Climate News

High Costs Prevent Wide Adoption of Animal Waste-to-Energy Systems

As the search continues for more cost-effective energy sources that also are environmentally safe, companies are getting more creative. Many are looking toward utilizing things that were once relegated to the waste stream. One example of a system for harnessing energy from swine manure, which the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions partnered to launch, is featured by Waste360.

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Q&A with Linwood Pendleton: Co-Author of Study on Economic Impacts of Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is a global, long-term problem whose ultimate solution requires carbon dioxide reduction at a scope and scale that will take decades to accomplish successfully.

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Mussels, Clams Hit by Ocean Acidification: How Effects Could be Forestalled

There's a growing understanding of the factors that contribute to ocean acidification in coastal areas and how shellfish respond. The Christian Science Monitor reports on a new study, co-authored by a Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions researcher, which looks at the risks to shellfish and identifies areas where livelihoods are most at risk.

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The Pros and Cons of Taxing Climate Change

Faculty fellow Billy Pizer said University of Illinois economist Don Fullerton, Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, has influenced policy makers’ understanding of man-made climate change. Pizer introduced Fullerton's Duke University Sanford School talk on the pros and cons of a carbon tax.

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Renewable Energy Policies Drive Production of Southern Wood Pellets for Bioenergy

A U.S. Forest Service-led study finds that policies in the European Union (EU) and elsewhere requiring the use of renewable and low greenhouse gas-emitting energy are driving demand for wood pellets used to generate bioenergy. The potential consequences are new markets for U.S. timber exports, higher wood prices, and increases in forestland area. "Though a great deal of uncertainty remains in the direction and form of future domestic and international policy, we are able to help connect the dots on how directly influential EU Member State incentives can be in the economics of pellet production and recently observed patterns of trade,” said senior policy associate Christopher Galik, one of the study's coauthors.

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MEM or MBA? Nicholas Faculty Engage Prospective Students in Online Information Sessions

“The electricity sector is at the very beginning of a major transition. By about 2050, the entire infrastructure will be replaced,” says Jonas Monast. In the Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Program newsletter, the Climate and Energy Program director noted that the major factors leading to change in the electricity sector are being driven by economics and regulations, which are core components of the DEL Master of Environmental Management program.

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Examining the Economics of Climate Change

Climate change has no single, easy fix, Nicholas Institute faculty fellow Billy Pizer told Duke Today. “To solve climate change, we have to fundamentally change the way we use energy,” Pizer said. “That won’t happen without incentives to develop new, cleaner forms of energy. It’s much more complicated than just filtering water and getting smoke out of smokestacks.”

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Former Obama Advisers Seek to Open and Globalize the Measures for the Social Costs of Carbon

ClimateWire reports that several former advisers to the Obama administration, including Nicholas Institute faculty fellow William Pizer, are recommending that the government change the way it establishes the social cost of carbon (SCC). The article references a Science article of which Pizer was lead author. Pizer and his coauthors recommend that the process of determining the SCC should undergo a public comment period and a review by the National Academy of Sciences.

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Using and Improving the Social Cost of Carbon

In an article in Science, faculty fellow William Pizer and Environmental Economics Program director Brian Murray, along with other researchers, argue that the United States should adopt a standardized process to regularly evaluate the social cost of carbon (SCC), an estimate of the per-metric-ton dollar value of reducing climate change damages—a metric used in regulatory analysis. They say that a regularly monitored process for gauging the SCC is critical not only for domestic policy making but also for international climate negotiations.

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Calculating the Climate Damage Caused by Carbon Emissions

In the latest issue of the journal Science, a group of economists, including faculty fellow Billy Pizer, and lawyers argue for several improvements in the U.S. government's social cost of carbon figure--namely, establishment of a regular, transparent, and peer-reviewed process to ensure the figure is reliable and well-supported by the latest facts.

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