Must the Energy Transition Be Slow?Not Necessarily

Must the Energy Transition Be Slow? Not Necessarily. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Nikos Tsafos. September 17, 2018.

 The world needs to shift its energy system to meet its climate targets. The growth in energy demand must slow, and the carbon emitted from that energy must decline. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 9 pages].

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Transforming Agriculture for Climate Resilience: A Framework for Systemic Change

Transforming Agriculture for Climate Resilience: A Framework for Systemic Change. World Resources Institute. Rebecca Carter, Tyler Ferdinand and Christina Chan.  October 2018

 Transformative approaches to adaptation in agriculture will be needed to maintain and enhance global food security, avoid maladaptation and reduce growing risks of crisis and conflict. Today, the agriculture sector practices adaptation with relatively limited incremental adjustments to existing systems to better manage current climate variability and cope with near-term climate risks. Increasingly, severe climate impacts are beginning to test the limits of what we can adapt to through such relatively minor adjustments. These impacts will increasingly require more dramatic shifts at greater scale, speed, and intensity to manage risk, strengthen food security and protect lives and livelihoods—especially among the poorest and most vulnerable, who often depend on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fishing and tourism.

This working paper explores the concept of transformative adaptation for agriculture and why it is needed. It looks at how transformative outcomes could be achieved by aligning adaptation projects along pathways and adjusting planning processes to incorporate longer-term, more systemic approaches. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 24 pages].

The Costs of Climate Change

The Costs of Climate Change. YaleGlobal. Kenneth Gillingham. October 18, 2018

 Economic models allow societies to analyze complex problems and make sensible decisions. Yale University Professor William Nordhaus has been named winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics for his research on models that integrate climate change into long-term economic analysis. Paul Romer of New York University was also named for his work on endogenous growth theory. Kenneth Gillingham of Yale University reflects on Nordhaus’ profound contributions to the field of economics – and to society more broadly – that led to this recognition, explaining that “Nordhaus laid the groundwork for what is now an entire field on the economics of climate change.” The research analyzes how climate change can be mitigated at the lowest-cost possible, what the optimal climate policy is, and how society’s choices about climate mitigation can influence long-run well-being. Gillingham concludes that Nordhaus’ work is global in scope and visionary, dedicated to preparing societies for what may be the most pressing challenge of our time. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [HTML format, various paging].

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Margo Balboni. September 27, 2018

 Processes of environmental degradation can exacerbate, prolong, and even spark conflicts.  In Iraq and Yemen, where water and cultivable land are becoming scarce, efforts toward rebuilding these countries will need to factor in a changing climate. Despite their importance, environmental issues are often neglected in post-conflict reconstruction processes. Some of the most sweeping risks—environmental and climate crises—are the most likely to be overlooked because they are “threats without enemies.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 12 pages].

Connecting the Dots: Elements for a Joined-Up Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement

Connecting the Dots: Elements for a Joined-Up Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. World Resources Institute.  Mathilde Bouyé, Sven Harmeling and Nils-Sjard Schulz.  July 2018.

 National-level implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change proceed on different tracks, despite growing recognition of the ample opportunities they present for synergies. In most countries, climate actions under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and national targets underpinning the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been defined and advanced separately. This siloed approach makes little sense given the short window of opportunity for tackling the interlinked challenges of climate change, ecosystem degradation, inequality rise, and political instability. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 89 pages].

Is Climate Restoration an Appropriate Climate Policy Goal?

Is Climate Restoration an Appropriate Climate Policy Goal? RAND Corporation.  Robert J. Lempert et al. April 6, 2018

 Since the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, society has organized efforts to limit the magnitude of climate change around the concept of stabilization — that is, accepting some climate change but holding it within acceptable bounds. This report offers an initial exploration of the concept of climate restoration — that is, approaches that seek to return atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to preindustrial levels within one to two generations. Using a simple integrated assessment model, the analysis examines climate restoration through the lens of risk management under conditions of deep uncertainty, exploring the technology, economic, and policy conditions under which it might be possible to achieve various climate restoration goals and the conditions under which society might be better off with (rather than without) a climate restoration goal. This report also explores near-term actions that might help manage the risks of climate restoration. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 51 pages].

Evolving Assessments of Human and Natural Contributions to Climate Change

Evolving Assessments of Human and Natural Contributions to Climate Change. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Jane A. Leggett. February 1, 2018

 This CRS report provides context for the Administration’s Climate Science Special Report (October 2017) by tracing the evolution of scientific understanding and confidence regarding the drivers of recent global climate change.

 [PDF format, 25 pages].