Climate Change

  • A Welcome Disruption

    We are entering a new era of clean energy disruption. This transformation will have a global impact, including on energy security, climate change, economic development, that will have repercussions for geopolitics and international relations.

    More and more governments are realizing the importance of renewable and sustainable energy resources. Hydrocarbons will continue to play a role in industrial processes, but will gradually fade out as a transportation fuel. Electric engines and batteries for cars have been developing rapidly, as a result, electric cars have become an attractive and economically feasible option for the public, with an unprecedented increase in sales in the past couple of years.

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  • Castello-Catchot Joins Univision to Discuss US Climate Change Policy


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  • Is Latin America the New Global Leader in Renewable Energy?

    Latin America is poised to take on a lead role on climate change and renewable energy in the global arena in 2017. The enormous potential and rapid spread of renewable energy in the region has fueled hope of a global transition to a low-carbon economy. The added bonus: an economic opportunity that extends well beyond the borders of Latin America.

    Technological innovations have increased efficiency and reduced costs boosting the grid competitiveness of renewable energy. According to a World Economic Forum report in December 2016, in countries around the world—notably Brazil, Chile, and Mexico in Latin America—solar and wind energy are outcompeting fossil fuels. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts solar energy may be...

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  • Trump’s Energy, Climate Positions Causing Concern

    While there is “quite a bit of concern” about the direction of US President-elect Donald Trump’s energy policy, he is unlikely to take the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement for the simple reason that doing so would cause “huge collateral damage” to the United States, Todd Stern, a former US State Department special envoy for climate change, said in Abu Dhabi on January 13.

    On the campaign trail, Trump said that he would pull the United States out of the climate accord reached in the French capital in December of 2015, but after winning the election on November 8 he told the New York Times that he is looking at the agreement “very closely” and has “an open mind to it.”

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  • John Kerry Sets the Record Straight

    Secretary of State warns against ‘factless political environment,’ says the United States has been leading

    US Secretary of State John Kerry on January 10 took a thinly veiled swipe at US President-elect Donald Trump while warning of the perils of living in a “factless political environment” and expressing consternation that the process for nominating officials to serve in the next administration is being flouted.

    “Every country in the world better… start worrying about authoritarian populism and the absence of substance in our dialogue,” Kerry said, noting that there is a long, well-defined history of what happens when economic fear is exploited by “simplistic sloganeering politics.” Kerry spoke at an event at the US Institute of Peace—“Passing the Baton 2017”—that was co-hosted by the Atlantic Council.

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  • Italy and Austria go to the polls as Europe holds its breath

    THIS WEEK'S KEY TAKE-AWAYS

    • Special brief: what you need to know about the Italian referendum
    • European court case threatens Uber's expansion
    • Commission releases new clean energy proposal
    • WTO rules against US in decades-long trade battle

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  • Shaffer Quoted in POLITICO on What a Donald Trump Victory Means for Climate and Energy


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  • COP22, Climate Change, and Africa’s Future

    On Monday, November 7, the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will convene in Marrakech. The meeting’s venue in the fabled Moroccan caravan town—long a cultural, religious, and trading hub between the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa—will focus attention on the irony that while among the regions of the world Africa may be the least responsible for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions which overwhelming body of scientific opinion holds responsible for global warming, the continent nonetheless stands to be the most severely impacted by the phenomenon.

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  • Disclosing Climate-Related Financial Risk

    On Monday, October 31, 2016 the Global Energy Center hosted a conversation on the necessity of financial disclosures for public and private interests. In light of increasing regulation from climate change legislation, investors are demanding risk disclosures in order to make rational decisions about where to target stakeholder and taxpayer money. Mary Schapiro, Secretariat of the G-20 Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, and Ali Zaidi, White House Office of Management and Budget’s associate director for natural resources, energy, and science discussed the importance of disclosing transition risks for stakeholders. The G-20 Task Force and the US government are furthering the adoption of climate-related financial disclosures on a voluntary basis or through regulatory frameworks, respectively. 

  • Going Green: Devising a Clean Energy Strategy for Developing Countries

    Developing countries need a concrete strategy, backed by political will, that is focused on using clean energy for growth, according to a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. 

    As the date on which the Paris climate agreement goes into effect draws near and participating countries begin to take steps toward implementing their goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Robert F. Ichord, Jr. sought to “emphasize the key role that developing countries will play in the future of the energy matrix in the world, and [how] that’s going to have profound implications for Paris.” He said “80 to 90 percent of energy growth is going to be in these countries.” 

    However, Ichord, who formerly served as the deputy assistant secretary for energy transformation in the State Department’s bureau of energy resources, added that these countries are “going to need huge amounts of energy if they’re going to develop, and that energy needs...

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