Looking at the Big Picture: The Importance of Landbase Interactions Among Forests, Agriculture, and Climate Mitigation Policies
US Forest Service
Human land use changes have significantly altered the global landscape, and future changes are a crucial consideration in the global climate. Deforestation, urban patterns, and agriculture alter natural ecosystems, and are examined in the light of climate change mitigation for future scenarios in land changes, and interacting climate mitigation policies. Land shifts under different land use policies and carbon pricing scenarios are considered, along with likely effects on raw materials such as timber, crops, and bioenergy if landowners were paid to store carbon on their land.
(December 1, 2010)
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
With a changing climate, concern for food production changes has long been recognized. Temperature rise, water stresses, and climate variability due to climate change all stand to significantly impact agriculture. This article considers the role that agriculture and land use changes will play in offsetting Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from industrial processes in regards to the Cancun climate talks and beyond. It considers mitigation versus adaptation and the potential shift of GHG reductions from developed to developing countries.
(December 7, 2010)
The EPA is seeking an extension for releasing scheduling rules that would decrease harmful emissions from boilers and incinerators. Currently, a court- order requires the EPA to issue final rules in January, 2011; the EPA is requesting an extension to April, 2012 after receiving feedback, new data, and over 48,000 public comments following standards proposed in April, 2010.
(December 8, 2010)
National Geographic Blog
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) is a carbon-offsets program proposed by national delegates in the Cancun Conference of Parties. It is designed to allow polluters to offset emissions from industrialized countries by paying developing countries for the carbon stored in their standing forests. While supported by many large conservation groups, this essay examines shortcoming in the proposal for indigenous people, as perceived by the author- ecological and biocultural restoration ecologist, ethnoecologist, and ethnobotanist Dennis Martinez.
(December 10, 2010)
Center for American Progress
A shift from top-down to bottom-up climate measures emerged from the Cancun Climate Talks. These measures lack the certainty and legal protection offered by a binding treaty, but the shift might be a critical one in breaking the climate change logjam. Bottom-up deployment solutions that emerged from Cancun include: preserving forests, technology transfer, and access to climate finance. These strategies seek to align the interests of developed and developing countries.
(December 11, 2010)
The New York Times
While the Climate Change Conference in Cancun ended with modest achievements, some are calling it a success as it takes a small, reasonably step forward, while laying the groundwork for stronger agreements in the future. The Cancun agreements, supported by all countries in attendance except Bolivia, still falls well short of the broad changes scientists say are needed to avoid extreme climate change, but takes another step forward from the progress made in Copenhagen.
US Forest Service
The changes in trees and forests as a result of climate change are largely uncertain. Species distribution is likely to change with temperature ranges, and the affects could cause greater stress to populations that are already under stress from invasive pests and diseases. This study finds that 70% of tree species are already showing range migration northward; future research and long-term monitoring is encouraged.
This publication seeks to provide streamlined guidance to developers of carbon forest projects in order to help them navigate the complex challenges the development of forest carbon projects entail. It summarizes the key steps in project development, “aiming to provide high-level initial guidance to project developers.” It is part of a larger compendium that is scheduled to begin in mid-2011.
These 4 papers from Yellow Wood Associates examine various aspects of renewable energy with an eye toward potential benefits for low-wealth rural areas.
“This paper reviews methods for financing residential and large-scale renewable energy projects. Examples highlight how communities use these methods to develop cost-effective, energy-efficient, and stable energy resources.”
“This paper describes opportunities for and barriers to managing electricity production and consumption at the community level via micro-grid systems.”
Harnessing the Sun as an Alternative Energy Resource: Economic and Social Impacts of PV Use in Electricity Production
“This paper examines economic impacts, policy frameworks, and socially inclusive training programs related to photovoltaic energy.”
The Significant Potential of Wind Energy in America: A Transformative Force in Struggling U.S. Rural Economies?
“This paper examines opportunities and issues related to wind energy development in rural America, with case studies illustrating a range of wind energy projects.”