(July 21, 2011)
This Canadian policy brief creates a framework to analyze “fairness” of a carbon pricing policy. The brief acknowledges that carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes will “disproportionately impact households with lower incomes” without mitigation, and discusses the need to design carbon pricing with fairness in mind.
(July 20, 2011)
Center for International Forestry Research
The true cost of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) strategies is contentious, with some parties believing it to be one of the cheapest options to mitigate climate change, and others believing it to be a costly effort with unpredictable results. This article discusses recent research by Princeton University scientists that looks at the cost of “agricultural policies that make cultivation of existing land more attractive compared to forest encroachment”. The abstract (and full article available for purchase) can be found here.
(July 14, 2011)
A new study suggests that soil microorganisms absorb carbon dioxide only to convert it into a much more potent greenhouse gases, negating almost 17 percent of the Earth’s ability to absorb heat-trapping emissions. As atmospheric carbon in expected to increase in the coming years, the output of methane and nitrous oxide from soil microbes is expected to greatly accelerate the rate of warming. The study was published in Nature and can be downloaded here: Soil Carbon Sequestration: An Overlooked Opportunity for REDD+
(July 11, 2011)
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
At the mid- year climate talks last month in Bonn, Germany, “Washington fiercely resisted calls for ambitious action”, leaving analysts perplexed about the country’s stance and climate action direction.
(May 31, 2011)
Wildfires in the US produce huge emissions of greenhouse gases, and are expected to continue in their current trend of greater severity as a result of climate change. Preventative treatments- removing potential fuels before a fire occurs- is seen as one way of staying ahead of the “wildfire curve.” Research suggests that removal of potential fuels significantly reduces the amount of carbon stock lost in fires, however- treatment of an area that does not burn simply removes carbon stock and provides no emissions avoidance benefit. Forest management that reduces carbon emissions from forest fires could potentially gain funding from emerging carbon markets, provided new techniques for predicting the locations of future fires and managing forests could be developed.
The Climate Trust and Oregon Department of Forestry
This report describes “a landscape-scale case study in southern central Oregon that modeled the impact of fuel treatments on wildfire behavior and associated carbon dioxide emissions and assesses the project’s ability to generate carbon offsets that meet the quality criteria identified by the Offset Quality Initiative.”
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Because climate is an average of weather events over many years, it is difficult to attribute any one event to global climate change. 2010 however, was one of the warmest, as well as one of the most disastrous on record since 1880. This report examines risk management as a framework for examining the link between global climate change and extreme weather. The page also contains links to many other useful resources on extreme weather.