The record-breaking participation to the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement held in New York on April, 22nd 2016, marks a first important step towards its entry into force. Yet, challenges remain for turning commitments into action. This article explores key limitations that Parties will need to address in the upcoming years.
The COP21 meeting in Paris concluded on a positive note, but the agreed to measures remain based on non-binding commitments. Here, Raymond Saner suggests that the treaty power of the WTO could be used to generate the green investments and production needed to successfully implement climate change mitigation and adaptation at global level.
Based on an amusing “The Low Carbon Grandma” case study (a grandma who heats her home only sparingly and uses a bike to move around, but flies back and forth from the US four times in a year to visit her grandchildren), senior researcher Valentina Bosetti explains why “Life is a Balancing Act”.
What are the main features of the new global climate agreement adopted in Paris at COP21? This Re3 article examines the new climate deal, hailed as a turning point in climate negotiations, paying particular attention to mitigation, cooperative approaches, adaptation and loss & damage, climate finance, compliance and review mechanisms.
In many water scarce regions, the damage incurred by droughts is inflating irrigation withdrawals and driving agriculture into competition with environmental uses. Crop insurance can take on the role of (unsustainable) water withdrawals to mitigate drought impact. Re3 publishes a video on the role of insurance in drought prone areas.
The Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis, "Laudato si'", addresses for the first time in the Church's history the subject of the protection of the environment. In this article Andrea Tilche, scientist and science manager, and Antonello Nociti, writer and philosopher, analyze and discuss this complex document.
Re3 is pleased to publish the video of the side event "Transparency, Policy Surveillance and Levels of Effort” held at the COP21 venue in Paris. The event was co-organized by FEEM, the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth and Resources for the Future.
Re3 is pleased to publish the video of the side event "Multi-level Climate Governance: an integrated Analysis of National, Regional and Local Policies” held at the COP21 venue in Paris along with a few comments on the debate. The event was co-organized by FEEM, IEFE and University of Edinburgh.
The Italian Scientific Community calls policy makers, international and national institutions, financial sectors, private sector, the public opinion to take action on climate change. Re3 is pleased to publish the Scientific Statement on Climate Change signed by 12 Scientific Societies and Associations presented at the Rome2015 – Science Symposium On Climate.
Voluntary CO2 emission cuts announced so far by States are not enough to stay on target and avoid trespassing the 2° threshold. Better land management and degraded lands recovery could contribute one fourth of the gap, in a cost effective way and with extremely consistent mitigation and adaptation co-benefits.
This year, for the first time ever, nearly all of the world’s countries are making pledges to help limit future climate change. The new CEPR_FERDI eBook "Towards a Workable and Effective Climate Regime" looks into what needs to be done to build a climate regime that is both workable and effective.
What can we do to change our impact on our planet? In this video lesson Massimo Tavoni, Deputy Coordinator of the Climate Change and Sustainable Research Programme, shows us some simple steps we can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the risks associated with climate change.
This article draws from “Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in Italy”, the Italian Country Report published within the “Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP)”, an initiative of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations. The report contributes to the national debate on climate change mitigation and decarbonization.
How to close the gap between science and policy? Why does science need to communicate better? André Jol, EEA Head of the Climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation group, and Connie Hedegaard, former European commissioner for climate action, share their views on these two important issues in exclusive interviews to Re3.
In a short video, Prof. Francesco Bosello explains the motivation of the paper "Catastrophic Risk, Precautionary Abatement, and Adaptation Transfers", which contributes to the normative literature on mitigation and adaptation by framing the question of their optimal policy balance in the context of catastrophic climate risk.
While Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) mitigation provides important climate and societal benefits in the near-term, its implications for achieving the 2°C target have been studied to a lesser extent. This article reviews some recent literature on the topic with the aim of complementing and directing policy debate with the latest scientific evidence.
The Water-Energy-Food Nexus addresses the interrelated nature of global natural resource systems. This article aims to better understand interactions between natural environment and human activities, and to suggest a more coordinated management and use of natural resources facing climate change and population growth challenges, along with solutions and best practices.
This article examines key features and compliance of China’s pilot carbon trading schemes and lessons learned. Insights are offered into the design, implementation and compliance of China’s carbon trading pilots along with potential pathways to help them work reliably and effectively, smoothing the transition toward a national carbon trading scheme.
The assessment of potential economic damage caused by floods is commonly done via methodologies based on Stage-Damage Curves (SDC), which provide a relation between the depth of water and the economic damage on a specific land use. Here a refined SDC model is tested against empirical data from a flood event in Northern Italy.
Italy is prone to natural hazards and disaster risk due to its natural conformation. Limited risk prevention and uncontrolled urban expansion contribute to amplifying such risks. Recent FEEM & CMCC research has empirically tested for the first time in Italy, the potential impacts of climate change on the regional economy.
Preventing climate change is one of the priorities of the European Union. Europe is working hard to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and to help fight climate change. Re3 is pleased to announce the release of an animated short film by the EU-funded ENTRACTE project to help raise awareness on this topic.
Re3 is pleased to publish the full text of the Final Declaration of Religious Leaders, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Scientists and Development Practitioners who participated in the workshop entitled "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity" hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Roman Catholic Church on April 28, 2015.
The development of unconventional gas extraction has led to significant declines in gas prices, recently followed by a large drop of oil prices. This is also the year which is supposed to deliver the long awaited post 2020 climate agreement. This article brings different pieces of research together, delving on both issues.
Stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to safe levels will require, at least in the longer run, some kind of technological revolution. This new volume “Innovation under Uncertainty”, edited by FEEM researchers Valentina Bosetti and Michela Catenacci, presents original research and insights on the uncertain future of carbon-free energy technologies.
Given that climate change is and will continue to impact regions in different ways, migration from the areas most exposed to climate change needs to be considered. Fostering a better understanding of climate-related migration will also be a fundamental step in securing the future stability of our planet and action on poverty reduction.
From March 14 to 18, representatives of 187 state governments and around 6,500 delegates from inter- and non-government organizations, UN entities, academic and private sector institutions gathered to debate a new international agreement on disaster risk reduction, one that would replace the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015.
This article addresses one of the main threats for the marine ecosystem: Ocean Acidification. Caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, it affects the whole marine ecosystem. To cope with it and lower its negative socio-economic effects, it is necessary to adopt a comprehensive adaptation strategy to enforce resilience and reduce local stressors.
On February 18-20, 2015, twenty-four experts gathered in Berlin to explore approaches to improving the process by which research on climate change is assessed. Re3 publishes the memo that Carlo Carraro (FEEM), Charles Kolstad (Stanford University), and Robert Stavins (Harvard Kennedy School), have prepared drawing from the workshop.
Complex environmental problems such as climate change require both an understanding of the environmental drivers and knowledge of the feedbacks between resource dynamics and human activity. The socio-economic dynamics, in turn, call for an investigation of the behavioral drivers. A multidisciplinary approach, while not sufficient, is necessary to address complexity.
Climate change negotiations in the framework of the UNFCCC are expected to lead to the adoption of an international agreement at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties in Paris at the end of 2015. In this short video, environmental law expert Francesca Romanin Jacur looks into this complex process.
Re3 publishes the insight by Carlo Carraro, Suneel Pandey and Steven Stone drawn from the Green Growth Knowledge Platform blog, on the use of fiscal policy to achieve economic, social and environmental goals - highlighting examples in the energy, water and transport sectors and outlining the challenges.
In this brief interview granted to Re3, Guido Santini from FAO illustrates the main spheres of actions of its Land&Water division, and in particular the effective investment planning tool developed to support countries struggling with water scarcity, most notably in Sub Saharan Africa.
What are the effects of environmental regulation on the production decisions and profits of polluting and green firms? This article summarizes the findings of two papers and highlights the role that firm heterogeneity plays in determining firm preferences towards environmental regulation.
In this short interview, Thomas Stocker, IPCC WGI co-chair, discusses basic but important aspects of the physics of climate, which are often misunderstood by the public at large, focusing in particular on the 2°C target for global temperature rise.
A man-induced unbalance in nature could trigger an unbalance in human society that will re-impact nature and paralyze human response, initiating a potentially global, catastrophic cycle. What risks might we have to face? This article discusses the conception of a standard analysis approach to harness the complexity of global warming.
This article by FEEM researchers Francesco Bosello and Ramiro Parrado addresses one specific criticism that can be raised against economic climate change impact assessments conducted with Computable General Equilibrium models: that of overly optimistic assumptions about markets’ ability to react to climate change induced shocks, i.e. market-driven adaptation.
The “Green Paradox” theory subverts the traditional theoretical foundation of environmental policies. The question is whether the green paradox holds and how large the impact is, which has provoked debate among economists. Based on theoretical and empirical results this article tries to provide an unbiased evaluation of the theory.
Current climate change policy focused on resilience, while effective, can acquire more depth with a health focus. How though, is the question? The social determinants of health can act as a guide for resilience-focused policy. The article reports the findings of a content analysis and a survey of 51 cities.
Focusing on water security and its link with sustainable development, the article identifies key drivers and stressors to both natural freshwater availability and national demand in the Windward Caribbean island states, evaluating how climate change and development may affect them.
How can we achieve international cooperation for enforceable treaties? How should such treaties be structured? How effective would polycentric approaches be in reaching solutions? These are among the topics discussed during the workshop on Climate Change and Public Goods on June 9-10 by Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Astrid Dannenberg, Partha Dasgupta, Ottmar Edenhoffer, Michael Finus, Philipp M. Hannam, Bard Harstad, Michael Hoel, Simon Levin , and Alessandro Tavoni. Here is a brief recap of the main lessons learned.
The Bali agreement last December has given new hopes that the WTO is not dead. But does the announcement that negotiations on the reductions of tariffs on environmental goods are to resume really give hope? This note argues that unless the field of negotiations is widened, the initiative will not help much.
In this new video, Italian Lead Authors Carlo Carraro, Alessandro Lanza and Massimo Tavoni summarise the main issues tackled by the third volume of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, dedicated to the mitigation of climate change.
Estimates of future damages from climate change in coastal areas are of growing interest for climate change research and policy-making. The article describes a newly-developed methodology applied to estimate total insured coastal damages with climate change for the period 2025-2085 in New York State, USA.
Italian authors of the IPCC Report Francesco Bosello, Sergio Castellari and Riccardo Valentini explain the main issues tackled by the second volume of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, dedicated to climate change impacts. The video is introduced by Jonathan Lynn Head of Communications and Media Relations at IPCC.
Under scenarios of increasing urban expansion, environmental degradation and hazard exposure, the vulnerability of urban populations needs to be tackled through novel, integrated solutions. The article suggests that urban areas would benefit from a shift in perspective recognizing the connections between urban areas and watersheds.
Interviewed by Re3, Professor Robert O. Mendelsohn, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, discusses the effects of climate change on sectors such as Agriculture, Heating & Cooling, Sea Level Rise and the Water Cycle.
What is the state of the art of environmental indicators? What are the drawbacks of past approaches, the strengths of new methodologies and challenges ahead? This article is an overview of the final conference of the Environmental Indicators Workshop (December 2013) within the EU-FP7 project e-Frame, European Framework for Measuring Progress.
Users, stakeholders and decision makers need to reconsider their strategies, roles and perceptions in meeting the challenges confronted by diverse marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs. Moreover, what is urgently needed in benefit estimation of coral reef services is the interconnectedness of this ecosystem state to human welfare.
The last COP19/CMP9 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Warsaw, Poland on 11-22 November 2013. Re3 publishes a 4-minute interview with key experts to understand the goals and main results of the meeting.
Capital-based policies are more politically acceptable than a carbon price as they do not create immediate losers. However, they reduce emissions slower and need to be implemented sooner. Delaying their implementation may create a political-economy lock-in (easier-to-implement policies become unavailable) and an economic lock-in (the target becomes more expensive).
The "Methodologies and Indicators for Green Growth measurement" conference of November 12, 2013 assessed the state of the art in quantitative measurement of sustainability, and presented the updated findings of the FEEM SI Index 2013. Re3 hosts the interviews with the keynote speakers, their presentations and the video of the event.
After the Rio+20 UN Conference in 2012, the debate on sustainable development has focused on monitoring the progress in wellbeing, paving the way for the transition from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. Re3 hosts the most updated findings of FEEM’s Sustainability Index disclosed officially on November 12 2013.
One year after Sandy hit New York, Anthony Bigio, George Washington University and IPCC Lead Author Working Group III, focuses on the key concepts of urban risks, climate change and resilience. Re3 publishes a synthesis of his keynote address delivered at the 2013 FEEM and CMCC convention.
What is the role of non-CO2 emissions in climate change mitigation efforts? This article aims at a quantitative assessment of the extension of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) to allow for the exchange of permits for non-CO2 greenhouse gases emissions and at evaluating its impact on policy costs and the composition of output.
How are different consumption activities structured within the Czech society, and what effects do they have on the environment? This new volume by Milan Scasny, Jan Urban and Iva Zverinova proposes examples of policy measures and tools aimed at reducing the adverse environmental effects of residential consumption behaviours.
The publication of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change marks a key event in the international debate on climate change. The Summary for Policymakers in the first part of the Report (Working Group I contribution), focused on the physical science basis of climate change, has been released today, Sept. 27 2013.
The article describes a method for projecting coastal zone flood damage with climate change. The method links current flood damage estimates from climate impacts with changes in parameters from climate scenarios to produce estimates of future damages from climate change.
Every year natural disasters affect the lives of people in both rich and poor countries. This article investigates the link between development, economic growth, and the economic losses from natural hazards, underlining the need for crisis management and post-disaster support schemes, especially at an international level, to increase resilience.
Given the stalemate of international climate change negotiations, a partial agreement, with only a subset of countries ratifying a treaty, is evaluated. The results indicate that a partial agreement with open membership is able to engage the major developing economies in mitigation actions and to relieve welfare losses of the signatory regions.
As the human population grows, natural habitats are exposed to conversion. While clearing land to develop it may lead to the reduction of environmental services, conserving it has an opportunity cost in terms of foregone profits from economic activities. This article investigates land conversion by studying conversion dynamics under different policy scenarios.
Can drought-induced threats be turned into adaptation opportunities? This article analyses the unexpected vulnerabilities revealed by a long-lasting period of drought events across the Po river basin district in Italy from 2003 to 2012, and proposes four policy options to reduce the water scarcity and drought risk at river district basin level.
Philosophical literature on climate change explains how to redress climate injustice between generations, but it says little on why we should do so. In this article Furio Cerutti, political philosopher and professor emeritus at the University of Florence, analyses what motivations human beings and state institutions may have for worrying about climate change.
Human-induced temperature increase is amplified in the Arctic, as well as its effects on the ice cover. With the aid of an Arctic "death spiral”, Prof. Peter Wadhams, oceanographer and glaciologist at Cambridge University, discusses scientific evidence and his personal experience of changes in the Arctic in the last decades.
Climate geoengineering, i.e. the deliberate reduction of incoming solar radiation, is receiving increased interest as an alternative or complementary climate strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But can it justify a delay in the abatement effort from an economic point of view, even under optimistic assumptions?
Climate change is still not widely recognized as a burning issue. Despite illusions, climate skepticism is not dead yet but only evolving, shaped in different forms, each with different underlying reasons and meanings. Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III, identifies five types of climate skepticisms and one possible pathway to tackle them.
The first conference of the newly-born Italian Association of Environment and Resource Economists (IAERE) took place in Ferrara last February 8-9, 2013. Professor Marzio Galeotti, Chairman of the Association, describes its main goals and gives a brief overview of the event.
Greenhouse gas emissions and their implications for future climate conditions will be shaped by mitigation decisions based on climate projections involving uncertainty. This article investigates the optimal timing of climate policy adoption by focusing on ambiguity in climate damage cost assessments and on the limited time to achieve climate policy targets.
This article investigates the signaling role of environmental policy in promoting, or hindering, the ability of a monopolist to practice entry deterrence, showing that environmental policy can facilitate the incumbent firm’s concealment of information from potential entrants.
This article by FEEM researchers Fabio Eboli and Marinella Davide assesses the European Union's positive performance in achieving its own Kyoto Protocol target, unlike the other Annex I countries. The analysis highlights a quite heterogeneous situation across Member States. Nevertheless, the last COP shows that EU is willing to lead future climate change strategy.
After thirteen days of negotiations at the 18th UNFCCC Conference in Doha, Qatar, from November 26 to December 8, 2012, the parties managed to agree on a set of decisions to move the process forward and to save the Kyoto Protocol, at least in principle.
A focus on mobility, the kilometres travelled using light duty vehicles, and climate policy is motivated by the persistence of strong demand for personal mobility. This article discusses recent research conducted at FEEM on the future of private vehicle travel and the achievement of different climate policy targets, with a particular focus on non-OECD regions.
Interviewed by Re3, EAERE president Karine Nyborg discusses the evolution of the Association since the start of its activities in 1990. A set of video interviews to EAERE 2012 conference keynote speakers and videos of the policy sessions complete the sketch.
This article investigates global biodiversity regulation as a bargaining game, where biodiversity rich countries (the “BD states") and research& development rich countries (the “R&D states”) must find a way to cooperate that is perceived as fair and reasonable by both parties.
In this brief interview with FEEM, Bruno Latour explains why, in his opinion, international negotiations for environmental protection (e.g. Rio+20, UNFCC COPs, etc..) continue to fail. This has to do with an issue of proper representation of different interests, of scale, and because of the substantial separation between science and policy.
Vulnerability to climate change is an increasingly relevant issue for urban policy makers. Comparing the experiences of several cities, this article examines the levels of administrative adaptation planning, tools and information used in making policy choices, adaptation measures, and the roles of governance and finance in urban adaptation to climate change.
In the aftermath of Rio+20, failures and successes can be assessed: if the reform of UNEP, the battle against environmentally harmful subsidies and the acknowledgement of Green Growth as a pillar of Sustainable Development fall below expectations, the voluntary pledges made in Rio and the post-2015 process for Sustainable Development Goals leave a glimmer of hope.
In these interviews on the key topics under discussion at Rio+20, Derek Eaton, co-author of UNEP's Green Economy Report, presents an overview of the Green Economy principles, whilst Professor Ottmar Edenhoffer, co-chair of IPCC WGIII, warns that any step towards sustainability must consider putting a price on carbon.
Climate change costs and benefits for regional ecosystems are difficult to quantify. Using New York State as a case study, this article identifies which components of the ecosystems could face the greatest costs due to climate change, and suggests the areas that require more detailed investigation of impacts and adaptation options.
What happens when resource owners decide to extract their resources faster in order to protect themselves from future stricter climate policies? In this article Ines Österle reviews a selection of contributions to the Green Paradox literature and discusses the relevance of the theory for real world climate policies.
Standard public good games are concerned with the creation of a collective gain. Climate change, however, is about avoiding an uncertain public bad. This has been framed as a “collective-risk social dilemma” of sequential contributions to a public climate fund aimed at avoiding a probabilistic loss arising if the target is missed.
On the way to Rio + 20, international climate expert Robert N. Stavins briefly reviews some key points from twenty years of history of international climate negotiations, from the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to the Durban Climate Conference in 2011, to explain how the “Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” has opened an important window in climate talks.
China’s impressive economic growth, fuelled by its rapid industrial expansion in recent years, has caused a growing appetite for natural resources and energy. High energy intensity of output, coupled with an even higher carbon intensity of energy, have given China a crucial role in determining the world’s future climate.
If emissions continue to grow as they have over the last century, the consequences on the ecologic and human systems could be daunting. The key challenge of policy makers is the choice of economically efficient regulations based on analyses that allow reliable and robust comparisons of the costs and benefits of a given policy.
Many studies in psychology suggest that lay people perceive climate change as a moderate risk. While the climate changes were described as an abstract phenomenon in previous investigations, here climate change is described as the source of a concrete environmental risk, showing that people’s perception increases when the risks adversely affect their own lives.
Foreign direct investment may play a key role in the global effort to shift towards a low-carbon economy. Multinational enterprises can contribute in several important ways to climate change mitigation, by providing emission-saving technologies, financial resources and managerial skills to resource-constrained economies, but they need regulatory certainty.
Negotiations on renewed commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have drawn unprecedented attention to the role of avoided deforestation and sustainable forest in mitigating climate change. The goal of the book is to shed light on some of the major concerns and challenges related to this issue.
IEW N. 2013.01
Water and Sewerage Industries
European Monetary Union
EU Energy Policy
Foreign Direct Investment