The annual Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) brings together representatives of over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the media. This year’s COP is in Bali, Indonesia from December 3-14th. Both the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the Meeting of of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP) have sessions during the conference.
Opportunities and Challenges for Carbon Capture and Storage (Issue Brief #1). 2007. John Venezia, Jeff Logan, Kate Larsen. Interest in CCS has grown in North America, Europe, and Asia over the past 5 years. Selected challenges facing the technology include: developing a policy driver to incentivize deployment; defining a flexible and adaptable regulatory framework; and funding large-scale demonstration projects to resolve technical and integration uncertainties as well as reduce high costs. Addressing these three challenges will help solve a fourth: public acceptability. Debate over the timing of CCS deployment is likely to continue, but it is clear that this climate mitigation option is critical to eventual stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
Building Public Acceptability for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (Issue Brief #2). 2007. Jeffrey Logan, Andrea Disch, Kate Larsen and John Venezia. This brief outlines the risks associated with CCS, describes how the public views the technology, and explains what can be done to develop long-term public support. We conclude that the best way to build public acceptance for CCS is by developing large, well-managed demonstration projects; promoting robust regulations and industry standards; and creating more interactive public outreach and education programs.
[Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI) Indicator Toolkit](node/4940. 2007. Shantanu Dixit, Navroz K. Dubash, Crescencia Maurer, Smita Nakhooda. The EGI Indicator Toolkit presents a framework to assess and promote good governance in the electricity sector. This framework assesses the extent to which decision making processes in national electricity sectors are transparent, allow for public participation, remain accountable to the public interest and permit access to redress. In addition, the toolkit seeks to assess institutional capacity to adequately meet the requirements of good process.
Empowering People: A Governance Analysis of Electricity; India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand. 2007. Smita Nakhooda, Shantanu Dixit, and Navroz K. Dubash. Based on experiences in India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand, this reportmakes the case for greater attention to governance of electricity – the processes, institutions, and actors that determine how decisions are made – in order to meet the challenges of sustainable energy.
Measuring to Manage: A Guide to Designing GHG Accounting and Reporting Programs. 2007. World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD); Taryn Fransen, Pankaj Bhatia, Angel Hsu (WRI). Over the past decade, many efforts to design and implement programs to promote the measurement and management of corporate GHG emissions have emerged around the world. This publication aims to help interested groups – such as governments, industry associations, and environmental organizations – address these questions to design and implement effective GHG programs based on internationally accepted standards and methodologies for GHG accounting and reporting.
Growing in the Greenhouse: Protecting the Climate by Putting Development First. 2005. Rob Bradley, Kevin A. Baumert (editors). This report explores an approach to reconciling development and climate priorities, termed sustainable development policies and measures (SD-PAMs). The SD-PAMs approach describes policies and measures that are firmly within the national sustainable development priorities of the host country, but through inclusion in an international climate framework seeks to recognize, promote and support means of meeting these policy priorities on a lower-carbon trajectory. This approach has been the subject of some discussion and a great deal of work remains to be done to explore the operational implications of SD-PAMs as part of an international policy framework. This research report is a contribution to that effort.
Navigating the Numbers: Greenhouse Gas Data and International Climate Policy. 2005. Kevin A. Baumert, Timothy Herzog, Jonathan Pershing. Aims to convey the wide range of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data in digestible form, with the hope of increasing knowledge and awareness within the climate change policy community. In addition, this report offers a set of policy-relevant insights and observations that flow from the data. In some cases, an understanding of GHG emissions and related trends can help illuminate particular national circumstances faced by countries and inform policy responses of the international community.
Slicing the Pie: Sector-based Approaches to International Climate Agreements. 2007. Robert Bradley, Kevin A. Baumert, Britt Childs, Tim Herzog, Jonathan Pershing. Examines the form that sectoral commitments might take, analyzes which sectors are best suited to sectoral approaches to climate mitigation, and evaluates several different models for how sectoral agreements might be integrated into the broader climate regime. Finally, it concludes that sectoral approaches should be more specifically defined and should be used with caution. Sectoral approaches will always remain a second-best solution to a comprehensive climate policy. But with so much at stake no options should be left off the table. Sectoral approaches could be used to complement, but not to supplant, a global climate arrangement.
Weathering the Storm: Options for Framing Adaptation and Development. 2007. Heather McGray, Anne Hammill, & Rob Bradley, with E. Lisa Schipper and Jo-Ellen Parry. Confusion about the relationship between adaptation and development has meant that funding mechanisms may create redundancies or leave gaps in the landscape of critical adaptation and development activities. Drawing on Internet resources, this research report clarifies this relationship by analyzing 135 projects, policies, and other initiatives from the developing world that have been labeled by implementers or researchers as “adaptation to climate change.” Recommendations address governance challenges, funding implications, and next steps in analysis and policy development.
Plants at the Pump: Biofuels, Climate Change, and Sustainability>. 2007. Rob Bradley, Britt Childs. Examines the feasibility of achieving significant emissions reductions from the proliferation of biofuels and concludes that biofuels are not a complete, nor even the primary, solution to our transport fuel needs. This report is part of is part of WRI’s partnership with the Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets, a multi-year initiative aimed at designing and promoting the policy and market structures for deploying low-carbon technologies.
Scaling Up: Global Technology Deployment to Stabilize Emissions. 2007. Fred Wellington, Rob Bradley, Britt Childs, Clay Rigdon, Jonathan Pershing. A major obstacle to addressing the climate challenge is the daunting scale of potential solutions. A number of options exist for reducing emissions by managing energy demand and employing low-carbon energy supplies and technologies that can make major contributions to clean economic growth. A 2004 paper by Princeton researchers Stephen Pacala and Rob Socolow demonstrated this point by breaking the required emission reductions down into manageable (though still large) “wedges,” each provided by a different technology or set of technologies. This research report expands on this approach, outlining a blueprint for implementing these technologies at the requisite scale. This report is part of the ongoing collaboration between WRI and the Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets.
White Paper: Automobile Fuel Economy and CO2 Emissions in Industrialized Countries: Troubling Trends through 2005/6. 2007. Lee Schipper. This paper focuses on automobile fuel economy, defined as fuel use per traveled of automobiles and household light trucks. By paying some attention to car ownership and use, as well as new vehicle characteristics like weight, power, and fuel, policy makers gain an understanding of what is causing total fuel use to rise, and what components of that rise might be changing towards restraint of fuel use.
White Paper: Measuring the Carbon Dioxide Impacts of Urban Transport Projects in Developing Countries. 2007. Lee Schipper, Maria Cordeiro, Wei-shiuen NG. Aims to present an overview of the challenges frequently encountered when estimating the impact of transport projects on carbon dioxide emissions; describes key approaches and methods commonly used; and provides examples from cities in Asia and Latin America
Charting the Midwest: An Inventory and Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in America’s Heartland. 2007. John Larsen, Thomas Damassa, Ryan Levinson. This publication is an in-depth study and data analysis of GHG emissions for 8 Midwest U.S. States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Although several Midwest states have previously compiled their own state GHG inventories, the methodologies and data sources of these analyses differ, making it challenging to directly compare emissions across states. The data utilized here – exclusively drawn from the U.S. module of the WRI’s Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT-US) – uniquely provide a common methodological framework for readily comparing GHG emissions.
Climate Policy in the State Laboratory: How States Influence Federal Regulation and the Implications for Climate Change Policy in the United States. 2007. Andrew Aulisi, John Larsen, Jonathan Pershing, Paul Posner. Reviews eleven successful and two unsuccessful instances of policy diffusion from the state to the federal level, known as “vertical diffusion”. In addition, it looks specifically at two state/regional policy initiatives that will likely impact federal policy: the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and the California vehicle emissions standards. Through the perspective of seven factors that characterize successful diffusion of state policies to the federal level, this report draws observations and conclusions for policymakers on how existing and emerging state policies might support a comprehensive U.S. federal policy.
Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions under the Lieberman-Warner Bill. 2007. Dan Lashof (NRDC); John Larsen, Robert Heilmayr (WRI). In recent weeks, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has shown its interest in passing a comprehensive greenhouse gas cap and trade bill in the form of S. 2191, as proposed by Senators Lieberman and Warner. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and WRI have collaborated to construct an analysis intended to bound the likely range of total greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved under the bill.
Weighing U.S. Energy Options: The WRI Bubble Chart. 2007. Jeffrey Logan and John Venezia. Decisions about energy policy must consider the impacts and tradeoffs to both energy security and climate change. This analysis assesses a range of energy choices currently under consideration, and illustrates how well each option addresses each of these challenges. A complete description of the issues discussed in this policy brief is available at http://www.wri.org/usenergyoptions.