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.
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.
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.
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.
Sandra Brown and Timothy Pearson discuss a suite of options to more fully incorporate forest carbon projects and activities into greenhouse gas abatement efforts.
Elliot Diringer explores how policymakers might accelerate the transfer of climate-friendly technologies from the developed to the developing world.
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.
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.
Brookings Senior Fellow and former U.S. State Department Special Envoy on Climate Todd Stern spoke at the US Climate Action Center, at the COP 24 UN climate negotiations, on the future of the Paris Agreement in Katowice, Poland on December 10, 2018.
[On the U.S. negotiating team at the COP 24 climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland] They work seriously, effectively and knowledgeably. There is only this technical negotiating team, not a political one.
[On the role of the United States in the U.N. climate negotiations at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland] You cannot underestimate the negative impact of the U.S. being on the sidelines. With Obama, the U.S. had credibility. We brought China along. We moved a lot of countries out of their comfort zones. That’s all missing now.