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 Collection: Environmental Policy Collection
.Environmental Guidance Note for Disaster Risk Reduction: Healthy Ecosystems for Human Security and Climate Change Adaptation
This publication was developed to provide guidance on the benefits of and ways to integrate environmental concerns into disaster risk reduction strategies (DRR) at the local and national levels. As recognised and outlined within the Hyogo Framework for Action priority 4, healthy ecosystems and environmental management are considered key actions in DRR. Although the field of disaster risk management has evolved to recognize the need for addressing sustainable development issues for reducing risk, the environmental dimension has not to date received adequate attention and practical guidance.
Understanding the Policy Contexts for Mainstreaming Climate Change in Bhutan and Nepal: A Synthesis
This report is a synthesis of two Adaptation Knowledge Platform studies that sought to understand the policy contexts for addressing climate change adaptation and key conservation issues in Nepal and Bhutan.
Leveraging the Landscape
Over the last three years, projects that address the relationships between carbon and forests have moved from the sidelines of international climate action to center field. Forestry’s recent advancements are the product of decades of ongoing collaboration among market and environmental experts seeking to strike an ideal balance between forestry projects’ market risks and shared benefits. Market dynamics in 2011 demonstrated that these efforts have never been more pivotal, or complex, as forest carbon projects mature – and find themselves positioned squarely in the midst of some of today’s most challenging policy debates. This year, a record number of forest project developers and secondary market suppliers from around the world shared data about their projects and transactions. This third annual State of the Forest Carbon Markets tracks, reports, and analyzes trends in these responses. This information is primarily based on data collected from respondents to Ecosystem Marketplace’s 2011 forest carbon project developer’s survey, combined with data from the 2012 State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report. The data and analysis that follow cover forest carbon activity in compliance carbon markets – including the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (NSW GGAS) and British Columbia’s (BC) Carbon Neutral Government directive – as well as voluntary carbon markets including voluntary Over-the-Counter (OTC) market and country-specific voluntary programs worldwide. In total, we captured responses from 140 project developers or project proponents in the primary forest carbon market and 35 suppliers in the secondary market. Respondents represented 215 individual forest carbon projects, half of which transacted credits in 2011 – totaling 451 projects analyzed in all survey years.
Blending Climate Finance Through National Climate Funds: A Guidebook for the Design and Establishment of National Funds to Achieve Climate Change Priorities
The guidebook provides an overview of NCFs and outlines six key components that are critical for the effective design and establishment of an NCF. It also presents a method for consolidating the decisions around these components into a term sheet that can help to facilitate stakeholder engagement for a robust and transparent design process.
Green Carbon, Black Trade: Illegal Logging, Tax Fraud and Laundering in the World's Tropical Forests
This report – Green Carbon, Black Trade – by UNEP and INTERPOL focuses on illegal logging and its impacts on the lives and livelihoods of often some of the poorest people in the world set aside the environmental damage. It underlines how criminals are combining old fashioned methods such as bribes with high tech methods such as computer hacking of government web sites to obtain transportation and other permits. The report spotlights the increasingly sophisticated tactics being deployed to launder illegal logs through a web of palm oil plantations, road networks and saw mills.
Green Economy In Action: Articles and Excerpts that Illustrate Green Economy and Sustainable Development Efforts
The Green Economy is one in which the vital linkages among the economy, society, and environment are taken into account. This selection of articles and excerpts emerged in response to the need to fill the knowledge gap on practical, concrete, and on the ground green economy country experience. It is in this spirit that the articles and excerpts included in this publication have been selected: to provide information and knowledge for policy and decision makers and practitioners on the positive implications of greening some priority sectors, including job creation, resource efficiency, and generally contribution to sustainable development through an extensive review of scientific publications and magazines.
Developing Dimension: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2012
The 6th “State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets” report shows a significant increase in demand from buyers in the US and major changes in the mix of offsets capturing market share, such as record sales of offsets from Asian wind farms and the coming-of-age of clean development projects in Africa.
Feed-in Tariffs as a Policy Instrument for Promoting Renewable Energies and Green Economies in Developing Countries
This report is intended as a resource for policy makers in developing countries to make informed policy decisions about the whether, when and how of FITs and to support nationally appropriate policy measures to scale up renewable energy. The report is also intended to improve the understanding of the potential benefits and challenges for developing countries to design FITs as well as the factors influencing their success, more in depth from the policy and legal foci, whilst also analysing the funding and capacity implications. Throughout the report, FITs are construed as interacting with national energy and non-energy policies in a dynamic manner.
Green Economy in a Blue World
The objective of ‘Green Economy in a Blue World’ is to analyse the challenges and opportunities of a potential transition towards a green economy in key sectors heavily linked to the marine and coastal environment – the blue world. The report will also analyse the necessary policy and institutional adjustments required for a green transition and will highlight several transformative action items that could come out of Rio+20 to accelerate transition to ocean sustainability. The key sectors (chapters) covered include Fisheries, Transport (shipping), Tourism (coastal), Energy, Marine mineral resources, and ocean nutrient pollution.
International Waters – Delivering Results
This publication is the fourth in a series of knowledge publications prepared by the UNDP-GEF International Waters programme that document and highlight key results and achievements at the project and portfolio level, comprising four ‘signature’ programme areas: Large Marine Ecosystems; Lakes, Rivers and Aquifers; Integrated Water Resources and Coastal Area Management; and Global Programmes. The portfolio continues to make progress in sustaining the world’s most significant shared water systems for the billions of people who depend on these ecosystems for their livelihoods and security.
A Blueprint for Ocean And Coastal Sustainability: An Inter-Agency Report Towards the Preparation of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
"A Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability", jointly prepared by UNDP’s Water & Ocean Governance Programme, IOC/UNESCO, FAO and IMO, contextualizes and sets forth a series of ten tangible proposals to shift the oceans management paradigm towards sustainability, and is intended to inform and influence possible Rio+20 outcomes on oceans.
Fighting Corruption in the Water Sector - Methods, Tools and Good Practices
This publication is part of a series of UNDP-sponsored studies that present methods, tools and good practices to map corruption risks, develop strategies and sustain partnerships to address challenges and tackle corruption in the education, health and water sectors. They complement UNDP’s MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF), which has been endorsed by the UN Development Group and enables governments and development partners, within established national processes, to identify and systematically prioritize the bottlenecks to progress toward achieving the MDGs, and then devise strategies to overcome them. The studies bring together UNDP’s efforts to support countries to develop frameworks to accelerate their efforts to meet the MDGs as well as successfully meet the commitments of the UN Convention against corruption.
Services and Supply Chains - The Role of the Domestic Private Sector in Water Service Delivery in Tanzania.
This report presents findings from a review of the service activities of informal private water vendors in Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s capital is a rapidly growing city, and around 70% of the population lacks proper housing and lives in informal settlements. Large parts of the city remain unserved by the water utility and many of those who have access to the piped network suffer from intermittent supply. As a result, small-scale private water vendors provide an essential service for many, in particular low-income households in the city.
A U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan
This reassessment of the U.S. carbon cycle science priorities was initiated by the U.S. Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group (CCIWG) and Carbon Cycle Science Steering Group (CCSSG) in 2008. This planning process has culminated in the publication of the new U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan. The new Plan is intended to provide guidance for U.S. research efforts on the global carbon cycle for the next decade.
Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options
This report discusses "green" programs and the higher profile they have gained since the 110th Congress. "Green" programs are those designed to create an environmentally friendly work environment and conserve energy. This report discusses initiatives and policy options that would improve the "greening" process on Capitol Hill.
2010 Forest Carbon Workgroup: Final Report
This document provides a detailed report and recommendations of the 2010 Forest Carbon Work group to the Director of the Department of Ecology and the Commissioner of Public Lands. The recommendations relate to the critical role Washington’s forest lands will play in addressing the challenge of climate change; appropriate responses to pressure for conversion of working forest lands to non-forest uses; and the role of ecosystem service markets, including carbon offset markets, and other incentive systems in bringing about desired results. The 2010 Work group included some members of a similar 2008 Work group and built on the results of that 2008 effort. The report appendix contains purpose statements by each participating interest, explaining its rationale for participation. In light of the 2010 Work group emphasis, this document focused on three topics: Forest carbon considerations in avoiding forest land use conversion; incentives to reward forest landowners for providing ecosystem services, including carbon storage and improvement of forest health; and features of forest carbon offset protocols and registries that are appropriate for use by forest offset project developers in Washington State.
Blue Carbon - First Level Exploration of Blue Carbon in the Arabian Peninsula
Healthy natural coastal ecosystems, such as mangrove forests, saltwater marshlands and seagrass meadows provide a vast array of important co-benefits to coastal communities around the world, including throughout the Arabian Peninsula. These benefits include ecosystem services such as a rich cultural heritage; the protection of shorelines from storms; erosion or sea-level rise; food from fisheries; maintenance of water quality; and landscape beauty for recreation and ecotourism. In a Blue Carbon context these ecosystems also store and sequester potentially vast amounts of carbon in sediments and biomass.
Climate in Asia and the Pacific: A Synthesis of APN Activities
The synthesis report is part of the APN’s larger aim to contribute, from the science perspective, to the development of policy options for appropriate responses to climate vulnerability and impacts, including adaptation and mitigation, which in turn will contribute to sustainable development.
Deep Water: the Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling
On May 22, 2010, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling: an independent,nonpartisan entity, directed to provide a thorough analysis and impartial judgment. The President charged the Commission to determine the causes of the disaster, and to improve the country’s ability to respond to spills, and to recommend reforms to make offshore energy production safer. This report is the result of an intense six-month effort to fulfill the President’s charge. The Commission’s report offers the President, policymakers, industry, and the American people the fullest account available of the largest oil spill in U.S history: the context for the well itself, how the explosion and spill happened, and how industry and government scrambled to respond to an unprecedented emergency.
Enhancing Information for Renewable Energy Technology Deployment in Brazil, China and South Africa
This report documents crucial information to support deployment of renewable energies in three key emerging markets - Brazil, China and South Africa - and provides information for policy-making aimed at supporting renewable energy markets in these countries. Specifically this study collates information on solar and wind resources and resource information, renewable energy support policies and goals, risk management and technologies integral to the increased renewable energy technology deployment.
Farming’s Climate-Smart Future: Placing Agriculture at The Heart of Climate - Change Policy
This publication highlights the ‘cause and effect’ relationship between agriculture and climate change. It observes that a range of practices– ‘climate-smart agriculture’ – could increase food production, help farmers to become more resilient to global warming and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2012
The document describes a wide range of advances in understanding the underlying processes responsible for climate variability and change, such as advances in understanding of climate change at high latitudes. It also describes progress on understanding the ongoing and projected effects of climate change on nature and society, including the interconnected relationships between climate, forests, and wildfire. The document also describes how observational and predictive capabilities are being improved and used to create tools to support decision making at local, regional, and national scales to cope with environmental variability and change.
Valuation Techniques and Metrics for Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation Options: Methodological Perspectives For the National Climate Assessment
The National Climate Assessment (NCA) Report Series summarizes regional, sectoral, and process-related workshops and discussions being held as part of the third NCA process. This workshop focused on techniques for quantitatively valuing climate impacts and adaptation in the context of the upcoming NCA. The workshop was held in Arlington, VA on January 12-13, 2011. Volume 8 of the NCA Report Series summarizes the discussions and outcomes of this workshop.
Women at The Frontline of Climate Change - Gender Risks and Hopes
Women are often in the frontline in respect to the impacts of a changing climate. Globally the world is seeing increasingly frequent droughts and floods which are having economic but also profound social consequences. The women and people of Asia are currently at greatest risk with over 100 million people affected in this region annually.
Seafood Safety: Background and Issues
Although seafood consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, some fish and shellfish can cause foodborne illnesses or contain environmental contaminants. This report discusses whether current food safety programs are sufficiently protecting consumers, and if not, what changes should be considered.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Washington State Government
This report summarizes the total GHG emission from all state agencies for 2005, 2008, and 2009. It examines actions already taken by agencies to reduce emissions and outlines key next steps for agencies to take to develop emission reduction strategies.
Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management
The nation's energy choices embody many tradeoffs. Water use is one of those tradeoffs. The energy choices before Congress represent vastly different demands on domestic freshwater. The energy sector's water consumption is projected to rise 50% from 2005 to 2030. This rising water demand derives from both an increase in the amount of energy demanded and shifts to more water-intense energy sources and technologies. This report discusses this issue as well as related issues that may arise for the 112th Congress.
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance
This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
International Climate Change: A Negotiations Side-by-Side
This report discusses various cooperative international efforts to address the issue of global climate change. The two major international agreements discussed in a side-by-side comparison are the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2010 Copenhagen Accord. The report discusses how many observers are hoping that initiatives carried out under the Copenhagen Accord may help bridge divides between the various tracks and economic groupings established under the Kyoto Protocol.
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, and the resulting oil spill began a cascade of effects on the coastal areas of the Gulf and on the wealth of species that inhabit those areas. This report addresses the importance of wetlands in general, the ecology of the coastal wetlands in the Gulf, impacts of oil spills on wetland habitats, response options, the implications of hurricane season for the spill's impacts, and cleanup and recovery issues. The emphasis is on the nearshore environment, although a few species found in deeper waters will be mentioned. In addition, some lessons from past spills such as the Exxon Valdez in Alaska will be discussed, along with issues that may arise as response and recovery transition to restoration of the Gulf.
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues
This report focuses on the mandated minimum usage requirements - referred to as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) - whereby a minimum volume of biofuels is to be used in the national transportation fuel supply each year. It describes the general nature of the biofuels RFS and its implementation, and outlines some of the emerging issues related to the sustainability of the continued growth in U.S. biofuels production needed to fulfill the expanding RFS mandate, as well as the emergence of potential unintended consequences of this rapid expansion. This report does not address the broader public policy issue of how best to support U.S. energy policy.
Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook
This report discusses likely energy prices and weather over the winter of 2010-2011.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
Biomass Feedstocks for Biopower: Background and Selected Issues
The production of bioenergy - renewable energy derived from biomass - could potentially increase national energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to rural economic growth. This report provides analyses of commonly discussed biomass feedstocks and their relative potential for power generation. Additional biopower issues - feedstock accessibility, the biomass power plant carbon-neutrality debate, and unintended consequences of legislative activities to promote bioenergy - are also discussed.
Grenelle Environnement
The new 'Grenelle II' laws are presented in the French Parliament. The Grenelle II (2010) follows the Grenelle I (2007) and a second public consultation round with representatives of large companies. Detailed plans are presented for building, transport and energy sector. Local authorities are asked to play a more important and facilitating role. The new law package contains six pillars and contains the 'outlines' and 'logistics' of the application on regional and local level: - 1. Improving the Energetic Performance of Buildings. Among the measures are : insisting on 'Batiments a Basse Consommation' (BBC, < 50 KW/H/m2 per year) for new buildings and to reduce the consumption of existing buildings by 38% untill 2020. - 2. Creating a change in Transport Use. Among the measures presented are : speeding up the process of public transport infrastructure, insisting local public authorities on offering 'lease-bikes' and car-sharing programs, and subvention of electric and hybrid car development. - 3. Reducing significantly Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions. Measurements foreseen are : Obligation of all enterprises with over 500 employees and municipalities with more than 500.000 inhabitants to calculate CO2 emissions on a yearly bases. -4. Preserving Biodiversity. Pharmaceutical and hospital products will be more restricted and reported. -5. Risks, health and waste. Various measurements are proposed, such as the Protection of Electrical and Telephone Network workers. -6. A new Ecological Governance Model. Introduction of Five 'Colleges' of Stakeholders: ONG, Entreprises, Unions, Public Authorities and Public Administration. Regions with over 50 000 inhabitants will be obliged to create a Sustainable Development report. Each product should carry CO2 emission information, related to the CO2 emissions created by transport of people and goods.
Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission
The objective of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) under the brand 'Solar India' is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible. The scope of these guidelines is to select new projects and provide the necessary policy framework for development of projects under the "bundling scheme" for Phase I of the JNNSM.
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attracts congressional attention because its projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in addition to their water resource development purposes. This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
This report provides an overview of current issues surrounding alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles - issues discussed in further detail in other CRS reports referred to in each section.
Green Jobs Training: A Catalog of Training Opportunities for Green Infrastructure Training
This catalog provides information on training and certification opportunities for jobs and careers categorized as part of the "green economy." The catalog includes federal and state listings.
Bird Species and Climate Change: The Global Status Report: A synthesis of current scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change impacts on global bird species now, and projected future effects
This review seeks to provide a global overview of current effects of climate change on birds as well as a picture of future impacts. It provides a scientific assessment of current research data, achieved by surveying hundreds of research articles and reports on the topic.
Bird Species and Climate Change: The Global Status Report: A synthesis of Current Scientific Understanding of Anthropogenic Climate Change Impacts on Global Bird Species Now, and Projected Future Effects
This review seeks to provide a global overview of current effects of climate change on birds as well as a picture of future impacts. It provides a scientific assessment of current research data, achieved by surveying hundreds of research articles and reports on the topic.
EPA's Response to the Petitions to Reconsider the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
This set of volumes is a response by the EPA to ten petitions filed to challenge the determination that climate change is real. The EPA dismisses the petitioners' claims, reiterating the evidence of anthropogenic global climate change.
EPA's Response to the Petitions to Reconsider the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
This set of volumes is a response by the EPA to ten petitions filed to challenge the determination that climate change is real. The EPA dismisses the petitioners' claims, reiterating the evidence of anthropogenic global climate change.
EPA's Response to the Petitions to Reconsider the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
This set of volumes is a response by the EPA to ten petitions filed to challenge the determination that climate change is real. The EPA dismisses the petitioners' claims, reiterating the evidence of anthropogenic global climate change.
World Investment Report 2010: Investing in a Low-Carbon Economy
According to the preface, this report focuses on climate change and the role of transnational corporations in investing in a low-carbon economy.
Executive Order - Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes
This order establishes a national policy to ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources, enhance the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies, preserve maritime heritage, support sustainable uses and access, provide for adaptive management to enhance understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification, and coordinate with national security and foreign policy interests. This order also provides for the development of coastal and marine spatial plans that build upon and improve existing Federal, State, tribal, local, and regional decision making and planning processes.
Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force
This report provides recommendations for a strengthened governance structure to provide sustained, high-level, and coordinated attention to ocean, coastal, and Great Lake issues with a framework that addresses conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.
EPA's Denial of the Petitions to Reconsider the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
This document addresses a petition to the U.S. EPA to reconsider findings that could have an economic impact on businesses due to the enforcement of the Clean Air Act. The petitioners questioned the climate science and data, and this denial argues that the petitioners used The document denies the petition on the basis of the petitioners providing inadequate and unscientific arguments.
Impacts of Comprehensive Climate and Energy Policy Options on the U.S. Economy
This study compiles and updates the findings of 16 comprehensive state climate action plans and extrapolates the results to the nation. The study then takes those results and using a widely accepted econometric model projects the national impact of these policies on employment, incomes, gross domestic product (GDP) and consumer energy prices. Finally, using the bottom-up data developed by the states and aggregated here, the study models the national impact of major features of the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill under consideration in Congress in 2010. These state action plans and supporting assessments were proposed by over 1,500 stakeholders and technical work group experts appointed by 16 governors and state legislatures to address climate, energy and economic needs through comprehensive, fact-based, consensus-driven, climate action planning processes conducted over the past five years with facilitative and technical assistance by the Center for Climate Strategies. Findings show potential national improvements from implementation of a top set of 23 major sector-based policies and measures drawn from state plans.
Korea's Green Growth Strategy Mitigating Climate Change and Developing New Growth Engines
Korea’s greenhouse gas emissions almost doubled between 1990 and 2005, the highest growth rate in the OECD area. Korea recently set a target of reducing emissions by 30% by 2020 relative to a "business as usual" baseline, implying a 4% cut from the 2005 level. Achieving this objective in a cost-effective manner requires moving from a strategy based on voluntary commitments by firms to market-based instruments. The priority is to establish a comprehensive cap-and-trade scheme, supplemented, if necessary, by carbon taxes in areas not covered by trading. Achieving a significant cut in emissions requires a shift from energy-intensive industries to low-carbon ones. Korea is strongly committed to promoting green growth through its Five-Year Plan, which envisages spending 2% of GDP per year through 2013. One challenge is to ensure that these expenditures are efficiently targeted so as to develop green technologies, while avoiding the risks inherent in industrial policy.