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Food Security and Climate Change in Africa: A Question of Political Will

The solution to improving food security and resilience in Africa is no secret: all sectors need to work together to scale up climate-smart agriculture. What's needed now is political will to make that happen.

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Towards A New Global Development Agenda: 5 Key Questions

After 17 months of debate, the UN Open Working Group has proposed a set of Sustainable Development Goals to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which expire next year. These goals focus on eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.

How do these newly proposed goals square with this ambitious aim?

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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.

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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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Forest Loss and Climate: Empowering Communities Can Help

In an op-ed written for LiveScience, Andrew Steer discusses how strengthening forest rights for indigenous communities can protect forests and combat climate change.

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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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New French Satellite Imagery to Help Forest Management in the Congo Basin

The rainforests of Africa’s Congo Basin are the world’s second largest, and are increasingly one of the most threatened. Agriculture, mining, logging, and climate change are already chipping away and thinning out the forests’ edge and interior. The Congo Basin forests’ biggest threat, however, is unseen: a lack of good information. With poor infrastructure, government capacity challenges, and hard-to-detect patterns of change, the forests of the Congo Basin are among the most difficult in the world to monitor and manage.

Starting this month, 1,500 high-resolution satellite images of the Congo Basin from the SPOT satellite constellation provided by Airbus Defence and Space are being shared with WRI, thanks to an agreement with French institutions of the Tropical Forest Spatial Observation program.

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Community Forests: An Undervalued Approach to Climate Change Mitigation

Governments around the world legally recognize at least 513 million hectares of community forests, land held collectively by either rural populations or Indigenous Peoples. This area stores about 37 billion tonnes of carbon—29 times the annual carbon footprint of all the passenger vehicles in the world.

Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change, a new report from WRI and the Rights and Resources Initiative, shows that by protecting and expanding the amount of officially recognized community forests, national governments can meet their climate goals while also improving citizens’ livelihoods.

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