Will Graham Support for Carbon Tax Spur Senate Action? ($)

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has publicly endorsed a carbon tax, heightening the call for climate action and possibly laying the groundwork for a bipartisan push to address global warming. "There seems to be a coalescence around the idea that a price on carbon is the best way to allow the U.S. and its capitalist economy to tackle the problem," Tim Profeta, who served as environmental counsel to Sen. Joe Lieberman and was a principal architect of Lieberman and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain's "Climate Stewardship Act of 2003, told ClimateWire. "Sen. Graham's reinvocation of these concepts means that there may be some ability to have conversations again about the bipartisan solution to climate change."

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Awardees gather for a kickoff celebration at Duke in September. Credit: Jessica Sheffield.

Catalyst Program Awards Funds for First Research Projects

Six projects proposed by Duke faculty and staff have received funding from the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Catalyst Program.

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Duke Environmental Economics Doctoral Scholars (DEEDS) Program. Photos by Sanjog Sahu and David Kaczan.

Research Program Melds Economics and Environment

For four years, the Duke Environmental Economics Doctoral Scholars (DEEDS) Program has sought to provide Ph.D. students with the opportunity to explore the intersection of policy, economics, environmental science, and management around environmental topics. DEEDS gives students a sense of what it is like to conduct an independent research project that is directly relevant to policy processes.

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Survey Gauges Top Leaders Views of Environmental Policy Landscape

In spring 2017, researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions set out to determine what and how a broad cross-section of thought leaders at private corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, and universities think about emerging environmental trends, risks, and opportunities. Through the Emerging Environmental Issues Survey, the researchers aimed to assess both the reach and the manageability of environmental change.

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Ocracoke Island by William Britten Photography

The Blue Economy Makes Waves in Policy Circles

The blue economy concept could help policy makers more fully consider the marine environment together with economic growth to help meet the United Nation’s oceans sustainable development goal. John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, is studying how governments in the United States and abroad might apply the blue economy concept to increase rates of economic return without depleting or damaging ocean ecosystems, which would put not only natural resources but also jobs and economic growth at risk. 

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McCain Resumes his Quest for Climate Change Action

Sen. John McCain recently said it’s time to sit down again and figure out some “common-sense solutions” to climate change. For future climate legislation to succeed, senators from both parties will have to come to an agreement, Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University told High Country News: “I don’t think that deal is ripe though. You need some triggering event to allow people to come off hardened positions. I think in the end we will price carbon. I pray that Sen. McCain is part of it.”

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Sarah Adair

Games Give Students a Look at Complexity of Real-World Decision Making

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions staff member Sarah Adair participates in a three-day, hands-on Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative Research Camp designed to build critical thinking skills and introduce Chinese high school students to Duke’s interdisciplinary approach to climate and energy issues.

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Internet of Water report cover

Internet of Water Could Revolutionize Water Management

The United States is awash in water data—the power of which has yet to be unleashed. To realize the dormant value of the data, say some producers and users, would require making them widely shareable in standardized digital formats, thereby allowing their real-time aggregation for a host of purposes beyond those that spurred their original collection. They believe that opening the data and investing in water data infrastructure would set in motion a wave of innovation, leading to more sustainable management of our water resources.

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Electricity Sector Uncertainty Calls for New Decision-Making Tools

Researchers at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions have developed a deep understanding of both the electricity sector’s potential responses to regulatory, market, and technology changes and the emissions consequences of those responses. Our legal analyses and modeling have provided a solid foundation to help states address their own distinct decision-making challenges amid uncertainty, which has only deepened as the Trump administration looks to roll back Obama-era climate policies.

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The Future Of Hurricanes

Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey still filled the streets in Texas when Hurricane Irma blew ashore in Florida. As Irma moves toward North Carolina, Duke University researchers Susan Lozier of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Martin Doyle of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions explore with NPR's Frank Stasio whether these weather events are growing more frequent or more extreme. They also analyze how communities and governments can become more resilient.

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