Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development


Celebrating the Best Climate Treaty of All Time

September 16, 2015

Today is international ozone day, a day when we traditionally celebrate the Montreal Protocol treaty for its historic success solving the first great threat to the global atmosphere–the threat to the protective stratospheric ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs. The treaty’s success in phasing out CFCs and related chemicals prevented millions of deaths from skin cancer, millions of cases of cataracts, and well as suppression of the immune systems of humans and animals, and damage to crops and the build environment. read more


Giving the Cold Shoulder to Wasteful Air Conditioners

September 10, 2015

From Paris to Karachi, Seattle to Tokyo, 2015 has brought countries across the globe record-breaking temperatures. In addition to leading to wildfires, droughts, and thousands of premature deaths, it also has brought increasing demand for electricity to run air conditioning, leading to disruptive blackouts and reduced energy for other uses. read more


The Best Shot for Slowing Climate Impacts in Alaska and the Arctic

August 27, 2015

I worked in Alaska many years ago as a young attorney defending the forests, fisheries and other remarkable natural resources of the last frontier. The “termination dust” that fell every fall ahead of the deep freeze of winter made my job easier, providing an annual pause in development, with the cold winters that followed keeping the permafrost permanently frozen. Yet now, the vast and beautiful natural resources of Alaska and the broader Arctic region face their greatest threat of all: global warming. read more


The Path to a Safe Climate Goes Through India

January 21, 2015

It seems fitting that NASA scientists announced that 2014 was the hottest year on record immediately before Prime Minister Modi and President Obama meet in India next week. Because these two leaders have a unique opportunity to set the world on a path to address more than half of the projected global warming through mid-century, a critical period for avoiding irreversible impacts. read more


3 Climate Lessons From Lima

December 14, 2014

Climate change cannot be solved without leadership from heads of government, without immediate mitigation of near-term warming, and without cutting short-lived climate pollutants to complement the UN climate agreement. read more


Obama-Xi Climate Agreement Opens Door to Success in Paris in 2015

November 12, 2014

President Obama’s historic agreement Wednesday with President Xi Jinping of China is the kind of bold action needed to reinvigorate the world’s efforts to slow and eventually reverse climate pollution. The president has opened the door to success with a global climate agreement in Paris next December. His climate leadership just might save the world from the most severe climate impacts before they become irreversible. read more


A Development-Savvy Climate Strategy for India

September 29, 2014

During his first official visit to the United States this week, India’s popular Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will meet with President Obama, as well as with CEOs of top U.S. corporations, to encourage investment to support India’s development goals, which include providing renewable energy for the 400 million citizens who lack access today. read more


As Climate Impacts Accelerate, Speed of Mitigation Becomes Key

July 15, 2014

Bad news can be paralyzing, and that’s a problem when it comes to climate change. The steady drumbeat of bad news can numb us. We’ve recently learned that a large part of the West Antarctica ice sheet is disintegrating and cannot be stopped, with ten feet or more of sea-level rise now inevitable. More recently we learned the bad news from the U.S. climate assessment, confirming that climate impacts have moved “firmly into the present,” with costs mounting quickly — more than $100 billion in the U.S. alone in 2012 — and a near certainty that things will get worse quickly. read more


Obama Orders New Efficiency for Big Trucks

February 18, 2014

President Obama on Tuesday ordered the development of tough new fuel standards for the nation’s fleet of heavy-duty trucks as part of what aides say will be an increasingly muscular and unilateral campaign to tackle climate change through the use of the president’s executive power. read more


Davos 2014: Achim Steiner insider diary

January 25, 2014

Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP, sees much progress, but Davos is but one moment on the long road to change. After three days in Davos, solving the world’s problems in 90 minute sessions through facilitated discussions leading to the ‘one big idea’ begins to challenge common sense. read more


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