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The “From Billions to Trillions” summit convened stakeholders at Duke University on Feb. 28 to create a shared vision for unleashing private capital for climate solutions. The summit featured public officials, business leaders, and Duke faculty sharing insights on how the influx of federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS Act, and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will impact and stimulate private green investment.

Parts of the United States hit hard by last year's sweltering conditions are preparing for more extreme heat this summer.

Ashley Ward, director of the Heat Policy Innovation Hub at the Nicholas Institute, told NBC News that government officials should treat onslaughts of high heat and humidity similar to hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters. “[Last summer] was our category 5 heat event,” she said. “The extreme nature of what we saw was enough to focus attention on this topic.”


 

Energy Pathways USA hosted a briefing about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s newly released power sector regulations on May 7. Nicholas Institute expert Tim Profeta, former EPA special counsel for the power sector and senior advisor, explained the new standards for existing coal and new gas-fired power plants, outlined the key implications and questions for U.S. decarbonization and answered attendee questions.

In a new Nature paper, researchers confirmed that 2023 was the hottest on record in the northern hemisphere in 2,000 years. Ashley Ward, director of the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub, and other experts talked with STAT about policies that could help combat the health effects of rising temperatures.

Following a national search, Duke faculty member Brian Murray has been appointed to a five-year term as the director of the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, effective immediately.

The U.S. military and many sports governing bodies use wet bulb globe temperature to assess heat risk more accurately than the heat index. The same standards used for soldiers and student-athletes should also be applied for workers on farms and other industries who labor outdoors during the hottest times of the year, write Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub experts Ashley Ward and Jordan Clark in an op-ed for STAT.

Debt distress, biodiversity loss and climate change are intertwined crises for developing countries. In a Policy Forum for Science, Duke University experts Elizabeth Losos, Alex Pfaff and Stuart Pimm propose four reforms to debt-for-nature swaps to help countries tackle these daunting challenges.

The Heat Action Plan Toolkit features a customizable heat action plan template for North Carolina counties, as well as outreach resources and recommended actions for healthcare staff and local leaders when extreme heat is in the forecast. Experts from the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub collaborated on the toolkit with the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, North Carolina State Climate Office and North Carolina Division of Public Health.

The potential for connectivity among Asian carbon markets is significant, with economic, environmental, and strategic benefits anticipated. However, uncertainty persists regarding the extent and nature of market integration. This webinar,including a presentation by Director of Energy and Climate Policy Jackson Ewing, discussed the history and experiences on carbon market linkages, and the potential benefits, barriers to linkages, and paths forward for Asian carbon market connectivity in light of evolving international carbon market trends and policies. The forum is part of the Regional Cooperation and Integration Policy Open Dialogue Webinar Series, organized by the Asian Development Bank's Regional Cooperation and Integration Division.

Forty-five Duke University scholars will pursue new research on sustainable, equitable solutions to address climate change and its effects, supported by grants from the Duke Climate Research Innovation Seed Program (CRISP).

Twelve teams have collectively been awarded nearly $700,000 to investigate topics such as equitable disaster recovery, community insurance, financing climate-smart agriculture, water quality challenges posed by sea level rise, forest-based carbon offsets and more.