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Blog Posts: international climate policy

  • Analyzing Outcomes from the UN Climate Summit

    The UN Climate Summit brought together more than 125 heads of state and government officials—the largest-ever climate meeting of world leaders. Leaders clearly demonstrated their understanding that the impacts of climate change are real and costly, and that they no longer have to choose between economic growth and climate action—they go hand-in-hand.

    WRI’s experts were in New York for all the action. While the outcomes from the Summit are still evolving, here’s our first look at progress made and next steps.

  • Explore Changing Global Emissions through Interactive Maps

    Global emissions are higher than any point in history and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are increasing faster than the previous 30 years.

    A new interactive map reveals how carbon dioxide emissions are distributed globally and how they've changed in the past 160 years.

  • China’s “New Long March” through the UN Climate Summit: Context and Opportunities

    The Long March was a watershed moment in Chinese history—the moment Mao Zedong’s nascent Communist Party escaped disaster in 1934 en route to forming a new nation. Fast forward 80 years, and China is poised to embark on a new Long March – but this time away from climate change and environmental damage toward a sustainable future.

  • By the Numbers: The New Climate Economy

    How should politicians prioritize between robust economic growth and solving the problem of climate change?

    A new report reveals an encouraging answer: There’s no need to choose. Better Growth, Better Climate, finds that low-carbon investments—if done right—could cost about the same as conventional infrastructure, but would deliver significantly greater economic, social, and environmental benefits in the long-run.

  • Choose Your Future: 4 Possible Emissions Pathways

    Recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that the impacts of climate change are already “widespread and consequential.” Yet the effects we may see in the future still largely depend on the actions countries take to reduce their emissions today.

    Our new infographic, based on IPCC data, depicts the likely consequences of various emissions pathways ranging from a low-carbon future to a fossil fuel-intensive one.

  • Limiting Temperature Rise to 2°C Is Still Possible—and it Pays to Do So

    As the world continues to warm, many academics question whether the international goal to limit global temperature rise to 2°C is still realistic. New analysis shows that achieving this goal is not only possible, it’s economically advantageous.

  • China and the United States Accelerate Efforts on Carbon Capture and Storage

    China and the United States established eight new pacts this week to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Half of these announcements focused on a single climate change mitigation measure—carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

    China and the United States are world’s leaders when it comes to CCUS research and development, and this week’s agreements build on a long history of CCUS collaboration between the two nations. In fact, China-US partnership on CCUS has in many respects now left the theoretical feasibility realm and entered the “steel-in-the-ground” phase.

  • 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.

  • 3 Key Themes from the Bonn Climate Talks

    After nearly two weeks of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Bonn, the pathway to Paris and the new international climate agreement to be agreed there at the end of 2015 is beginning to emerge.

    At this mid-year negotiating session held between the annual summits that take place in December, climate negotiators began to discuss key issues, particularly the framework for the national offers that individual countries will make (their “intended nationally determined contributions”).

  • 3 Things We Need to Hear from Climate Ministers in Bonn

    At the upcoming UNFCCC intersessional negotiation in Bonn, which begins on June 4, climate and environment ministers will have a two-day session to share their views on key issues for the international climate negotiations. Because these officials rarely attend such interim meetings, this is an unusual and major opportunity for them to show their commitment to strong international action, including steps needed this year to address climate change and secure a global climate agreement by 2015.

    Here are three specific points that ministers could make to underscore their commitment to curbing climate change:

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