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WASHINGTON— China’s pollution and emissions challenges have been making headlines, but China’s leaders are taking action to respond. While some U.S. policy makers are using China’s pollution as an excuse for U.S. inaction, there are also emerging signals that China can make progress on its pollution challenges.

What is the reality? Is China heading in a new direction?

4 Ways the Green Climate Fund Can Make Its Investments Count

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has big ambitions: It aspires to become the main global fund for providing climate change finance, contributing to activities like the design of resilient cities and the expansion of low-emission power generation.

While the GCF Board should be ambitious and innovative, they can also look to what’s been done before. Drawing knowledge from the experiences of other critical climate and development funds is one way to ensure that the GCF succeeds.

2 Messages for the Green Climate Fund on Supporting “Readiness”

Readiness is a hot topic for the newly established Green Climate Fund (GCF), as it heads towards its 6th Board meeting in Bali, Indonesia next week. At the meeting, the Board is expected to make a decision on what the GCF’s readiness program will look like. It will likely be narrow in focus, which makes sense based on its limited funding and timeframe. Yet as the GCF moves forward, it is important to remember countries’ broader readiness needs and to be flexible in finding the right institutions to channel funds in the short term.

Amidst California’s Drought, an Opportunity for Action

As news of California’s epic drought continues to reverberate around the nation, a meeting today may offer some hope. The President’s Task Force on Climate Resilience and Preparedness will convene in Los Angeles, California today for the next round of meetings to determine ways the federal government can assist local efforts to address and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The group represents a significant opportunity to bridge the gap between local and federal climate action.

A Climate Change Reality Check

The world spent $50 billion dollars per year on weather-related disasters in the 1980s, according to the World Bank. Today, we spend roughly $200 billion annually. Twenty-five extreme weather and climate events in 2011 and 2012 caused more than $188 billion of damages in the United States alone. And yet—despite these escalating costs and risks—the world continues to emit dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases.

It’s time for a climate change reality check.

After State of the Union Address, U.S. Should Pursue Ambitious Power Plant Emissions Standards

In the State of the Union address last night, President Obama called to make this “a year of action.” Addressing climate change will require his administration to make that call a reality.

The most important task the administration can take is to set greenhouse gas emissions standards for existing power plants—a move that the President highlighted in his speech last night. Ambitious power plant standards are a critical starting point if the United States is to rise to the climate change challenge.

Watching for Signs of Climate Action in the State of the Union Address

When President Obama addresses the nation later today, climate change is expected to be featured. The president recently said that one of his personal passions is “leaving a planet that is as spectacular as the one we inherited from our parents and our grandparents.” The next two years will determine if his administration can meet this standard.

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