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Blog Posts: energy

  • The Plain Bad Economics of Today’s Energy Prices

    Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, recently launched the latest book in a series on what good fiscal policy should look like in a world of environmental externalities.

    The message was clear: Ministers of finance and economics should design their tax systems skillfully so as to tax bad things, like pollution and congestion, rather than good things like work and profit. Not to do so is plain, bad economics.

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  • The Price Is Wrong: New Report Calls for Fossil Fuel Prices that Reflect Environmental Costs

    A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Getting Energy Prices Right: From Principle to Practice, argues that the costs of coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fail to account for these fuels’ environmental and social impacts—such as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and traffic deaths.

    Setting prices that reflect these side effects—through taxes, licensing, or cap-and-trade systems—could reduce deaths from fossil fuel-related air pollution by 63 percent, decrease global carbon dioxide emissions by 23 percent, and generate revenues totaling about 2.6 percent of global GDP.

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  • What Does Environmental Democracy Look Like?

    At its core, environmental democracy involves three mutually reinforcing rights: the ability for people to freely access information on environmental quality and problems, to participate meaningfully in decision-making, and to seek enforcement of environmental laws or compensation for damages

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  • Closing the Renewable Energy Investment Gap

    There’s a growing gap between current investment in low-carbon energy and what’s needed to meet world demand while avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. The good news is there’s sufficient capital and investor interest to close much of this gap.

    However, policies that encourage market certainty and level the playing field between different energy sources are needed to attract the volume of investment required, according to a special International Energy Agency (IEA) report, the World Energy Investment Outlook, released this month.

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  • Post-Fukushima Climate Action: How Japan Can Achieve Greater Emissions Reductions

    After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Japan halted all existing nuclear operations and significantly scaled back its 2020 emissions-reduction target. As Japan revises its energy policy over the next few years, officials will decide the future of the country’s energy mix—and its climate action.

    New research reveals that Japan can likely go beyond its emissions-reduction target with existing initiatives, but needs to pursue more ambitious action in the long-term to truly overcome the climate change challenge.

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  • Linking Reporting Systems to Improve Greenhouse Gas Management

    What do Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have in common? They are among the few countries that are linking their national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data with GHG data from individual industrial facilities.

    Inventories are a fundamental tool for countries and facilities to measure and manage their GHG emissions. Establishing these linkages and sharing data between different inventory systems will continue to be critical in improving the quality of inventories, increasing their usefulness, reducing emissions at both the national and facility level, and enhancing their value for decision makers.

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  • 7 Good Practices for Developing a Sustainable National GHG Inventory System

    Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to developing a sustainable national GHG inventory system, countries can learn from each other’s experiences: What’s worked and why? What hasn’t worked and why? And how have countries built their capabilities for compiling a national inventory over time?

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  • What Does the Clean Power Plan Mean for Meeting U.S. Climate Goals?

    On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its Clean Power Plan, the first time the United States has set standards to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. The Plan sets emissions reduction goals for individual states; once the goals are finalized next year, states will develop plans to achieve the necessary reductions. EPA’s modeling indicates that the standards will reduce national carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

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  • 3 Reasons Why Cutting Carbon From Power Plants Is Good For Business

    To this day, carbon pollution—the main driver of climate change—has not been controlled from power plants.

    That’s why the U.S. EPA’s new rules are so momentous, putting federal limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants for the first time. With the power sector representing a third of America’s carbon footprint, these rules are the biggest single action the administration can take to drive down greenhouse gases.

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  • Power Plant Rules Are Critical for Curbing U.S. Emissions

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will soon unveil its first-ever emissions standards for existing power plants. These rules represent the most significant component of the U.S. Climate Action Plan—and moreover, they’re an essential step for overcoming the climate change challenge.

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