Climate and Energy Program News

The Road Toward Clean Power Plan Policy

A national policy that creates the first ever national standards to address carbon pollution from power plants includes an approach to cutting emissions that Jeremy Tarr worked on as a former employee of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Years before the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 was finalized, Tarr was focusing on legal and policy analysis relating to its design and implementation.

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Regional Climate Program Facing New Challenges under Trump

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has spent several months on how to comply with federal carbon dioxide limits for utilities, but the cap-and-trade program faces new questions and challenges with the election of Donald Trump and the likely demise of the Clean Power Plan. The nine RGGI states are finishing a year-long review that began with the goal of meeting the requirements of the Clean Power Plan, which sets the first ever carbon dioxide emissions limits on power plants, but will now conclude with the likely prospect that federal climate change action will be nixed under the incoming Trump administration. Brian C. Murray, Interim Director of the Duke University Energy Initiative and Director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, is quoted in this piece published in Bloomberg BNA's Daily Environment Report.

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Transitioning to a 'Blue Economy' can Reshape the Ocean Landscape

In The Hill, the Nicholas Institute's John Virdin and the World Bank's Pawan Patil write that as we enter a period of uncertainty in both international and climate policy following the United States presidential election, identifying a concept that can help find the wins between the economy and the environment is even more important. In the ocean, policymakers are asking if this may be achieved, in part, under the new concept: Blue Economy. 

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Science in the Land of Donald Trump

For Radio Canada, Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and interim director of the Duke University Energy Initiative, and other guests discuss how U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump may take on the issues of climate, public health and scientific research.

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Coral Decay: Scientists Pinpoint Regions Where Declining Coral Reefs could Impact People the Most

Rising carbon dioxide levels amplify the risk of elevated sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification, and these two global stressors may severely harm warm-water coral reef ecosystems and the people who depend on them. PLOS One Research News features a Q&A with Linwood Pendleton, senior scholar at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and lead author of a new study that uses an indicator approach to identify where coral reef-dependent people were most likely to be affected by rising CO2 levels by 2050. 

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One Of These Conservatives Should Be Trump's EPA Chief

There have been lots of rumors about who President-elect Trump is going to pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. In truth, at this point, no one knows who is going to lead the Trump Administration’s EPA. Forbes provides a list of individuals they would suggest who are knowledgeable about environmental policy, who are fiscally responsible, and who care about the environment. Among them: Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Board of Advisors Chair William K. Reilly. 

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States Say They 'are Not Going to be Stopped' by Trump ($)

State climate leaders are striking a defiant note following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, pledging to redouble their efforts to combat climate change even as they prepare for a rollback in federal efforts. Amy Pickle, director of the State Policy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions comments in ClimateWire.

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Coral Reef Ecosystem Threatened By Rising Carbon Dioxide

Oceans might be vast, but it has some of the most vulnerable ecosystems today. Much of the oceans' resources aren't managed very well. One of those that are vulnerable is corals, as coral reef ecosystem is threatened by rising carbon dioxide. A study by Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale has noted that a number of places would be at risk by rising sea temperatures. 

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Study Outlines Risks to Territory Linked to Loss of Coral

New research published Wednesday warns of dire consequences for humans in low-lying areas of the world with large coral reefs, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, reports the Virgin Islands Daily News. The research, published in the scientific journal PLOS, was written “to understand where the effects of climate change and ocean acidification would affect the most people,” said Linwood Pendleton, a senior scholar at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions who is a lead author on the report.

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Climate Change’s Impact on Coral Reefs Threatens Millions of Lives

Hundreds of millions of people depend on coral reefs for “jobs, livelihoods, food, shelter, and protection for coastal communities and the shorelines along which they live.” Implementation of the Paris Agreement would help to preserve these shallow, warm-water ecosystems from the devastating effects of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The two primary environmental stresses that place these people at risk are elevated sea surface temperature (that can cause coral bleaching and related mortality), and ocean acidification. The Boston Globe reports on the research published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS that explains the science behind this global threat.

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