WEF Davos 2015 Hub Culture Interview Mark Tercek of The Nature Conservancy

Everyone is for lofty goals but this year participants in the World Economic Forum at Davos are diving deeper to tackle problems and take tangible steps, said Advisory Board member and TNC president and CEO Mark Tercek in a Hub Culture video interview. One example: commitments from consumer-facing companies, big agriculture companies, NGOs, multiliateral organizations, and community reps to reduce deforestation in Indonesia due to expansion of palm oil production.

Read Full Story

Virdin Appointed Nicholas Institute Ocean and Coastal Policy Program Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 22, 2015

CONTACT: Melissa Edeburn
(919) 684-1133

DURHAM, N.C.—John Virdin has been appointed director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Read Full Story

Bloomberg Launches $48M Clean Energy Fund

Nicholas Institute Advisory Board member and former Duke Energy chairman and CEO Jim Rogers on the Bloomberg Philanthropies and Heising-Simons family’s $48 million grant aimed at accelerating the nation’s clean power transition: "The power sector is in an exciting period of transformation as we build out the 21st century energy grid—a time of opportunity as states and utilities write the roadmap for a smarter power system that cuts carbon pollution while providing affordable and reliable energy.

Read Full Story

State Fortunate to Have Pair of Senators Who Lead

"The partisan gridlock that’s preventing Washington from solving the nation’s toughest problems is not a law of nature," said Advisory Board Mark Tercek and his coauthors in a commentary for The Telegraph. "It’s the individual choice of our elected officials. All it will take to make progress on big issues is for leaders of courage and conscience to put aside politics as usual and work to find solutions."

Read Full Story

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.

Read Full Story

The Dangerous Underestimation of Climate Change's Cost

Is the social cost of carbon six times higher than the U.S. government figure, as a Stanford study contends? Faculty fellow William Pizer says the Stanford figure is most likely an overestimate.

Read Full Story

Researchers Say the Social Cost of Carbon Will Be 6 Times the Obama Administration's Estimate

In responding to a Stanford study suggesting that the social cost of carbon should be much higher that the estimate currently used by the U.S. government, faculty fellow William Pizer said, “To me, it [the Stanford figure of $220 per ton of CO2] just seems like it has to be an overestimate.”

Read Full Story

Carbon Pollution Costs More Than U.S. Government Estimates

Faculty fellow William Pizer questioned the methodology of a Stanford analysis that put the social cost of carbon at $220 per ton. He pointed out that the analysis relied on the impact on national economies of short-term temperature spikes rather than on long-term trends that might reveal permanent economic reductions. “I just think this is another data point that someone needs to weigh as they're trying to figure out what the right social cost of carbon is. But this isn't like a definitive new answer.”

Read Full Story

What Might Be Missing from My Plate? Water

Advisory Board member Kelly Brownell of Duke University was one of the signatories of a letter to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee asking for the addition of the water symbol to MyPlate--the image of a plate divided into portions that replaced the food pyramid in 2011--as well as for stronger language on water as a substitute for soda and other sugary beverages.

Read Full Story

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.”

Read Full Story