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It's Time to Treat Climate Change as an Economic Issue

Monday, 27 October 2014
blog
So here’s how things are supposed to go: Representatives of nearly 200 governments will meet in Lima, Peru in December, where they will write the first draft of a new global agreement to fight climate change. Then world leaders will gather in Paris in December 2015 to turn that draft into a new, binding accord.

Time to Replace the Catatonic UNFCCC

Tuesday, 30 September 2014
publication
Political realities provide a challenging context for climate change negotiations, including fundamental North-South differences on financial transfers and on legally binding targets. Funding is not forthcoming — the Green Climate Fund, to be disbursed to developing countries to undertake their climate actions, has yet to receive any funds. Developed countries refuse to consider making legally binding commitments to restrict emissions unless China, India and Brazil all make similar commitments. Domestic energy policy changes in the United States and the United Kingdom reveal that they are not serious about reducing emissions.

Greening Economic Growth: How Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?

Thursday, 18 September 2014
publication
Paul Lanoie
A major challenge facing society is discovering new ways to grow economies without growing environmental impacts, commonly referred to as “decoupling” economic growth from environmental degradation. It is, however, a widely held belief among both economists and regulators that the adoption of environmental regulation will, by nature, impair economic growth. In this view, policies or regulations designed to improve the environmental performance of economic actors (for example, firms) will, by default, reduce the potential for economic growth — which means decoupling is not viable as a policy objective. One need look no further than the current paralysis with the international negotiations to limit greenhouse gas emissions (and decarbonize economic growth) to see the implications of this perception.

Weather Mindshift

Wednesday, 6 August 2014
article
David Common
CIGI Fellow Jason Thistlethwaite comments on the City of Toronto's climate change risk strategy and its preparedness for extreme weather event, following heavy rainfall and flooding in and around the city.

Infrastructure and Sustainable Development Goals in the BRICS-Led New Development Bank

Monday, 21 July 2014
publication
The presidents and foreign ministers of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries met in Fortaleza, Brazil on July 15 and signed a formal agreement to create the BRICS-led bank called the New Development Bank (NDB). The NDB will focus its lending on infrastructure and sustainable development projects; however, these two priorities are at least partially incompatible.

African Climate Change Negotiators Need a New Strategy

Wednesday, 9 July 2014
publication
There is currently little prospect of a successful international agreement resulting in effective, legally binding emission targets and significant “new and additional finance transfers” to developing countries; however, there is room for Africa to formulate an effective strategy in climate change negotiations.

Will Climate Change Spark Conflict in Bangladesh?

Friday, 27 June 2014
article
M. Sophia Newman
CIGI Chair of Global Systems Thomas Homer-Dixon is quoted in The Diplomat on environmental migration.

Wall Street Radicals and Climate Change Tipping Points

Friday, 27 June 2014
blog
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and past CEO of Goldman Sachs (that well-known bastion of radical thought) Henry Paulson wrote a commentary on climate change in the New York Times, here. Paulson draws on the lessons of the global financial crisis to warn that ignoring the problem today will result in much higher costs tomorrow. As he puts it, we are on a climate change "bubble."

Fix the link where science and policy meet

Monday, 23 June 2014
article
Thomas Homer-Dixon, Heather Douglas, Lucie Edwards
"The connection between science and public policy within the federal government is broken, and the consequences for Canada are becoming disastrous," writes CIGI Chair in Global Systems Thomas-Homer Dixon, in an op-ed with Heather Douglas and Lucie Edwards.

Tipping Points, Resource Depletion and Easter Island: Implications for International Governance

Thursday, 12 June 2014
blog
Prior to President Obama’s announcement of proposed new rules on coal fired power plants, news that the loss of the Thwaites Glacier in western Antarctica appears “unstoppable” created a wave of interest in the blogosphere
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