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  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite, Andrea Minano, Daniel Henstra, Daniel Scott
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Nearly every year, Indigenous peoples in First Nations communities face property damage, disrupted livelihoods and the severe social and psychological burdens associated with evacuation due to flooding. Perhaps the most striking example is the recurrent flooding that afflicts the Kashechewan First Nation in Northern Ontario, whose residents have been forced to evacuate their homes every spring for 17 years. Although it’s known that Indigenous communities face a greater flood risk and experience more flood emergencies than the general Canadian population, the scope and magnitude of the current threat, and how it might evolve under climate change, has been little studied. This policy brief reports on research at the University of Waterloo that is assessing, quantifying and mapping the flood risk to Indigenous peoples living on reserve lands and includes policy recommendations to help with better understanding and reducing that risk.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Indigenous, Flood
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Olaf Weber, Vasundhara Saravade
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Emerging economies, such as India, will need significant international investment in climate action in order to transition toward a future that is low-carbon and climate-resilient. India needs fossil fuels at an affordable price and needs to protect itself against price fluctuations. It can meet these needs by investing in Canadian oil companies, given the country’s political stability and rule of law. As an emerging economy, India could attract greater foreign direct investment into its economy through green bonds, a climate finance debt instrument that addresses environmental and climate-related challenges. Not only are green bond issuances linearly increasing over the years, but they also seem to be driven by institutional pressure, provided in part by the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s regulation, as well as by the informal advocacy efforts of market stakeholders. These findings are consistent with institutional theory and contribute to it by introducing the regulatory perspective of the green bond market.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Green Technology, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Géraud de Lassus Saint-Genliês
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Global Pact for the Environment (GPE) is a draft treaty prepared in 2017 by a French think tank, Le Club des Juristes, which aims at strengthening the effectiveness of international environmental law (IEL) by combining its most fundamental principles into a single overarching, legally binding instrument. In May 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Towards a Global Pact for the Environment, a resolution that established an intergovernmental working group to discuss the necessity and feasibility of adopting an instrument such as the GPE, with a view to making recommendations to the UNGA. As the working group nears its final session, scheduled for May 20–22, 2019, this paper discusses the extent to which codifying the fundamental principles of IEL into a treaty could increase the problem-solving effectiveness of environmental governance. The analysis suggests that the added value of the proposed GPE (or any such instrument) may not be as evident as what its proponents argue. The paper also highlights the fact that the adoption of such an instrument could generate unintended consequences that would hinder the development of more effective environmental standards in the future.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Olaf Weber, Adeboye Oyegunle
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Recently, a task force has been established by the Financial Stability Board that addresses climate risks for the financial industry. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has published recommendations for standardized disclosure about climate-related risks, and it has proposed developing scenario analyses to address climate-related risks for the financial industry. Using the climate risk indicators developed by the TCFD, an impact analysis that explored how direct impacts of the risk indicators influence one another was conducted. In addition, the influence of indirect impacts of the risk indicators on each other was examined by using a mathematical approach, the cross impact matrix-multiplication applied to classification (MICMAC Analysis). Finally, three scenarios were generated (a business as usual scenario; a reduced climate policies scenario; and a strong climate policies scenario), from which recommendations were made that will enable the Canadian financial sector to address risks and take proactive action, including investing in a low-carbon economy, to mitigate climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Investment, Financial Institutions
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: James Bacchus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Trade has become a taboo topic in climate negotiations on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. This must change. The nexus between trade and climate change must be addressed in the climate regime. In particular, a definition is needed that will clarify the meaning of a climate “response measure.” Without a definition provided by climate negotiators, the task of defining which national climate measures are permissible and which are not when they restrict trade while pursuing climate mitigation and adaptation will be left to the judges of the World Trade Organization. To avoid a collision between the climate and trade regimes that will potentially be harmful to both, the ongoing deliberation on response measures in the climate regime must be reframed by ending the climate taboo on trade.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrea Minano, Daniel Henstra, Jason Thistlethwaite
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Flooding is a growing source of financial insecurity for Canadian households. Flood maps serve a far more effective function in many countries than they currently do in Canada, and they are an essential tool with which to communicate flood risk to the public, encourage property owners to purchase insurance and encourage flood preparedness. Existing flood maps in Canada, however, are difficult to find, outdated and of poor quality, containing few of the characteristics that experts associate with high-quality maps. Improving information about flood exposure, by improving the quality of and access to these maps, can play an important role in protecting Canadians from significant financial risk.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Natural Disasters, Flood, Property
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Sarah Burch
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada cannot deliver on its international obligations under the Paris Agreement without meaningfully engaging its small business sector. Small businesses are more than simple profit-maximizers: they are social and political actors. Policies and incentives to foster sustainability should be carefully tailored to respond to the variety of drivers at each size of firm, rather than employing the same approach across the spectrum. Government can accelerate small business sustainability innovation by providing information, cases and success stories; technical skills and expertise; financial support and incentives; and legitimation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Innovation, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Chios Carmody
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This is a guide to the legal framework for emissions trading under the cap-and-trade system created and adhered to under the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). This guide is intended to serve three aims. First, the guide is an overview of the WCI cap-and-trade system for emissions trading by current users of the system; potential industry participants; state, provincial and municipal governments; academic institutions; and members of civil society. Second, the guide’s aim is to foster learning among domestic and international actors interested in North America’s collective response to climate change and highlights one attempt to combat climate change through a subnational cap-and-trade system on the continent. Third, during the course of research for this guide in 2018, the province of Ontario linked its WCI-inspired cap-and-trade system with that of California and Quebec and six months later delinked its system, eventually terminating it altogether and announcing its intention to withdraw from the WCI. A third purpose of this guide is therefore to serve as an account of Ontario’s short-lived cap-and-trade system and its brief experience with linkage.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Environment, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Cameron S. G. Jefferies
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The high seas are a critical biodiversity reservoir and carbon sink. Unfortunately, the oceans, generally, and the high seas, in particular, do not feature prominently in international climate mitigation or climate adaptation efforts. There are, however, signals that ocean conservation is poised to occupy a more significant role in international climate law and policy going forward. This paper argues that improved conservation and sustainable use of high-seas living marine resources are essential developments at the convergence of climate action and ocean governance that should manifest, at least in part, as climate-informed high-seas marine protected areas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Water, Maritime, Conservation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Kerryn Brent, Will Burns, Jeffrey McGee
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: After more than two decades of UN negotiations, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, with current projections indicating the planet is on a pathway to a temperature increase of approximately 3.2°C by 2100, well beyond what is considered a safe level. This has spurred scientific and policy interest in the possible role of solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal geoengineering activities to help avert passing critical climatic thresholds, or to help societies recover if global temperatures overshoot expectations of safe levels. Marine geoengineering proposals show significant diversity in terms of their purpose, scale of application, likely effectiveness, requisite levels of international cooperation and intensity of environmental risks. This diversity of marine geoengineering activities will likely place significant new demands upon the international law system to govern potential risks and opportunities. International ocean law governance is comprised of a patchwork of global framework agreements, sectoral agreements and customary international law rules that have developed over time in response to disparate issues. These include maritime access, fisheries management, shipping pollution, ocean dumping and marine scientific research. This patchwork of oceans governance contains several bodies of rules that might apply in governing marine geoengineering activities. However, these bodies of rules were negotiated for different purposes, and not specifically for the governance of marine geoengineering. The extent to which this patchwork of rules might contribute to marine geoengineering governance will vary, depending on the purpose of an activity, where it is conducted, which state is responsible for it and the types of impacts it is likely to have. The 2013 amendment to the London Protocol on ocean dumping provides the most developed and specific framework for marine geoengineering governance to date. But the capacity of this amendment to bolster the capacity of international law to govern marine geoengineering activities is limited by some significant shortcomings. Negotiations are under way to establish a new global treaty on conservation of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including new rules for area-based management, environmental impact assessments and capacity building/technology transfer. A new agreement has the potential to fill key gaps in the existing patchwork of international law for marine geoengineering activities in high-seas areas. However, it is also important that this new treaty be structured in a way that is not overly restrictive, which might hinder responsible research and development of marine geoengineering in high-seas areas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Law, United Nations, Green Technology, Geoengineering
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeff Rubin
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Even though US President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement, the country remains much closer to hitting the 2020 emission targets pledged by the previous administration of Barack Obama than Canada is of meeting the targets originally proposed by the government of Stephen Harper. The significant difference in emission performance is the result of the very different trajectories of energy-related emissions in the two countries. In the United States, such emissions have fallen steadily over the last decade as natural gas has usurped coal’s once dominant role in the US power sector. North of the border, oil sands emissions continue to be the fastest-growing source of emissions in Canada as emission-intensive in situ oil sands production continues to increase despite unfavourable economics.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America
  • Author: Ryerson Neal
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Participants from academia and various levels of government gathered in Ottawa to discuss the often underappreciated interplay between the international climate agenda and the global trade system. The trade system has traditionally supported open flows of goods and services by disciplining tariffs, as well as trade-distorting subsidies and regulations. But there is an emerging tension between this approach and the desire of governments to address climate change through potentially trade-distorting domestic regulations and green subsidies. The challenge for policy makers is how to maintain relatively free, undistorted trade, while still giving countries sufficient policy space to implement effective measures to combat climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Regulation, Green Technology, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Markus Gehring
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Economic, environmental and other international regimes are jointly facing a wicked climate problem. Climate change impacts on human activity and ecosystems have the potential to jeopardize attaining shared goals of these different regimes, and yet can only be addressed by overcoming the division and occasional conflict between their different stakeholders and areas of focus. Discussions have begun in the hallways on how trade law could best be leveraged to bring the international community together to prevent climate-related harms. This paper argues that World Trade Organization (WTO) fisheries subsidies negotiations should be a priority area for those practitioners and researchers building links between trade and climate law. It is submitted that successful fisheries subsidies reform will directly contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 (“Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”), given the important synergies that exist between the transformation of fisheries subsidies and climate mitigation and adaptation. Furthermore, fisheries subsidies negotiations are of crucial importance for international climate law because they can provide a case study to learn from and increase chances of success with fossil fuel subsidy reform. This paper provides a brief historical overview of trade law negotiations aiming to reduce and reform fisheries subsidies, and shows the important synergies that exist between reforming fisheries subsidies and implementing the Paris Agreement as well as the SDGs. The paper then extracts five drivers for success that can be observed from the current process of fisheries subsidies reform: leadership of key countries and of the WTO Secretariat itself; meticulous academic, scientific and policy background analysis; commitment by civil society and the private sector; the development of alternatives to those subsidies that encourage overfishing; and inter-regime learning. Lastly, the paper discusses the transferability of these drivers for success to prevent climate harms and to address more general challenges encountered in both the climate and trade regimes.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, World Trade Organization, Maritime, Fishing
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zachary Folger-Laronde, Olaf Weber
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As the impacts of climate change continue to grow in severity, focus has turned toward the climate change implications associated with the products and services of the financial sector. It is estimated that the indirect carbon emissions, which are caused in the financial sector by borrowers, investees and financed projects, are 50 to 200 times larger than the direct impacts of the financial sector. It is evident that a decarbonization strategy is needed for more than the fossil fuel industry and will require significant changes to most economic sectors. This added focus toward the financial sector has led to demands for enhanced disclosure of climate change information with regard to financed clients and projects. However, there remains limited guidance in how the financial sector should disclose its carbon performance to its shareholders and stakeholders. This paper reviews the highlights from an empirical study that investigated the types of carbon performance voluntarily disclosed by banks and the type of carbon impact emissions disclosed. Policy recommendations are made that aim to facilitate and standardize disclosures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Finance, Fossil Fuels, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Bacchus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Neither the trade regime nor the climate regime has so far displayed any willingness to confront the coming clash between climate ambitions and trade rules. To minimize the economic and political risks of such a collision, the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should adopt a WTO climate waiver. To further carbon pricing and to facilitate the necessary green transition in the global economy, the core of a WTO climate waiver should be a waiver from the applicable trade rules for national measures that: discriminate on the basis of carbon and other greenhouse gases used or emitted in making a product; fit the definition of a climate response measure as defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and do not discriminate in a manner that constitutes a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade. A WTO climate waiver should also include support for trade restrictions by carbon markets and climate clubs, trade disciplines on fossil fuel subsidies, and green subsidies that support innovative outcomes rather than particular technologies. Along with a climate waiver, WTO members should also confirm that carbon taxes qualify as border tax adjustments under trade rules. The adoption of a WTO climate waiver is a central and critical part of the overall reimagining of international trade law that is needed to fulfill the stated WTO goal of engaging in trade and other economic endeavours consistently with the objectives of sustainable development.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Green Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Freedom-Kai Phillips
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Participation of “non-party stakeholders” in the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was affirmed in the decision adopting the Paris Agreement and flagged in the preamble of the agreement itself. This paper discusses the current approaches to stakeholder participation under the UNFCCC and explains concerns regarding the existing model.
  • Topic: Climate Change, United Nations, Green Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Bacchus
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is a looming collision between the rules frameworks of the two separate international institutions that have been created and entrusted with addressing trade and climate change. Links between trade and climate change can no longer be ignored by either the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Neither has considered the consequences of the trade restrictions that are likely to be part of many national measures enacted to address climate change, which will fall within the scope of the WTO Agreement and will surely lead to a lengthy WTO dispute settlement process. Such trade-restrictive national measures will be fed by domestic fears of “carbon leakage” and a loss of national competitiveness, and WTO disputes resulting from such measures will confront numerous unanswered legal questions due to an absence of relevant WTO jurisprudence. To minimize the political risks of such a collision to both the WTO and the COP, and to combine the most benefit for the climate with the least risk to trade, a WTO climate waiver is urgently needed. The adoption of a WTO climate waiver should be only the first of the ways in which WTO members revise and realign WTO rules in accordance with the objectives of sustainable development.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper explores China’s perspectives and practices in its quest for overseas energy supply security and its participation in international energy cooperation since becoming a net oil import country in 1993. It compares the traditional approach, in which China mainly focuses on bilateral means to pursue its overseas energy supply security, and the new concept of energy security, in which greater involvement in global energy governance, in particular in the Group of Twenty (G20), is highlighted to promote China’s energy security. The paper argues that China still retains a bilateral and regional cooperation approach, while making progress in developing closer cooperation with existing major global energy governing institutions. The One Belt, One Road strategy proposed in 2013 is regarded as a strengthened version of the bilateral and regional cooperation approach. Chinese academic circles constitute the main forces advocating China’s more positive participation in global energy governance. The G20 provides significant institutional arrangements to coordinate big powers to govern the international energy markets and to address climate change. This paper suggests that, given China’s growing prominence at the G20, it could be the proper platform for the country to play a more active role in global energy governance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Governance, G20
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Jeff Rubin
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta premier Rachel Notley have both argued that improving Canada’s emissions record will safeguard the future development of the oil sands. The perspective offers little recognition of the current problems facing the country’s largest energy resource, and even less recognition of the problems that the oil sands will encounter as a result of actions taken by other countries to limit their own carbon emissions as pledged recently at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As climate change compels deep decarbonization of the global economy, emission restrictions around the world will destroy demand for billions of barrels of oil over the coming decades, severely impairing the economic viability of high-cost producers.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Oil, United Nations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In many areas across Canada, climate change will erode the conditions necessary for property insurance to remain available and affordable. This policy brief looks at the challenges facing the insurance system and presents policy recommendations aimed at sustaining and maximizing the insurance system and its benefits.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: China’s coal consumption fell marginally in 2014, the first such drop this century, in large part as a result of its policies to address its severe air pollution, develop renewable and alternative energy, and transition its economy away from heavy industry. China should take advantage of its current circumstances to adopt an aggressive national coal consumption cap target and policy to peak its coal consumption as soon as possible, no later than its next Five Year Plan (2016–2020), so that it can peak its CO2 emissions by 2025. It can achieve this target by building upon its existing achievements in developing clean energy such as wind and solar power, and by prioritizing renewable energy development over coal in its western expansion. China can help lead a transition to clean energy that will contribute greatly to global efforts to keep warming to no more than 2°C, and can serve as a model for other developing countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi , Kelsey Shantz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change. In this year’s survey, 31 CIGI experts conclude that international economic arrangements continue to show a level of “status quo,” averaging a score of 50% across all five areas. The 2015 survey indicates a slight improvement to the result of last year’s survey, which suggested a minimal regression overall. The experts’ assessment of progress was most promising in the area of climate change cooperation, with an average score of 57%, whereas the least promising area was macroeconomic and financial cooperation, with a score of 44%, indicating minimal regression. The remaining three areas polled all fell within the “status quo” range, with trade at 46%, development at 48% and international cooperation on financial regulation at 53%. Interestingly, in the area of cooperation on development, CIGI’s experts provided a relatively mixed assessment. Responses varied based on experts’ perception of the effectiveness of current rhetoric, from 70% (indicating some progress) to 10% (suggesting major regression). Compared to last year, climate change governance has made the greatest improvement, but the remaining three areas (with the exception of development, which was not included in the 2014 survey) have all, on average, regressed further or remained stagnant. This trend is cause for concern.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi, Kesley Shantz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Bak
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Reporting on global trade in environmental goods would provide a comprehensive lens into diversification that will be needed for the transition to low-carbon economies, help countries benchmark the shorter- and longer-term impact of policies such as regulation and fiscal stimulus targeted at green growth, as well as innovation, and strengthen the G20 leaders’ commitment to inclusive and sustainable growth by providing visibility into the pace of investments to address climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, International Trade and Finance, G20
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Burch
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada's position on climate change is deeply contentious and constantly evolving, and presents a challenge of multi-level governance (across sectors, civil society and multiple levels of government). This policy brief describes examples of innovative climate change policy at the subnational level, articulates the roles played by different levels of government, and provides a series of recommendations on pathways to carbon-neutral, resilient communities.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Environment, Governance
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Penelope Hawkins, Olaf Weber
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: One of the most important and topical discussions within the global multilateral arena is the challenge of meeting the world’s climate finance needs in order to reduce carbon emissions to sustainable levels and support adaptation strategies. The mobilization of finance is key in supporting the transition away from traditional high-carbon or business-as-usual economic pathways toward low-carbon, climate-resilient economic systems. A conference, Global Sustainability, Climate Change and Finance Policy, organized by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the South African Institute for International Affairs and held in Johannesburg from July 1 to July 3, considered aspects of the debate.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basil Ugochukwu
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Actions taken to mitigate and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change must be centred on human rights. This paper analyzes a few examples of national, subnational and corporate climate change policies to show how they have either enshrined human rights principles, or failed to do so. It also examines the challenge of integrating human rights principles in climate change actions. Climate change policies, if they are to respect all human rights, must actually use human rights language to articulate adaptation or mitigation measures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maria Paniezi
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Carbon taxes become relevant for international trade when they are coupled with border tax adjustment (BTA) legislation for imported products. BTAs are intended to level the playing field between domestic and foreign products, but such tax schemes, if not designed properly, can be found to violate a country’s international commitments before the World Trade Organization (WTO). This paper argues that environmentally conscious governments can impose a WTO-compatible BTA to offset domestic CO2 legislation, and that federal governments need to engage in coordinated efforts to harmonize treatment of high CO2 emitters domestically, since domestic industries will not bear the burden of environmental regulation alone.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Runnalls
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 is designed to produce the next round of climate change action. There are reasons to believe that the chances for success at the multilateral level are better now that they were before, but even under the most optimistic scenarios, Paris will not be the end of the negotiations. The Paris summit will be crucial to maintaining the momentum that has been building in the private sector and civil society on the issue of climate change. COP 21 has generated an enormous amount of public interest. Civil society actions both before and during the Paris meeting promise to be on a grand scale. In addition, COP21 has excited action from a number of other levels of government not normally seen at these events. Leaders of the IMF, the World Bank and the OECD have all stated that climate change is the principal economic issue facing the world this century. There is a growing realization among the world's economic decision makers that the shift to a low-carbon economy is not only a necessity, but also may be less costly than we believe. The need to identify both public and private financing solutions is the greatest hurdle facing the Paris COP. CIGI's climate change research is tackling the issue of financing sustainable development, in addition to how agreements can be reached by smaller countries, how to address the problems of the delayed benefits from mitigation, ways that China can exercise leadership in this arena, and how the world's financial institutions can help mobilize climate finance from the private sector.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Regulation, Financial Markets, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Sheng
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Central banks, when purchasing financial assets, should consider selecting assets that will promote sustainability, including climate change mitigation and adaptation. During the 2008 financial crisis, central banks deployed unconventional means to rescue failing banks and insulate economies from depression. Their asset purchases have had strong social impacts, but traditionally, central banks have not explicitly factored social objectives into their decisions or evaluated their impacts beyond the narrow monetary domain. Social impact investing is consistent with a central bank’s mandate to maintain price stability, but those not yet ready to move in this direction should at least incentivize bankers and asset managers to invest in, or lend to, climate mitigation activities and low-emission growth, as well as support a financial transaction tax.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Arunabha Ghosh, Anupama VijayKumar, Sudatta Ray
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: With halting progress in climate negotiations, there are growing calls for partnerships among self-selected pools of countries, in the expectation that they would facilitate consensus (among both developed and developing countries) and result in faster decision making. In critically examining such a claim, this paper asks: what kinds of partnerships could facilitate coordinated climate-related action across several countries? By focusing largely on technology partnerships (a key demand in climate negotiations), it examines characteristics of successful partnerships and the conditions under which they are created and sustained. While the motivations of existing partnerships are diverse, their functional scope has remained limited. A review of more than 30 initiatives reveals that very few had been designed to extend beyond sharing knowledge and some preliminary research and development activities. Even fewer had enlarged functional focus on actual transfer of equipment, joint production or extensive deployment mandates. The paper intensively analyzes the purpose, membership and governance of four partnerships. Drawing on their lessons, the paper identifies critical features — appropriate financing, leveraging capacity, flexible intellectual property rules and coordination across several institutions — which could become the foundation of new partnerships to deliver measurable action and possibly increase trust among negotiating parties.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Oonagh Fitzgerald, Karima Bawa, David Estrin, Kent Howe, Dean MacDougall, Myra J. Tawfik, Basil Ugochukwu, Bassem Awad
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The International Law Research Program (ILRP) of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) congratulates the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for launching a province-wide public consultation process — Ontario’s Climate Change Discussion Paper 2015 — in relation to an issue of global importance and urgency for Ontarians and Canadians alike, at a time when nations need to galvanize their subnationals, climate experts, civil society, business and industry to commit to intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. The CIGI ILRP is optimistic that through this provincial consultation process and implementation of the best ideas it generates, as well as through Ontario’s initiatives undertaken in collaboration with other provinces and foreign subnationals, Canadians will be able to prove to the world our commitment to make a meaningful contribution to achieving an ambitious, verifiable and enforceable international agreement on climate change in December 2015 in Paris. By proactively addressing climate change now, the Government of Ontario positions this province, its citizens, universities and businesses to be innovators for sustainable prosperity rather than victims of global environmental and economic crisis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi , Kelsey Shanty
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change. In this year’s survey, 31 CIGI experts conclude that international economic arrangements continue to show a level of “status quo,” averaging a score of 50% across all five areas. The 2015 survey indicates a slight improvement to the result of last year’s survey, which suggested a minimal regression overall. The experts’ assessment of progress was most promising in the area of climate change cooperation, with an average score of 57%, whereas the least promising area was macroeconomic and financial cooperation, with a score of 44%, indicating minimal regression. The remaining three areas polled all fell within the “status quo” range, with trade at 46%, development at 48% and international cooperation on financial regulation at 53%. Interestingly, in the area of cooperation on development, CIGI’s experts provided a relatively mixed assessment. Responses varied based on experts’ perception of the effectiveness of current rhetoric, from 70% (indicating some progress) to 10% (suggesting major regression). Compared to last year, climate change governance has made the greatest improvement, but the remaining three areas (with the exception of development, which was not included in the 2014 survey) have all, on average, regressed further or remained stagnant. This trend is cause for concern.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Runnalls, Jessica Boyle, Dave Sawyer
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) is unequivocal about the magnitude of the challenge posed by man-made climate change. If the world is to avoid exceeding the 2°C average increase in temperature agreed by governments in Copenhagen as the maximum safe level, it needs to move quickly to facilitate the transition to a lower-carbon economy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, International Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Barry Carin
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is currently little prospect of a successful international agreement resulting in effective, legally binding emission targets and significant "new and additional finance transfers" to developing countries; however, there is room for Africa to formulate an effective strategy in climate change negotiations. A bit player in climate change negotiations, with little leverage over the major emitting countries, Africa is wasting time with its current strategy of pursuing elusive emission targets and illusory financing. Africa can bring creative ideas to the negotiating table to reduce global emissions and enlarge "the size of the pie" for all parties. A strategic "carrot and stick" approach can make a positive contribution to an eventual international climate agreement and maximize Africa's portion of the expanded pie.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Kathryn Hochstetler
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The BRICS countries held their annual meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on July 15-17, 2014. While there, they formally launched their NDB, answering some of the many lingering questions about its function (BRICS 2014). The Shanghai based bank will have at least US$50 billion in initial capital, making it a significant new entrant into the sphere of global development finance. India will hold its first rotating presidency, but all five of the countries have particular roles to play. The lengthy presidential declaration gave little new information about the kinds of projects that will receive funding; however, simply repeating earlier statements that it will finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects. This policy brief examines how the NDB is likely to approach those two policy objectives, and notes a potential clash of these goals. There is already abundant evidence on this issue in the 2013 agreements and in the current financing patterns of the various national development banks of the BRICS member countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Development, Environment
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi, Barry Carin, David Kempthorne
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in four dimensions of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change. Governance related to these dimensions is scored on the following progress scale: 0%-19% represents "major regression"; 20%-39% represents "some regression"; 40%-59% indicates "minimal progress"; 60%-79% characterizes progress; and 80%-100% represents "major progress." Recognizing the difficulty of making objective judgments given the complexity of the issues, the results are offered as a range of subjective opinions from CIGI experts with diverse backgrounds.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: A. Neil Craik, Nigel Moore
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Transparency has become a dominant theme within academic and policy discussions on climate engineering (CE) research governance. As CE research moves from modelling and laboratory studies to field experiments, there is a need to operationalize transparency; that is, to move from transparency in principle to transparency in practice. This, in turn, requires greater attention be paid to the purposes that CE research transparency is intended to serve since the ends sought, as well as the context in which they will operate, will drive the design features of disclosure mechanisms.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Governance, Reform
  • Author: Alexandre Catta, Aladdin Diakun, Clara Yoon
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Mainstream analysis on China tends to be overly optimistic, leaving a blind spot in strategic planning. While the country's socio-economic landscape has been transformed over several decades of uninterrupted growth, it faces significant domestic and international risks and constraints. Chief among these are labour insecurity and imbalances, environmental constraints and rising climatic risks, and food insecurity, all coupled with rising popular expectations for a higher overall standard of living. Major soy producers (Argentina, Brazil and the United States) should take steps to ensure the stability of China's supply. In particular, these countries should set aside reserves to help mitigate future supply shocks and price spikes resulting from climate change. Manufacturers operating in or with China should immediately begin mapping their supply chains to identify vulnerabilities associated with crisis scenarios in the country. Where specific risks are identified, they should explore supply-chain diversification to boost resilience among major trading partners. To deter China from externalizing internal stresses, international actors should raise the political costs of nationalistic unilateralism by opening more channels for dialogue, deepening institutional integration and buttressing cooperative security norms.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Food
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Fujio Ohnishi
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper argues Japan's Arctic policy is in the process of developing toward more active engagement in the region. The first part of the paper discusses three milestones of Japan's past involvement in the Arctic, which consists of signing the Svalbard Treaty in 1920, engaging in polar science for more than 50 years and conducting the International Northern Sea Route Programme (INSROP) during the 1990s. The second part of the paper summarizes the current process of formulating Japan's Arctic interests at the ministerial level, as well as active discussions in private think tanks. Then, this paper considers opportunities and challenges for Japan in the Arctic, in areas such as Arctic shipping, oil and gas exploitation, and fisheries. The paper concludes with three strategic considerations to help formulate Japan's Arctic policy: the need to combine scientific findings with economic interests; possible diplomatic linkages between Arctic and East Asian states; and making diplomatic efforts toward subnational actors, such as indigenous groups in the region.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: David A. Welch
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Contrary to popular belief — and contrary to the views of many politicians and scholars — the Arctic is completely uninteresting geopolitically from a traditional national security perspective. It is somewhat more interesting geopolitically from various non-traditional security perspectives (for example, human security, cultural security, energy security, economic security and environmental security); but it is truly important only in the one respect that attracts the least attention and action from policy makers: namely, ecospheric security.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: James Manicom, John Higginbotham, Andrea Charron
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The shrinking Arctic ice cap is creating unprecedented geophysical change in the circumpolar region, a trend that is very likely to continue. Together, this “great melt” and the delineation of extended national economic zones afford increased access to economic resources in the Arctic Ocean. Intense activities in commercial, investment, diplomatic, legal, scientific and academic sectors abound in the new Arctic, but the region's long-term significance is only gradually penetrating North American public consciousness. Media reports such as the recent, virtually ice-free trans-polar transit of a Chinese icebreaker through the Russian Northern Sea Route, or the transit of the Northwest Passage by a large cruise ship, are only the tip of the proverbial economic iceberg. In preparing for the commercialization of the Arctic Ocean, Canada and the United States, as major nations bordering the Arctic, face enormous opportunities in protecting economic and environmental interests; however, a number of challenges impede the fulfillment of this vision.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Canada, North America
  • Author: Paul Heinbecker
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper examines the Group of 20 (the G20) from a perspective of global governance, reviewing the G20's history to date and seeking to answer two sets of questions: Is the G20 succeeding, and what does the future likely hold for it? Is it still necessary for the G20 to meet at the leaders' level, or should the enterprise be returned to finance ministers? Presuming that it endures at the leaders' level, will the G20 stick to a largely economic and financial agenda, or should it address other pressing issues? Will it complement or conflict with the Group of Eight (G8), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN) and other global institutions with economic and security vocations?
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Cooperation, Global Recession, Food, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United Nations