News

Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum to be Housed at Duke

The Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum (Fisheries Forum), which provides policy-neutral support for the exploration of challenges and emerging issues facing our nation's federal fishery managers, will be housed exclusively within the Oceans and Coastal Policy Program of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. The transition will be effective this summer.

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U.S. Wood Pellets can Provide 'Viable GHG Reduction Strategy' for E.U. ($)

ClimateWire writes about a new analysis that concludes the use of wood pellets manufactured in the U.S. Southeast to fuel energy production in the European Union "could represent a viable [greenhouse gas] reduction strategy" for the bloc if recommended sustainability guidelines are followed.

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Will Ky. Carbon Compliance Be “Accidental?”

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions director Tim Profeta explained why Kentucky may not be as burdened by the Clean Power Plan as some imagined. “The political reality (of coal-dependence) has actually been heard by the agency and has been reflected in the rule,” he told the Courier Journal. In other words, the proposal sets less stringent goals for states with the most coal-dependent energy mixes, like Kentucky.

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U.S. Wood Pellets Can Help EU Meet Renewable Energy Goals

Wood pellet supplies from the southeastern United States can assist the European Union (EU) to meet its 2020 policy goals for increased renewable energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions without decreasing U.S. forest inventories or diminishing their carbon storage capacity. A new analysis by researchers at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and North Carolina State University examined the contribution by forests in the southeastern United States to EU wood pellet markets. The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology-Bioenergy, examined how participation in those markets will affect forest inventories and carbon storage in this region and whether EU sustainability guidelines for pellets can be met.

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Revisiting the Evidence and Potential Solutions on Climate Change

The Nicholas Institute's Brian Murray co-authored the introduction of a special issue of Choices Magazine. Articles in the series address the projected impact of climate change on agricultural productivity and food security in domestic and international settings as well as the motivation for adaptation efforts along with potential strategies and roles of public versus private entities.

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Why Have Carbon Markets Not Delivered Agricultural Emission Reductions in the United States?

In a climate change-focused issue of Choices Magazine, the Nicholas Institute's Brian Murray explores why carbon markets have not delivered agricultural emissions reductions in the United States. Beyond the political failure of a national, economy-wide, cap-and-trade program, he points to the minor role of agriculture in the carbon markets that do exist and to unforeseen adoption hurdles and transaction costs. He suggests that the sector’s GHG mitigation could ramp up as part of recently broader use of carbon markets and with the support of targeted public and private sector programs.

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Q&A with John Virdin: Fishing for a Sustainable Future

John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, was recently a panelist for a World Bank Praxis Discussion Series in Sydney, Australia. In a Q&A, he reflects on three key questions surrounding the sustainability of fisheries in the Pacific.

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Galik to Discuss the Future of Environmental Resource Management on 90.7 FM

Christopher Galik, a senior policy associate at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will appear on the show “The Measure of Everyday Life” on WNCU 90.7 FM at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31. Galik, whose work looks at issues surrounding on-the-ground implementation of climate and low-carbon energy policy, will discuss forest management and the future of environmental resource management.

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States Could Slash Clean Power Plan Costs with Mass-Based Standards, Regional Plans -- Study ($)

States could halve the costs of implementing U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan if they work with other states and use a mass-based standard to cap emissions outright, according to a new study from Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. ClimateWire reports that researchers examined three major choices regulators must make as they craft proposals for cutting carbon emissions from power plants to meet their states' individual goals. They looked at the effects of choosing rate-based vs. mass-based standards and regional vs. individual plans, as well as incorporating new natural gas combined-cycle plants into the targets.

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Despite Political Rhetoric, 41 States Exploring Clean Power Plan Options ($)

At least 41 states are in talks with neighbors about how they might cut power-sector carbon emissions under U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan, despite appeals from Republicans in Congress for state officials to refuse to comply, according to regional coordinators. ClimateWire article also mentions the Nicholas Institute's "common elements" work. 

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