Making Clean Energy Transitions More Inclusive: Evidence, Knowledge Gaps, and Policy Options in Low-Income Economies
Access to reliable renewable energy and energy efficiency can provide significant climate, development, and equity benefits. Transitions to clean energy are compatible with sustainable and equitable development and women’s economic empowerment. However, in the absence of adequate policies, they may reinforce existing inequalities. This policy brief summarizes the evidence that supports and knowledge gaps that hinder clean and inclusive energy transitions.
High school athletic associations (HSAAs) bear the responsibility of ensuring the health and safety of student-athletes. Exertional heat illness poses a significant risk, making this a task of increasing urgency in light of climate change and rising temperatures. This policy brief builds on prior research to offer recommendations to HSAAs as part of an ongoing commitment to safeguard student-athletes from heat-related illnesses.
Policy effectiveness is a critical measure for assessing whether policies are working and determining necessary adjustments. However, understanding the effectiveness of plastic policies is a significant gap in the toolkit driving solutions to the plastics crisis. This review examines effectiveness evaluations and existing tools for assessing policy effectiveness.The review further identifies the barriers to understanding effectiveness before proposing ways forward. Most studies focus on plastic bag bans or taxes, neglecting other policy instruments.
To make the case for mainstreaming ocean sustainability and add to the existing literature, Citigroup carried out an original analysis consisting of two parts: (1) an assessment of impact materiality and revenue exposure for industries and a (2) geospatial analysis to identify potential hotspots of marine natural capital loss.
John Virdin of the Nicholas Institute was one of the expert contributors to this report.
In a special issue of Frontiers in Marine Science, “Emerging Challenges and Solutions for Plastic Pollution,” these authors and others provide a transdisciplinary collection of articles exploring plastic pollution issues and hypothesizing solutions. The topic is broad to include diverse approaches as contributions from all stakeholders are needed to provide a full perspective on the plastic waste problem.
Households that cannot afford their water bills may lose access to drinking water and wastewater services. This study seeks to quantify how many households may struggle to pay for water services across 787 of the largest drinking water providers in the United States. It finds that basic water services are unaffordable for 17% of households analyzed (28.3 million persons). The authors select 6,000 gallons per month as sufficient to meet basic needs and define undue hardship as spending more than 4.6% of household income (one day of labor each month) to pay for water services.
US states must have a FEMA-approved state hazard mitigation plan (SHMP) to apply for certain nonemergency disaster funds and funding for mitigation projects. SHMPs indentify the hazards that may impact a state and detail corresponding mitigation strategies. This report assesses the treatment and definition of heat as a hazard in each state's most recent plan. The importance of extreme heat—the leading cause of weather-related death in the United States—is often understated because it does not fit easily into current SHMP guidelines. The authors provide recommendations to help states adequately evaluate the threat of extreme heat as they update their SHMPs.
Assessing the Effects of Management Activities on Biodiversity and Carbon Storage on Public and Private Lands and Waters in the United States
Natural and working lands (NWLs) provide many benefits to people, including storing greenhouse gases (GHGs), supporting biodiversity, and generating other ecosystem services. Management of NWLs can influence their condition and function and therefore the benefits they provide. This project surveys the synthesis literature to assess how management actions on various types of NWLs affect biodiversity and GHG outcomes. This information can help to determine how to best manage these lands to contribute to both biodiversity and climate solutions in the United States.
The 2022 Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum explored what must be done to ensure the water sector becomes more resilient to water-related disasters. How can communities navigate and prepare for the impacts of increasingly common water-related disasters. How do we reconcile different values as individuals, businesses, and government negotiate who receives resources to mitigate, adapt, and recover?
In 2022, the world remained unequally divided among those with resources and power and those without, such as the energy rich and poor, and men with more power and better pay than women. Cognizant of these inequities, the international community has pledged to close the gaps. This review examines theoretical frameworks on women’s empowerment, takes stock of the empirical literature on the connections between women’s empowerment and energy access, and places empirical results in the context of the theoretical literature.