Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition: The Case For Stronger, More Targeted And Coordinated International Action

Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition: The Case For Stronger, More Targeted And Coordinated International Action. Brookings Institution. David G. Victor, Frank W. Geels, and Simon Sharpe.  December 9, 2019

The world is committed to acting on climate change. At least since the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, the international community has been united in its commitment to preventing ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’. In the Paris agreement of 2015, almost all countries set out individual targets or actions they would take towards meeting this collective goal. Earlier this year, the UN Climate Action Summit highlighted many examples of governments, businesses and civil society groups leading the way to a low carbon economy. There is general consensus on the need for deep cuts in emissions as rapidly as is practical. However, it is equally clear that emissions are still rising, not falling, and economic change is not happening anywhere near quickly enough. Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 71 pages].

Oil and Gas Industry Engagement on Climate Change: Drivers, Actions, and Path Forward

Oil and Gas Industry Engagement on Climate Change: Drivers, Actions, and Path Forward. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Stephen J. Naimoli, Sarah Ladislaw. October 1, 2019.

The most important strategic issue facing the energy industry today is climate change. As the earth’s average temperature continues to rise with the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the stable functioning of earth’s natural systems adjusts to the new, high-carbon reality and society begins to witness the effects of an altered natural environment and its impact on our lives and livelihoods. Most greenhouse gas emissions are caused by human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels. This reality demands a change to our energy system. Given this threat, governments are increasingly enacting policies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and investors in companies that sell fossil fuels are putting increasing pressure on management to show how they will navigate an energy system in transition. In addition, the economics of renewable energy are becoming increasingly attractive, creating potential alternatives to fossil fuels. Facing all of these drivers, some oil and gas companies are strategizing to become “energy companies,” adapting to this global energy transition. This report, based on research and a workshop held at CSIS in February 2019 with industry, investors, academics, and environmental groups, attempts to explore how oil and gas companies are taking action to address climate change, how these actions fit with the overall needs of the energy transition, and whether there is more companies can do to contribute to the solution set of this problem. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 39 pages].

The Endangered Species Act and Climate Change: Selected Legal Issues

The Endangered Species Act and Climate Change: Selected Legal Issues. Congressional Research Service. Linda Tsang. September 20, 2019

For more than a decade, federal agencies have grappled with how to address climate change effects when implementing the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The ESA aims to protect threatened and endangered fish, wildlife, and plants from extinction. As set forth by Congress, one of the main purposes of the ESA is to “provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved.” 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services) have acknowledged that the changing climate may threaten the survival of and habitat for some species. As noted by courts and legal scholars, the ESA does not expressly require the Services to consider the effect of climate change in their ESA decisions. However, the ESA and its implementing regulations (1) direct the Services to consider “natural or manmade factors affecting [a species’] continued existence” when determining whether a species should be protected under the ESA; and (2) require the Services to analyze cumulative effects on a species’ survival when analyzing whether federal actions jeopardize a species protected under the Act. The courts and the Services have interpreted these provisions as requiring the Services to consider climate change effects in the ESA decisionmaking process. Various lawsuits have challenged the Services’ interpretation of complex scientific data or models that predict short- and long-term effects from a changing global climate on specific species and their habitats.

[PDF format, 22 pages].

Impact of Climate Risk on the Energy System: Examining the Financial, Security, and Technology Dimensions

Impact of Climate Risk on the Energy System: Examining the Financial, Security, and Technology Dimensions. Council on Foreign Relations.   Amy Myers Jaffe et al. September 10, 2019.

Climate change poses risks to energy security, financial markets, and national security. Energy companies and local, state, and federal governments need to better prepare to face these challenges. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 87 pages]. 

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].

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

Analyse Widely, Act Deeply: Forest and Farm Producer Organisations and the Goal of Climate Resilient Landscapes

Analyse Widely, Act Deeply: Forest and Farm Producer Organisations and the Goal of Climate Resilient Landscapes. International Institute for Environment and Development. James Mayers. April 2019.

Local organisations, thriving among smallholders dependent on adjacent forests or trees growing on their farms, constitute perhaps the world’s biggest and most effective force for improved rural livelihoods and sustainability. They face fast-changing pressures. Many are likely to find it useful to have an organisational goal of contributing to climate resilient landscapes. Various international programmes can help in understanding and supporting such contributions – especially through practical actions for climate adaptation and mitigation, and forest restoration. ‘Landscape approaches’ are helpful for analysing the various connected issues, while context-specific politically-savvy planning is needed for effective action. This paper explores the possible motivations and actions for climate resilient landscapes amongst four different sorts of forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs): indigenous peoples’ organisations, community forest organisations, forest and farm producer groups, and processing groups in urban and peri-urban contexts. The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) aims to help FFPOs to further develop and pursue such practical actions over the next five years. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages].