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Policy Briefs

Uncovering the Implications of the Paris Agreement: Climate Change as a Catalyst for Transformative Sustainability in Cities

January 15, 2016
CIGI Policy Brief No. 72
This policy brief examines the power of exploring synergies between responding to climate change and other development priorities in cities: in other words, can decision makers devise response strategies that are both adaptive and mitigative, while simultaneously creating healthy, vibrant, innovative communities? Using examples from communities around the world that take a holistic approach to sustainability rather than addressing climate change in isolation, this brief uncovers the roots of climate change co-benefits, and possible governance strategies for achieving them.

Assessing the Governance Practices of Sustainability Reporting

January 8, 2016
Policy Brief No. 71
Jason Thistlethwaite and Melissa Menzies
To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes, this task will be challenging. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the Climate Disclosure Task Force.

The Case for Intellectual Property Rights: Should Patents Be Strengthened, Weakened or Abolished Altogether?

November 25, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 70
This policy brief recommends that to diminish the potential for holdup, uncertainty around patent rights should be reduced. Patents should be easily searchable and more easily understood by non-legal experts. In addition, patents should be narrower and more clearly demarcated. To the extent that the welfare costs of patents appear to outweigh their benefits, the requirements for obtaining a patent should be tightened. Further, patents should be made less broad and, concomitant with the reduction in the length of the product cycle, the length of patents should also be reduced.

The 2015 Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance

November 13, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 69
The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change.

Ukraine and the IMF's Evolving Debt Crisis Narrative

November 12, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 68
This policy brief examines a number of poses key challenges in the evolution of a coherent role for the IMF in future crises.

Growth, Innovation and Trade in Environmental Goods

October 8, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 67
Reporting on global trade in environmental goods would provide a comprehensive lens into diversification that will be needed for the transition to low-carbon economies, help countries benchmark the shorter- and longer-term impact of policies such as regulation and fiscal stimulus targeted at green growth, as well as innovation, and strengthen the G20 leaders’ commitment to inclusive and sustainable growth by providing visibility into the pace of investments to address climate change.

Global Treaty or Subnational Innovation? Canada's Path Forward on Climate Policy

October 6, 2015
Policy Brief No. 66
Canada's position on climate change is deeply contentious and constantly evolving, and presents a challenge of multi-level governance (across sectors, civil society and multiple levels of government). This policy brief describes examples of innovative climate change policy at the subnational level, articulates the roles played by different levels of government, and provides a series of recommendations on pathways to carbon-neutral, resilient communities.

Conflict Zones, Israel and Diaspora Perspectives in Canadian Foreign Policy

September 17, 2015
CIGI Graduate Fellows Policy Brief No. 11
Aya Al-Shalchi, Ramina Ghassemi, and Areej Rashid
While Canadian Jewish community organizations are actively engaged in lobbying the Canadian government on its foreign policy with Israel and Palestine, it is not at all clear that the perspectives of the Jewish-Israeli diaspora that have emigrated from this conflict zone have been considered. The absence of diaspora voices from the region seems a missed opportunity for the development of a more comprehensive foreign policy position.

Global Sustainability, Climate Change and Finance Policy: A South African Perspective

September 16, 2015
CIGI Policy Brief No. 65
Penelope Hawkins and Olaf Weber
One of the most important and topical discussions within the global multilateral arena is the challenge of meeting the world’s climate finance needs in order to reduce carbon emissions to sustainable levels and support adaptation strategies. The mobilization of finance is key in supporting the transition away from traditional high-carbon or business-as-usual economic pathways toward low-carbon, climate-resilient economic systems. A conference, Global Sustainability, Climate Change and Finance Policy, organized by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the South African Institute for International Affairs and held in Johannesburg from July 1 to July 3, considered aspects of the debate.

Assessing Scientific Legitimacy: The Case of Marine Geoengineering

September 15, 2015
CIGI Graduate Fellows Policy Brief No. 10
Lucas Dotto and Bryan Pelkey
Marine geoengineering — the deliberate intervention in the marine environment to manipulate natural processes, including the mitigation of climate change impacts — has been occurring at untested scales and without appropriate oversight. Spurred by negative reactions to ocean iron fertilization efforts that began in 2007, the parties of the London Convention and the London Protocol created an assessment framework to govern marine geoengineering. This brief seeks to remedy the existing gaps in this governance.
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