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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Airlines and Forests: A Match Made at Cruising Altitude

In what could be the most consequential meeting on climate change in 2016, the world’s airlines are gathering next week in Montreal for the 39th triennial assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). There they will consider a proposal to cap carbon dioxide emissions from international flights and let participating airlines trade the rights to emit.  An ICAO-sanctioned cap-and-trade program could lead to airlines achieving their goal in part by buying credits for the protection of tropical forests.

Affordable Climate Protection: Saving the Amazon Forest Cost Brazil Far Less than the Rio Olympics

From 2004-2013, Brazil reduced climate emissions by more than any other country on earth, thanks to its success cutting Amazon deforestation by 80 percent. Now, a new study in Ecological Economics finds that actions to protect the Amazon were affordable too, costing Brazilian governments at the federal, state, and local levels just $2.1 billion over nine years—one-third the estimated $6.2 billion price tag of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

What’s Next for the UK on Climate Change after Brexit? Lemons to Lemonade.

In the short run, the uncertainty about future national policy may discourage private investment in renewable energy and other low carbon technologies. At the same time, the freedom to forge its own climate policy and to step out ahead of the EU may open opportunities for more ambitious action and creative intellectual leadership in UK support to developing countries.

Sometimes the Spotlight is Enough

On June 15 in Oslo, US Secretary of State John Kerry signed a Joint Statement on Deeper Collaboration on Forests and Climate Change with Norway. While we might wish that bolder action from the US government were possible sooner, this moment in the spotlight to move forests higher up on the US government’s agenda is a good first step.

Snakes or Ladders at the Carbon Fund?

After meeting in Paris, the Carbon Fund has provisionally approved the first two REDD+ programs in DRC and Costa Rica. After eight years writing a charter, negotiating a rulebook, and vetting proposals, it was long overdue. Learn about the Carbon Fund approval process in this post.

Oxfam America: Poor Countries Should Get to Sell the Remaining Fossil Fuels

Reducing fossil fuel emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or less means that a huge amount of proven fossil fuel reserves will need to stay in the ground.  A new Oxfam America Research Backgrounder by Professor Simon Caney of Oxford rightly proposes that, in considering which assets will be “stranded” (left in the ground), priority for extracting these fossil fuels should somehow be given to the poorest countries/people. But while poor countries should get priority when it comes to selling fossil fuels, when it comes to using them, they should be viewed as an energy source of last resort, after alternatives have been seriously explored.

World Leaders Signed the Climate Agreement On Earth Day. How Will They Deliver?

This Earth Day, more than sixty heads of state will gather in New York to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change. The agreement declared in December the unanimous aim of 196 governments to work toward the near-elimination of greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of this century. Although the New York ceremony represents another high-profile sign of political support for stabilizing Earth’s climate, significant challenges remain.

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