A Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress may spell hard times for progressive climate action at a national and international level. But emerging economies are increasingly realizing their own stake in protecting their populations from climate change while also capitalizing on clean energy technology and manufacturing.
CGD Policy Blogs
Last week, I had the privilege of sitting in on a conference on United States-Cuba relations in Havana that brought together experts on the politics of both countries. The conference was dominated by uncertainty over the future of bilateral ties under a Trump Administration. One of the many prospective casualties of a reversal in US policy toward Cuba would be cooperation on the environment.
In 2016 on the CGD Podcast, we have discussed some of development's biggest questions: How do we pay for development? How do we measure the sustainable development goals (SDGs)? What should we do about refugees and migrants? And is there life yet in the notion of globalism? The links to all the full podcasts featured and the work they reference are below, but in this edition, we bring you highlights of some of those conversations.
President Elect Donald Trump committed his first major personnel act on climate Wednesday, picking Scott Pruitt—Oklahoma Attorney General, climate change denier, and oil industry ally—to head the Environmental Protection Agency. If Pruitt is confirmed to the position, he will be responsible for looking out for not just for narrow oil interests, but all Americans. Maybe he’ll be persuaded to take a more forward-looking stance on climate by the Americans already suffering from sea level rise in Alaska, Florida, and Louisiana. But if that doesn’t concern him, perhaps the United States losing international goodwill and influence to an ascendant China will.
Preventing dangerous climate change is critical for promoting global development. And saving tropical forests is essential to doing both. CGD senior fellow Frances Seymour, coauthor of a new CGD book, joins me on this week’s podcast to explain why forests are key not only to meeting the objectives of the Paris climate agreement, but also to making progress on the sustainable development goals.
To say the results of the US election cast a pall over climate negotiations in Marrakech is like saying Indonesian forest fires make Singapore a little hazy.
The city of Marrakech is all dressed up for the negotiations and festivities of the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC. From horse-drawn carriages spinning the COP22 logo around their wheels, to banners waving "Act” in five languages posted across streetlamps and Moroccan flags lining the storefronts of the medina, the anticipation is both visible and palpable, even with the backdrop of recent political protests across the country. As a model for clean energy transition and an example of the need to adopt drastic adaptation measures, Morocco is an appropriate setting for this year's two-week decision-making marathon.
One of my favorite movies is Casablanca. As I arrange my travel to Morocco for the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to UN climate convention next month in Marrakech, the lyrics to the song that meant so much to Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and were so memorably sung by Sam (Dooley Wilson) have been running through my head.
The Obama Administration has left an indelible impact on domestic energy policy and global climate policy. Policies driving technological innovation—in what critics have dubbed the “war on coal”—are helping the United States transition its energy system to one that is cleaner and more efficient. While the administration touts the growth of clean energy deployment in the United States at international fora, it should not limit its engagement with foreign countries on fossil energy—especially when the climate gains could be large.
Carbon pricing policies are once again on the upswing, as evidenced by a flurry of news in the past two weeks. Now is a good time to take stock of supply and demand for tropical forest carbon.