Publications

Rural Attitudes on Climate Change: Lessons from National and Midwest Polling and Focus Groups

Following a nationwide report of rural attitudes toward the environment and conservation published in February 2020, this report takes a closer look at attitudes about climate change among rural voters. We draw on findings from the national study and incorporate new research with a regional focus on the upper Midwest. 

Attitudes of Rural Westerners on the Environment and Conservation

This report builds on the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ (NIEPS) report Understanding Rural Attitudes Toward the Environment and Conservation in America. Using the same polling, focus groups, and rural stakeholder leader interviews data from this earlier report, we focus here on the attitudes of rural western voters by taking a deeper look at data from western rural voters.

Federal Grants to States: Opportunities for Climate Change Assessment, Planning, Programs, and Information Exchange

The lessons we learn from the mobilization in response to the COVID disaster should be applied as we prepare for another disaster that is putting increasing demands on state and federal resources: climate change. With states and the federal government all having essential roles to fulfill in the response to national disasters, an effective federal-state partnership should be at the heart of a nationwide climate strategy.

Climate Change Is Here, but Who Is Paying for It?

State and local governments have advanced their own initiatives on climate change when faced with a failure of federal leadership. This analysis looks at the challenge of costs to states in mitigating and developing resiliency to climate change.

Initial Measures of the Economic Activity Linked to Bangladesh’s Ocean Space, and Implications for the Country’s Blue Economy Policy Objectives

The Government of Bangladesh resolved its maritime boundaries in 2014, resulting in jurisdiction over ocean space equivalent to 80 percent of the country’s terrestrial area. To encourage the development of this area and the resources it contains, the Government embraced the concept of a “blue economy” in its most recent development plan, as a broad label for all ocean-linked economic activities that are environmentally and socially sustainable.

COVID-19 Impacts on Water Utility Consumption and Revenues: Preliminary Results

Preliminary data from five water utilities of different sizes and different climates across the U.S. show variable impacts to consumption and billed revenue in response to the global pandemic. Some utilities saw a decline in primarily non-residential consumption of up to 19% and non-residential billed revenue of up to 8% in April, one full month into the pandemic, relative to April usage and revenue in the past three years. For some utilities, consumption and revenues remained similar to previous years.

Graphical Models and the Challenge of Evidence-Based Practice in Development and Sustainability

In development and sustainability, evidence spans disciplines and methodological traditions and is often inconclusive. Graphical models are widely promoted to organize interdisciplinary evidence and improve decision-making by considering mediating variables. However, the reproducibility, objectivity and benefits for decision-making of graphical models have not been studied. In this paper, the authors evaluate these considerations in the setting of energy services in the developing world, a contemporary development and sustainability imperative.

Rural Investment: Building a Natural Climate Solutions Policy Agenda that Works for Rural America and the Climate

This report outlines a menu of policy ideas capable of both garnering the necessary support from rural America and helping the U.S. reach its climate goals through natural climate solutions.

Testing Ecosystem Accounting in the United States: A Case Study for the Southeast

Ecosystem accounts, as formalized by the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Experimental Ecosystem Accounts (SEEA EEA), have been compiled in a number of countries, yet there have been few attempts to develop them for the U.S. We explore the potential for U.S. ecosystem accounting by compiling ecosystem extent, condition, and ecosystem services supply and use accounts for a 10-state region in the Southeast. The pilot accounts address air quality, water quality, biodiversity, carbon storage, recreation, and pollination for selected years from 2001 to 2015.

20 Years of Government Responses to the Global Plastic Pollution Problem

Plastic pollution in the ocean is a global problem that requires cooperation from a wide range of groups (e.g., governments, producers, consumers, researchers, civil society). This study aims to synthesize the policy response of governments to the global plastic pollution problem, as a basis for more rigorous monitoring of progress (as called for in Resolution 4/6 of the 2019 United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting) and to inform future public policies.