News - Environmental Markets

Negotiations over international carbon markets broke down again at COP25 in Madrid. Finding common ground on how these markets work is critical to ensuring countries and businesses committed to net-zero emissions meet their targets, Jackson Ewing writes.

America's working forests provide clean air and water, support species diversity, provide jobs, and are an essential part of efforts to address climate change. In an op-ed for RealClearMarkets, Robert Bonnie and Matthew McKenna write that capital markets have the power to leverage philanthropy and government action to help conserve this critical natural infrastructure.

The View From Madrid

World leaders are gathered in Madrid through December 13 for COP25, the United Nations’ annual climate change conference. Jackson Ewing, who is among the climate and energy experts participating, answered a few questions about the conference from Spain.

The Coalition for Green Capital submitted comments to North Carolina’s draft Clean Energy Plan in support of the establishment of a North Carolina Clean Energy Fund, and announced a partnership with the Nicholas Institute to explore the creation and design of this institution around the Green Bank model.

China's New Silk Road

A conference at Duke Kunshan University last week—co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions—focused on China's global investments. The five-day conference addressed how to better understand and plan for China’s vast increase in infrastructure investment abroad, especially for projects that are part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

In a Q&A with the National Bureau of Asian Research, Jackson Ewing a senior fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and an adjunct associate professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy, discusses the challenges and opportunities for Chinese policymakers as they seek to implement a nationally integrated emissions trading system. 

In early spring 2017, Nevada's Diamond Valley is expected to test a blueprint for buying and selling water rights to redistribute the valley’s water. The trading should shift supply to where it’s needed most and should allow those with surplus supply to profit from it. The blueprint was developed by researchers at the Nicholas Institute and builds on lessons from Australia’s search for a water rights and management framework to keep water withdrawals within sustainable limits.

The Huffington Post reported that the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is one of several organizations exploring maximization of the carbon-storing performance of soils, forests, grasslands, and wetlands and attempting to identify the full potential of carbon sinks. The tasks are complicated by multiple relevant variables, including weather changes, tillage practices, grazing-land management, public land management, and urban use of trees and green spaces.

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.

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.