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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.

 

Postcards from the Paris Climate Summit

I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport Monday morning jet lagged and optimistic. The lights on the RER train flashed the way to Le Bourget, the site of the climate summit. The summit won’t be enough on its own to deliver a safe climate, but the cumulative pledges countries have already made, if implemented, would be enough to stave off the worst climate calamities, and can lay the groundwork for stronger actions in coming years.

Financing for Adaptation to Climate Change: Ensuring the Most Vulnerable Are Covered

At next week’s global climate summit in Paris the mood is likely to be somber in the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks. Spirits won’t be raised by the fact that the national emissions reduction plans submitted so far are only half of what’s needed to keep global temperature increases within the agreed target of 2 degrees Celsius.  Also discouraging are the large gaps that remain between how much climate finance developing countries need to cover the costs of mitigation and adaptation and the commitments put forward by developed countries.

G-20 Leaders in Antalya Can Help Ensure a Successful Outcome in Paris

Under the rubric of “buttressing sustainability,” the Turkish presidency has placed development at the center of its G-20 agenda, with a special focus on climate change finance. As G-20 leaders assemble this weekend, with the UN climate summit in Paris just two weeks later, the conversation will undoubtedly focus on how rich countries can make good on their 2009 Copenhagen commitment to mobilize $100 billion for developing countries by 2020. How can G-20 leaders make the Paris summit a success? Here are three suggestions.

California Looks to the Forests: My Remarks to the California Air Resources Board

California is looking to tropical forests to help slow climate change. After years of delays, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) appears to finally be moving ahead with plans to finance tropical forest protection through “sectoral offsets” to its cap-and-trade program, in which California companies could meet part of their climate obligations by buying offset credits from states in developing countries that reduce emissions from deforestation.

Eight Reasons for California to Lead on Climate and Tropical Forests

When it comes to fighting climate change, California is already a world leader on pricing carbon, transitioning to renewable energy, and decarbonizing the world’s eighth largest economy.  California has yet another golden opportunity to lead on climate, by green-lighting finance to protect tropical forests. 

Obama’s Meeting with Jokowi Yields Disappointing Results for Forest and Peatland Protection

Last Friday, I wrote about how President Obama should hail Indonesian President Joko ("Jokowi") Widodo’s dramatic announcement last week to halt further development of peatlands and to initiate a major program to restore peatlands that have already been disturbed. While the Joint Statement out of the meeting does mention peatland, the US response to Jokowi’s potentially game-changing new course of action appears to fall short.

Obama Should Hail Indonesia’s Plans to Protect and Restore Peatlands in Monday’s Bilateral Meeting

When Indonesian President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) meets with President Obama on October 26, climate change will certainly be on the agenda, with the Paris 2015 summit only a month away. Obama should use the opportunity to praise and offer support for the steps Jokowi announced earlier today to address the underlying causes of fires currently consuming vast areas of Indonesia’s forests and peatlands. In particular, Obama should hail Jokowi’s plans to end the opening of peatlands for cultivation and to promote community-based restoration of those already disturbed. Neither head of state should allow his vision to be clouded by spurious claims that proposed solutions will hurt small farmers or infringe on Indonesia’s national sovereignty.

Seven Storylines in Last Week’s Climate Pledges

There’s a lot to like about the climate pledges that nearly 150 countries have now submitted to the United Nations in advance of the climate summit in Paris in December.  I’ve grouped them into seven storylines that I think deserve attention.

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