For example, many PTAs include ob­li­ga­tions not to lower environmental standards, the right to regu­late for the benefit of the environment, and the com­mit­ment to implement multilateral environmental agreements. The inclusion of environmental provisions can spark con­troversies. For some, the inclusion of environmental pro­visions offers untapped potential for actual environ­mental protection, making these agreements more compatible with environment and climate policies. However, trade critics often see these provisions as mere “fig leafs” that are included in modern PTAs in order to make them less controversial in the eyes of the public and legislators. For other critics, they represent an instrument of “green protectionism” in order to keep cheaper products from developing countries out of the market. Given the newness of the widespread inclusion of environmental provisions in PTAs and the heated debate that is raging about the nature and effects of trade policies, better data and research is needed to understand and analyse this development. Firstly, we need to improve our understanding of the specific design of these new rules and the related policy initiatives of PTA signatories. What drives the inclusion of environmental provisions in trade agreements? Which are the most innovative agreements and which the most innovative countries in terms of including environmental provisions in PTAs? Which environmental provisions are diffused more often than others into subsequent PTAs? Secondly, there is a need to understand the interplay between PTAs and other environmental or climate agree­ments. To what extent do PTAs with environmental pro­visions serve the purpose of multilateral environmental agree­ments (MEAs) or the Paris Agreement on climate change? Last but not the least: What are the implications of environmental provisions? Does the inclusion of these provisions in PTAs help the contracting parties to implement domestic environmental laws? The innovative and interactive online tool TREND analytics based on the Trade & Environment Database (TREND), which tracks almost 300 different environmental provisions in the texts of about 630 PTAs, offers new ways of going further and of undertaking research to generate fine-grained information on the interplay between trade and the environment, providing fresh insights into a number of relevant policy discussions. This Briefing Paper summarises recent research results based on TREND, along with providing new insights into these questions and policy discussions at the interface of international trade and the environment.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, World Trade Organization, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Brüntrup, Daniel Tsegai
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Drought is one of the most damaging natural hazards. Various studies rank it first among all natural hazards by seriousness of impacts such as the loss of life and livelihoods, economic losses and the adverse social and ecosystem effects. In many instances, drought can be a major factor in local conflicts, as well as internal and international migration – these negative effects of drought often persist long after the precipitation returns to normal levels. The causes of droughts are essentially natural, but climate change increases the drought severity, frequency, duration, and spatial extent. The impacts of droughts are also strongly exacerbated by anthropological activities, such as deforestation, overgrazing, soil degradation, and water mismanagement. In turn, the consequences of these activities are also exacerbated by drought, which creates a vicious cycle of ecological degradation and human misery. A reactive approach to droughts is still prevalent in many countries, even though emergency funding is costly, less effective and does not address the long-term causes of vulnerability and lack of sustainability. There is an urgent need to move forward with a paradigm shift from “crisis” to “risk” management, adopting a proactive approach based on the principles of risk reduction and prevention. There is a whole set of effective measures that need to be implemented to increase resilience to drought and minimise its effects. Monitoring and early warning systems along with assessments of the hot spots of vulnerable populations and regions, as well as investments in risk-mitigating measures are the first line of defence. These actions need to become an integral part of national drought policies. Moreover, the full cyclical phenomenon of droughts should be at the core of the drought management plans to take full advantage of the drought preparedness measures. All “drought-relevant” sectors including agriculture, food security, the environment, meteorology, water, energy and tourism have to be included in the drought policy development process and preparedness plans.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Migration, Natural Disasters, Economy
  • Political Geography: Germany, Global
  • Author: Alice Amorim
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief has three main objectives: Firstly, to present the basic international policy framework for the MRV for developing country Parties under the UNFCCC; Secondly, to provide a short comparative analysis of the latest version of the BURs presented by the countries that belong to the BASIC bloc, with an emphasis on the national MRV component of the Reports; Thirdly and lastly, to provide a set of policy recommendations for the BASIC countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Developing World, Regulation, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite, Melissa Menzies
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes, this task will be challenging. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the Climate Disclosure Task Force.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Bak
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On the way to Washington, DC, for a September 2015 visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping stopped in Seattle, WA, to sign an agreement aimed at combatting climate change by increasing the business ties between Chinese and US clean technology companies (South China News 2015). Five US states signed the agreement on commerce between China and clean-tech businesses from California, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. On the same day, Bill Gates’s energy company, TerraPower, signed an agreement with the China National Nuclear Corporation for joint cooperation on next-generation renewable and fusion nuclear power. In early 2015, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund invested in General Fusion, a Canadian company based in Vancouver, to advance its energy innovation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sarah Birch
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Leaders, negotiators and scientists returned home from the recent United Nations climate change negotiations in Paris with a new mandate: to explore pathways to a world that warms no more than 1.5°C; to finance climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries at a meaningful pace and scale; and, ultimately, to create real policy tools that can deliver prosperity that is not so fundamentally tied to burning fossil carbon. The Paris Agreement is historic in that it is universal (both industrialized and less-developed nations have agreed to the text), a heavy focus is placed on transparency and reporting of progress, and opportunities to periodically reevaluate and ratchet up ambition are built into the process. The ultimate power of this agreement, however, is not in its technicalities and legal implications. Rather, the Paris Agreement represents the manifestation of collective ambition, creating and demonstrating shared norms around the reality of climate change and the responsibility to act. This international process of negotiation and commitment is triggering a wave of conversations about how to reach these ambitious greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation targets. This will require a rapid and fundamental transformation of all sectors, including the design of urban spaces and the ways in which we produce and consume energy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Thistlewaite, Melissa Menzies
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes that employ a range of different standards to measure climate change risks and corporate sustainability, this task will be challenging. But the diversity of schemes also represents an opportunity to assess which practices are effective at improving corporate accountability for sustainability performance, as well as efficient at producing comparable reports that do not unfairly burden reporting organizations. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the FSB and its Climate Disclosure Task Force.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Governance, G20, Regulation, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Katarína Hazuchová
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: As the world approaches the middle of this century, the narratives of natural resources’ management are being newly defined, aiming to converge into new, “smarter” means of prosperity, which recognizes and integrates climate change related risks. The impacts of climate change are easily seen by the naked eye, as the ice sheets are melting ever faster, acidification of the oceans is increasing, sea level rises and extreme weather events brings casualties and economic loss around the globe. However, the means of how countries and markets have been willing or reluctant to cooperate on climate change in the context of making changes to sovereign resource management is significant. The transition to low-carbon, cleaner economies is driven by two rationales: the first objective is not to increase the world temperature by more than 2 ⁰C by the end of the century, upgrading to 1,5 ⁰C; and the second is to plan how to do so smoothly through world-wide de-carbonization. The uncertainties and fears surrounding “transformation” determine, to a certain extent, the voluntary nature of some new aspects of the current climate change regime.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: René Castro
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In 2014, world per capita greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent terms (CO2e), exceeded 7 tons. Per capita emissions for Latin America and the Caribbean were even higher, at 9 tons CO2e. To achieve international goals for the stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for annual emissions to fall to 2 tons per capita by the year 2050 and 1 ton per capita by the year 2100. It is clear that we face a moral problem: everyone needs to, and can contribute to, the fight against climate change (Pope Francis, 2015). Improvements in eco-efficiency—defined as a combination of reducing waste and reducing the use of raw inputs—offer one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering production costs. In addition, changes in culture—at the level of individual businesses, countries, or both—can enhance the eco-competitive position of these businesses and countries. This paper describes three examples from Costa Rica and shows how the goal of achieving carbon neutrality can provide incentives for improving eco-efficiency and eco-competitiveness.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America