Environment News

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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New Study Incorporates Social Cost of Carbon

Designntrend.com quoted faculty fellow Billy Pizer on the need for a credible, regularly updated social cost of carbon estimate: "To ensure that value exists, it's important that we draw on the expertise of all government agencies, as well as independent experts in the field. This level of high-quality collaboration and peer review would decrease the likelihood of political factors interfering with the process, and ensure we have the most robust social cost of carbon."

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U.S. Agriculture, Forestry Sectors Could Make Substantial Cuts in Greenhouse Gases--Report

Brian Murray, director for economic analysis at the Nicholas Institute, told ClimateWire that, globally, the total amount of methane and nitrous oxide released by agriculture could be reduced by requiring a greater number of nations to mitigate their emissions. Murray noted that deforestation emissions are driven by clearing land for agricultural use. "It's hard to solve deforestation without solving agriculture," he said.

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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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Former CEO of Nation's Largest Utility Makes Like a Professor

Nicholas Institute Advisory Board member Jim Rogers, who retired as Duke Energy's CEO in 2013 and is spending the year at Duke as a visiting fellow, talks about a graduate-level class on renewable energy sources for the developing world that he’s co-teaching with Nicholas Institute Director Tim Profeta. He’s also writing a book on the subject.

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Saying "I do" to a Bigger Income

The World Bank announced that it is moving away from funding coal projects, although it says it will make exceptions in the poorest places. Billy Pizer, faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute, comments in an American Public Media Marketplace podcast.

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Faculty, Students Talk Merits of Fossil Fuel Divestment

Divest Duke and the Environmental Alliance convened a panel to discuss divestment and what it means to Duke University. The panel was comprised of graduate students and professors, including Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute, and Billy Pizer, faculty fellow of the Nicholas Institute and professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy. Their views were quoted in Duke’s daily newspaper, The Chronicle.

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NC Commission Makes Final Recommendations for Fracking Rules

About a dozen lobbyists, environmental activists and other interested people watched Friday as the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission finalized its suggested rules and regulations for the oil and gas industry. Amy Pickle, director of the State Policy Program, comments.

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How Will Obama’s $3B Pledge Play in GOP Congress? ($)

President Obama will follow his promise of sweeping U.S. cuts in greenhouse gas emissions this weekend with a pledge of $3 billion to help poor countries afflicted by miseries linked to global warming, the White House confirmed today. Billy Pizer, faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute, comments in Greenwire.

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China Emissions Deal Doesn't Change Much — Yet — for Coal Industry

The proposal calls for China’s emissions to peak by 2030 and for non-fossil energy usage there to rise to 20 percent by then. The U.S. pledged to reduce carbon emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 — not far off the 30 percent reduction EPA’s rule calls for by 2030. The U.S.’s pledges appear to be made based on a calculation of what Obama and future presidents, using executive authority, can do without Congress, Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

 

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