Energy in America: Energy as a Source of Economic Growth and Social Mobility

Energy as a Source of Economic Growth and Social Mobility.  Center for Strategic & International Studies. Sarah Ladislaw, Jesse Barnett. June 25, 2019

The CSIS Energy Program assessed the existing academic literature, commissioned new research papers, convened an expert summit, and compiled the findings to produce Energy in America: Energy as a Source of Economic Growth and Social Mobility. This report analyzes the ways energy contributes to the challenges and opportunities facing ordinary Americans, covering the impacts of production, distribution, and consumption of energy products in the United States.

The report highlights the new, extra-energy objectives that energy policy is increasingly expected to advance and evaluates their historical efficacy. The authors conclude that while deliberate U.S. energy policy interventions have hitherto achieved mixed results, there are promising developments and best practices that decisionmakers ought to consider. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 55 pages].

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Research Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation Policy

Research Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation Policy. Social and Political Science. June 3, 2019.

This topical and engaging Research Handbook illustrates the variety of research approaches in the field of climate change adaptation policy in order to provide a guide to its social and institutional complexity. A range of international expert contributors offer interdisciplinary explorations of climate change adaptation policy from policy sciences, legal, and practitioner perspectives. Using examples from a variety of sectors including water, health and land use, and multiple levels of governance and country contexts, from international to local, and developing to developed countries, the chapters examine a wealth of theoretical orientations towards climate change adaptation policy and their underpinnings. In doing so, this Research Handbook provides an understanding of the complexity of the institutions, decision-makers and assumptions that are involved in adaptation research as well as adaptation policy development and implementation. This Research Handbook will be an indispensable resource for both researchers and practitioners in climate change adaptation with an interest in the research methods and policies that support and advance it. Undergraduate and postgraduate students of environmental studies, public policy and politics will also find this book provides a valuable foundation for building a deeper knowledge of adaptation science and policy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 528 pages].

Management of the Colorado River: Water Allocations, Drought, and the Federal Role

Management of the Colorado River: Water Allocations, Drought, and the Federal Role.  Congressional Research Service. Charles V. Stern, Pervaze A. Sheikh. Updated May 17, 2019

The Colorado River Basin covers more than 246,000 square miles in seven U.S. states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California) and Mexico. Pursuant to federal law, the Bureau of Reclamation (part of the Department of the Interior) manages much of the basin’s water supplies. Colorado River water is used primarily for agricultural irrigation and municipal and industrial (M&I) uses, but it also is important for power production, fish and wildlife, and recreational uses. 

In recent years, consumptive uses of Colorado River water have exceeded natural flows. This causes an imbalance in the basin’s available supplies and competing demands. A drought in the basin dating to 2000 has raised the prospect of water delivery curtailments and decreased hydropower production, among other things. In the future, observers expect that increasing demand for supplies, coupled with the effects of climate change, will further increase the strain on the basin’s limited water supplies.

[PDF format, 29 pages].

Aligning G20 Infrastructure Investment with Climate Goals & the 2030 Agenda

Aligning G20 Infrastructure Investment with Climate Goals & the 2030 Agenda. Brookings Institution. Amar Bhattacharya and Minji Jeong. June 13, 2019.

In many parts of the world, the issue of climate change and the UN 2030 Agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are experiencing an unprecedented momentum. Finally! For many years already, robust science is warning of the devastating impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and fatal consequences of global temperature increase beyond the scientifically based target of 1.5 °C. Without an adequate response, the global GHG emissions will remain far off track, threatening to increase the devastating effects of climate change.

Every day huge amounts of additional GHG emitting infrastructure is still being built. Infrastructure construction and development and its operation in the energy, building and transport sector contribute to approximately 70% of the global GHG emissions, while again 70% of the infrastructure required by 2050 is yet to be built. This makes infrastructure a main source of the problem – yet also a substantial opportunity to become a key driver for improving the quality of life by generating development, employment and the unleashing of innovation for a sustainable future. However, fundamental transformations, such as the aligning of infrastructure construction and climate goals, need to take evolving social pressures into account that require an inclusive approach and deliberate policy-making. Ignoring these challenges is not an option – no matter from which perspective. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 63 pages].

Towards More Inclusive Climate Change Adaptation: Journal

Towards More Inclusive Climate Change Adaptation: Journal. International Institute for Environment and Development. April 2019.

Our understanding of climate change impacts and vulnerability in urban centres has grown rapidly in recent years, as has the number of cities developing and implementing plans to respond to the challenges of climate change. The papers in this issue explore such plans and responses in a variety of contexts and scales, from transnational networks for adaptation that incorporate Indonesian cities, to urban adaptation in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Several papers explore the gendered aspects of adaptation (in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Khulna City, Bangladesh). Another zeroes in on the way urban migrants are particularly affected in India.

A common theme is attention to the informal settlements that are particularly exposed to climate-related hazards in cities. Another theme across the papers in this issue is the need for genuinely inclusive adaptation; one paper details the participatory planning processes in three small- to medium-sized Latin American cities.

Also in this issue of Environment and Urbanization are papers on: 50 years of housing policies in Latin America; the Smart Cities craze in India; participatory slum upgrading in Afghanistan; household water consumption in Shanghai; policy pilots for co-production in four Chinese cities; the use of satellilte data to study Indian slums; sanitation bye-law enforcement in Accra; provision of basic services in Syria; and malaria in peri-urban areas of Colombia. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/eaua/31/1

How to Enable Electric Bus Adoption in Cities Worldwide

How to Enable Electric Bus Adoption in Cities Worldwide. World Resources Institute.  Xiangyi Li et al. May 2019

Electric buses could pioneer a new age of clean and efficient urban transport and put cities on track towards sustainability. However, electric bus adoption is not accelerating fast enough for the world to meet transport-related global climate objectives and help limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The aim of this report is to fill in knowledge gaps and provide actionable guidance for transit agencies and bus operating entities to help them overcome the most common and debilitating barriers to electric bus adoption. It provides a step-by-step guidance to establish and achieve electric bus adoption targets using concrete and diverse real-world experiences.

Transit agencies and bus operating entities are encouraged to maximize electric bus adoption targets based on local conditions and to develop a responsible strategy for implementation. They should be actively involved in planning and analysis; be serious about piloting and testing projects; and collaborate with city policymakers and other stakeholders to accelerate a responsible adoption of electric buses. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 68 pages].

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations. Congressional Research Service. Jonathan L. Ramseur, Mary Tiemann. Updated April 10, 2019

The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). Established as a grant program in 1972, it now capitalizes state loan programs through the clean water state revolving loan fund (CWSRF) program. Since FY1972, appropriations have totaled $98 billion.  In 1996, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA, P.L. 104-182) to authorize a similar state loan program for drinking water to help systems finance projects needed to comply with drinking water regulations and to protect public health. Since FY1997, appropriations for the drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program have totaled $23 billion. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers both SRF programs, which annually distribute funds to the states for implementation. Funding amounts are specified in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account of EPA annual appropriations acts. The combined appropriations for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure assistance have represented 25%-32% of total funds appropriated to EPA in recent years.

[PDF format, 43 pages].