Achieving the United States’ Intended Nationally Determined Contribution

Achieving the United States’ Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. June 2015.

Nations are working toward a new global climate agreement later this year in Paris. To that end, countries have begun submitting their “intended nationally determine contributions” (INDCs) to the agreement. In its INDC, the United States said it intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels in 2025. Based on available estimates, measures already adopted or proposed will reduce emissions 19.5 to 23 percent below 2005 levels, meaning additional measures will be needed to achieve the 2025 target. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 2 pages, 150.59 KB].

Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Jane A. Leggett. June 29, 2015.

International negotiations are underway toward an agreement, due in December 2015, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)regarding commitments and actions to address human-related, global climate change from 2020 on. The report briefly summarizes the existing commitments and pledges of selected national and regional governments to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as contributions to the global effort.

[PDF format, 10 pages, 268.32 KB].

Central Banks: Printing Money Delays Domestic Structural Reforms

Central Banks: Printing Money Delays Domestic Structural Reforms. YaleGlobal. Will Hickey. June 30, 2015.

Countries are waging currency wars in competition over export markets, jobs and foreign investment, printing money, taking on more debt, rather than pursuing serious and needed domestic structural reforms. “Without deeper structural reforms that encourage consumption, innovation and a secure safety net ensuring certainty, the democratic governments will eventually flounder and citizens will vote leaders out of power,” writes Will Hickey. Greece is the most prominent example. Financial markets could soon lose patience with other countries like Italy or the United States. Necessary reforms include streamlining recalcitrant bureaucracies, improving education to encourage innovation, increasing immigration or reducing promises on pensions and other entitlements, and reducing reliance on low-value exports like natural resources or manufacturing with low-skilled labor. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Russian Ballistic Missile Defense: Rhetoric and Reality

Russian Ballistic Missile Defense: Rhetoric and Reality. Strategic Studies Institute. Keir Giles. June 29, 2015.

Russia continues to oppose strenuously U.S. plans for missile defense in Europe, despite the fact that Russia itself seeks to develop comparable missile defense systems, that, by their own logic, would be equally destabilizing. The report reviews Russian plans and progress toward implementing them, to prepare the ground for inevitable future confrontation with Russia over the rollout of U.S. systems. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format with a link to the PDF file].

Building Climate Equity

Building Climate Equity. World Resources Institute. David Waskow et al. June 2015.

For more than two decades, crafting global actions that all nations believe to be equitable has been a central challenge for international climate policy. A new approach is required to resolve this challenge. Building on the experiences of 23 countries, the report demonstrates that climate action and equity can be mutually supportive and that well-designed climate policies can strengthen the capabilities of the least well-off and most vulnerable. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

http://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/building-climate-equity-ES.pdf Executive Summary [PDF format, 16 pages , 1 MB].

http://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/building-climate-equity-072014.pdf [PDF format, 120 pages, 3.9 MB].

The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Successes and Challenges

The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Successes and Challenges. Migration Policy Institute. Randy Capps et al. June 2015.

Using previously non-public refugee admissions data from the State Department, this analysis finds that even as refugees come to the United States from increasingly diverse origins and linguistic backgrounds, some arriving with very low native-language literacy and education, most integrate successfully over time. The report examines refugees’ employment, English proficiency, educational attainment, income and poverty status, and public benefits usage. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 47 pages, 2.37 MB].

Building a More Inclusive National Park System for All Americans

Building a More Inclusive National Park System for All Americans. Center for American Progress. Nidhi Thakar et al. June 24, 2015.

According to the authors, Congress and the president should work to conserve places that better reflect America’s diverse population and help engage new generations to visit and explore their shared heritage and resources. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 10 pages, 226.87 KB].