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In this piece, Michael B. Gerrard comments on an article by Thomas D. Peterson, Robert B. McKinstry Jr., and John C. Dernbach which held two central insights: (1) Any serious national effort to control emissions of greenhouse gases must continue to leave important roles to the states; and (2) It would be a mistake to put too many eggs in the cap-and-trade basket. Although Gerrard agrees with these insights, he has reservations about the authors' proposal to use the mechanism of national ambient air quality standards and state implementation plans as a way to give states the vital roles they deserve. In discussing alternative methods to this, Gerrard delves into the topics of state action, the national ambient air quality standards, state implementation plans, and lastly, alternative approaches to state roles.
Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is vital to mitigate climate change. To date reduction efforts have primarily focused on minimizing the production of carbon dioxide during electricity generation, transport, and other activities. Going forward, to the extent that carbon dioxide continues to be produced, it will need to be captured before release. Research is currently being undertaken into the possibility of injecting carbon dioxide into the seabed. One study aims to identify possible injection sites in the seabed along the northeast coast of the U.S. It is anticipated that, following identification of suitable sites, a demonstration project will be undertaken to assess the feasibility of offshore CCS. This paper outlines key regulatory requirements for the demonstration project and any subsequent commercial operations.
U.S. cities and states are increasingly asking how they can play a more visible and active role in international climate change efforts. Cities and states have obvious incentives to take action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, but participation on an international level is also essential. This paper highlights a variety of ways in which U.S. cities and states can reflect their climate-related commitments on an international scale. Specifically, the author points to the Paris Agreement, the 'NAZCA' Portal, Global Covenant of Mayors, U.S.- China Cities Initiative, Under2 Mou Initiative, and the California Summit for ways in which this goal can be met.
Given the current pushback on responsible climate policy at the federal level, innovative state and local action will be critical if we are to achieve a just transition to a sustainable economy. The Institute for Policy Studies is surveying the array of state and local measures that can accelerate the just transition from an extractive, fossil fueled economy to a clean, regenerative economy. In this study, the Institute for Policy Studies focuses on one set of policies: energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and public buildings. This report examines state and local policies that reduce energy demand by making homes and commercial and government buildings and common household, commercial, and industrial appliances more energy efficient, and requiring electric and gas utilities to provide energy efficiency as a service to their customers, thereby reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
With the establishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the international community has a historic opportunity to get climate finance right. Civil society groups have been clear about the kinds of adaptation and mitigation projects they don’t want the GCF to finance in developing countries. But the question of what the GCF should support has received considerably less attention. Fortunately, there are many positive examples to learn from. This report presents 22 climate- related projects, programs, and policies that organizations from the Global South and North have identified as successful. These examples are drawn from large and small developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and are organized into four categories: adaptation, agro-ecology, adaptation/mitigation hybrids, and mitigation. The authors also draw out some of the common characteristics of these examples, with the hope that the GCF may incorporate these lessons into their financing strategies.
Hawaii became the first state to pass a law committing to the goals and limits of the Paris Climate Accord. The state’s governor, David Y. Ige, signed a bill explicitly geared toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the landmark goals adopted by world leaders with the Paris Agreement in 2015.
This report looks at the potential for collaboration between employer and business membership organizations (EBMOs) and workers’ organizations in crises arising from conflicts and disasters. By zooming in on a variety of country contexts, it explores initiatives and policies that seek to maintain an environment for continued employment, decent work, and commercial activity. It also looks at efforts to build resilience in situations of conflict and/or major destruction by natural and human-made disasters. In particular, the report examines how EBMOs and workers’ organizations have taken action and cooperated in a variety of ways through social dialogue to prevent crises, promote peace, and enable recovery. In doing so, the study provides insights into the roles played by EBMOs and workers’ organizations in these contexts, and how such collaboration in crisis situations could be strengthened and replicated elsewhere.
This report describes how the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads and why mitigation measures, such as symptom screening, testing, and contact tracing, are recommended for schools. It argues that it will be more difficult for schools with poor condition facilities to effectively implement SARS-CoV-2 mitigation measures. As a result, students and staff attending these schools will face greater risk of contracting COVID-19.