As the Group of Seven (G7) convened for its first summit since the pandemic began last year, there were a series of interlinked crises that required resolving, from insufficient climate action and a fitful global economic recovery, to grappling with an ever-changing landscape of power, including the rising influence of China.
Building on the Climate Leaders’ Summit, hosted by US President Joe Biden in April, during which many countries, including countries from the G7, pledged more ambitious carbon reduction plans, the G7 released a joint communiqué determined to put ‘climate, biodiversity and the environment at the heart of COVID-19 recovery strategies.’… Seguir leyendo »
In his first 100 days, US President Joe Biden has taken laudable steps to address climate change including establishing a ‘whole of government’ approach, rejoining the Paris Agreement and embedding climate experts to take action across the administration.
But now the real challenge looms. In order for the US to affirm its legitimacy on climate in a politically divided landscape at home, Biden needs to simultaneously prioritize domestic policy action, while rebuilding international alliances to show that his administration can deliver on its long-term commitments.
Specifically, the US needs to get three things right during the Leaders’ Summit on Climate that Biden is hosting this week: demonstrate its commitment to federal-level action that will ensure long-term policy change, validate the durability of transatlantic relationships while expanding partnerships and deftly manage cooperation-competition dynamics with China.… Seguir leyendo »
When the pandemic struck, many countries were quick to close their borders, turning inward in the scramble to protect lives and livelihoods. Sadly, the crisis has done little to bond nations against this shared, invisible foe – in some cases, blame for the outbreak and rows over responses actually exacerbating geopolitical tensions.
However, some effects of COVID-19 may yet unite us, in the profound ways the disease has impacted almost every part of life across the planet, giving us a rare opportunity to pause and consider how we live. News of an effective vaccine makes the prospect of a ‘return to normality’ more hopeful but have these dramatic accelerations in existing trends already changed how we travel, work, and consume, and the face of our cities for good?… Seguir leyendo »
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that the world is undergoing a transition away from fossil fuels and carbon-intensive sectors, towards renewable energy and clean growth. The collapse of oil demand and prices have simply compounded the challenges that oil and gas producers already faced.
What happens next will have significant implications for Norway, as one of the world’s largest exporters of both energy and capital, and for the UK, as it plans its recovery and looks ahead to its hosting of the next major climate change summit in 2021 - COP26.
While the speed and scale of the transition has always been uncertain and contested, an accelerated transition with deep implications for future oil and gas demand looks plausible.… Seguir leyendo »
The existing rules of engagement within the international climate framework – the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – are proving inadequate for delivering the emissions reductions needed, and at the pace necessary, to meet recognized climate objectives.
The 2015 Paris Agreement established national adaptation and mitigation plans, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in which countries committed to decarbonize their economies over the coming decades. While procedural elements of this framework are legally binding, the crucial NDCs are voluntary.
Working within this essentially constrained rules-based order in climate policy, and given countries’ reluctance to date to translate targets into structural reforms, what can be done to uphold NDCs and raise future climate ambition?… Seguir leyendo »
This week, state officials in China came together with celebrities and campaign groups to trumpet the launch by the Chinese Nutrition Society, the official source of dietary advice in China, of its latest guidelines. The revised guidelines, published last month, advise that individuals limit their meat consumption to between 40g and 75g a day, half of current consumption levels, and reflect the government’s desire to avert a looming public health crisis driven in part by rapidly shifting diets. Rising per capita meat consumption in China – coupled with falling levels of physical activity, a growing appetite for high-protein, high-calorie and high-fat foods – is contributing to rising incidence of overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases.… Seguir leyendo »
The UK’s energy market is deeply integrated with that of its European neighbours, so the forthcoming referendum on its membership of the EU has major implications for energy and climate policy. In our new research paper, we examined five models of post-Brexit UK-EU relations, ranging from the ‘Norway’ and ‘Swiss’ models to free trade agreements such as Canada has negotiated, membership of the Energy Community and finally a ‘no deal’ option. Our conclusion is that while each option involves trade-offs for energy and climate policy, remaining inside the EU offers the best balance for Britain’s interests. We see three areas where this is particularly important: market integration, energy and climate diplomacy, and the costs and disruption caused by leaving.… Seguir leyendo »