Learning From the Past to Bring the Paris Agreement Climate Goals Closer Within Reach

The Talanoa Dialogue in the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] negotiations extends a broad invitation to share low-carbon stories on how to move from ‘where do want to go?’ to ‘how do we get there?’. The aim is to ratchet up ambition in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to bring them in […]

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National Action on Climate Change Now Covers 89% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. How has this been Achieved?

Our new study published by Climate Policy finds that national climate action has spread rapidly, and that this spread is strongly coincident with landmark international agreements. Following the Paris Agreement, 89% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (76% if not counting the US) are covered by pledged national GHG reduction targets, a near universal coverage. […]

Read More National Action on Climate Change Now Covers 89% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. How has this been Achieved?

Why Do we Keep Trying to Optimise for One, All Powerful Decision Maker?

It’s widely accepted that responding to climate change is difficult because it requires transformation of a complex socio-technical systems and is fraught with uncertainties. I think you could say the same for many of the most pressing challenges facing mankind. So we rely on models and decision support tools to help us develop a strategy […]

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Aligning Climate Action with National Interest and the Short-Term Focus of Governments

“The virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea”  Franklin D. Roosevelt   “Governing for the future is … difficult because it rubs up against the short-termism that is inherent in the politics of the electoral cycle. Its difficulty is compounded when governing for the future involves painful choices in the present”  House of Commons, […]

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The U.S. Clean Power Plan: Design and Challenges to Core Stakeholder Participation

The Clean Power Plan (CPP) was the regulatory cornerstone of the U.S.’ Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that was included in the Paris Agreement of December 2015. The CPP was designed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after President Obama directed the agency to do so in June 2013, […]

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Carbon Pricing in Practice: Lessons from Existing ETS Regimes

Since more than 40 countries have already implemented carbon pricing policies of some kind, there is much that other countries contemplating new policies could learn from their experience. Insights from a detailed review of current emissions trading systems (ETS) indicate that institutional learning from within or outside respective jurisdictions, administrative prudence in implementing and managing […]

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China’s National ETS: What are the Key Challenges for Establishing an MRV System?

An effective system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) is the cornerstone of any carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS). A key feature of a robust MRV system is that it should be built on general monitoring and reporting principles such as completeness, accuracy, consistency and transparency. Such a robust MRV system is essential for the […]

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Empirical Calibration of Climate Policy using Corporate Solvency

The fundamental goal of climate policy is to incentivise emissions reductions and the transition to lower carbon processes and technologies. When firms face new costs related to reducing carbon emissions, they may suffer some loss of financial condition as they restructure their businesses. However, if the firm becomes bankrupt as a result of such policies, […]

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What if Negative Emissions Fail at Scale?

It is recognised in the climate science community that literature and research informing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and relevant policymakers is heavily weighted towards Integrated Assessment Modelling (IAM) work. This prioritises emission-cutting solutions that can be more easily characterised and quantified over those that are challenging to evaluate precisely, such as how […]

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