Climate Change Policy: Recommendations to Reach Consensus

2009 Brookings Blum Roundtable

As the financial crisis continues to take its toll on the global economy, another serious challenge looms large: preventing the planet from warming more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Policymakers are now faced with the daunting task of stimulating growth without using carbon-intensive practices and stabilizing the climate without dampening economic recovery. If the financial crisis has shown that the future is unpredictable and that the nations and people of the world are interconnected in ways we do not always perceive, the climate challenge reinforces these lessons and suggests the need for timely, global coordination.

In advance of the 15th annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December, world leaders will convene at a number of high-level forums in the hopes of building consensus around key elements of a post-2012 climate change agreement. These forums include the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh and an all-day dialogue with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on September 22 in advance of the General Assembly meeting. World Bank President Robert Zoellick will bring together finance and development ministers in October emphasizing that climate change is not only an environmental issue, but also one that affects economic and financial stability.

With the need to get policies right in short order, Brookings experts and colleagues from the public and private sectors offer a range of recommendations for policymakers to forge sustainable climate change solutions that revitalize the global economy and alleviate the adverse effects of a changing climate on the world’s poor.

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Learn more about climate change policy and the governing bodies and agreements »

Overcoming Sticking Points at the COP15 » (PDF)

Kemal Derviş and Abigail Jones outline a number of concrete ways to overcome several key sticking points that have marred previous efforts to reach consensus on a post-2012 climate agreement in the short months preceding the negotiations in Copenhagen.

Toward a Successful Climate Agreement » (PDF)

William Antholis recommends a number of ways for the United States to demonstrate real leadership and commitment to a long-term, workable, climate change agreement at the international climate change negotiations in December.

A Copenhagen Collar: Achieving Comparable Effort Through Carbon Price Agreements » (PDF)

Warwick McKibbin, Adele Morris, and Peter Wilcoxen propose that a “price collar” (a progressively rising floor and ceiling price on greenhouse gas emission allowances) be included in domestic climate legislation and in an international climate treaty.

Forests and Carbon Markets » (PDF)

Sandra Brown and Timothy Pearson discuss a suite of options to more fully incorporate forest carbon projects and activities into greenhouse gas abatement efforts.

Technology Transfer in a New Global Climate Agreement » (PDF)

Elliot Diringer explores how policymakers might accelerate the transfer of climate-friendly technologies from the developed to the developing world.

Practical Approaches to Financing and Executing Climate Change Adaptation » (PDF)

Humayun Tai offers a concrete methodology to help decision makers estimate the costs of climate change adaptation, strategizes as to how to cover those costs, and suggests practical approaches to build a portfolio of responses for any country or region.

Adaptation to Climate Change » (PDF)

Mohamed El-Ashry explores a number of win-win interventions that developing countries might pursue to alleviate poverty and adapt to climate change.

These policy briefs were commissioned for the 2009 Brookings Blum Roundtable, which annually assembles business leaders, government officials, academics and development practitioners to forward new ways to alleviate global poverty through cross-sector collaboration.