ALL BLOGS

"Using a Pre-Analysis Plan to Enhance Credibility of Research Findings: The Case of Deforestation and Malaria" November 2019 (with Sebastian Bauhoff)

"When Odysseus of Greek legend had to navigate his ship past the deadly Sirens, whose alluring songs tempted sailors to deviate off course and crash on rocks, he instructed his crew to lash him to the ship’s mast, stuff their ears with wax, and not veer an inch from their charted course. Similarly, when we started research on a controversial topic, and we wanted our findings to be as credible as possible, we employed a pre-analysis plan. "

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"Does Deforestation Increase Malaria Rates? Not in Africa, Surprisingly" November 2019 (with Sebastian Bauhoff)

"Deforestation isn’t associated with higher malaria prevalence in children in 17 African countries. Nor is it associated with higher fever in children in 41 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. That’s the surprising conclusion of our recently published paper in World Development."

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"California Just Approved the Tropical Forest Standard—What Happens Next?" October 2019 (with Dan Nepstad)

"The California Tropical Forest Standard has the potential to channel hundreds of millions of dollars toward protecting forests, supporting sustainable development and preventing climate change."

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"Keep planting money plants" Economic Times (India), September 2019 (op-ed with Avani Kapur and Anit Mukherjee)

"If — and this is a big if — Indian states expect that contemporary forest cover will remain part of the tax sharing formula for many years to come, they will have a financial motivation to plant and protect forests, not just an environmental one"

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"How California can fight climate change by helping to save tropical forests" CalMatters, August 2019 (op-ed)

Californians can act decisively to prevent the worst impacts of climate change by embracing one of the biggest—and most overlooked—solutions: protecting tropical forests.

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"Ten Ways for the Next American President to Lead on Climate and Forests"​ Earth Innovation Institute, July 2019 (with Dan Nepstad)

The president that American voters elect in 2020 must rise to the challenge of climate change. Here are 10 ways the next president can lead on climate change and tropical forests. 

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"Reforestation can help reverse the climate and extinction crises. It’s cost-effective too."​ Earth Innovation Institute, May 2019

Tropical reforestation can remove as much or more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a lower cost than many other “negative emissions technologies” (NETs) that might become available in the future. 

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"Stable Forests are an Under-Recognized Solution to Climate Change"​ Earth Innovation Institute, May 2019

As it turns out, even “stable forests” are an important and under-recognized solution to climate change, as explained in a new paper in Climate Policy.

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"California Should Package Deforestation-Free Procurement Act (AB-572) with Tropical Forest Standard"​ Earth Innovation Institute, March 2019

If California packages deforestation-free procurement with endorsement of the Standard, it would not be viewed as turning its back on international collaboration, but as adding a second tier to its leadership on tropical forests and climate change.

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“What to Hope for Every Month of 2019 for Tropical Forests and Climate Change" Earth Innovation Institute, January 2019

There is a lot to hope for in 2019 related to tropical forests as a solution to climate change. Here’s a month-by-month roundup...

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“California’s Opportunity to Set the Standard for Tropical Forest Credits" Earth Innovation Institute, October 2018  

An exciting milestone in the effort to slow and eventually reverse tropical deforestation may happen in two weeks when the California Air Resources Board decides whether to endorse a California Tropical Forest Standard. Approving the Standard would bring California one step closer to launching the first regulatory market for compensating a portion of the carbon emission reductions that tropical forest states and provinces achieve by slowing deforestation...

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“Five Questions for Earth Innovation Institute’s New Chief Economist" Earth Innovation Institute, October 2018  

What’s your reaction to the recent IPCC report?

What type of policies would transform land use from losing forests to growing back forests?

You’re an economist; what role do finance and incentives play in protecting and restoring forests?

How can state and local governments fight climate change?

Tell us about a favorite research paper of yours...

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“California's big climate change opportunity: tropical forests" Mongabay, August 2018  (op-ed with Daniel Nepstad and Chris Field)

Governor Brown has the opportunity to unleash one of the world’s most cost-effective climate solutions using the global influence of California’s climate policies, increasing the impact of the Action Summit in the process...

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“Does Deforestation Increase Malaria Rates? Not in Africa, We're Surprised to Find” Center for Global Development, March 2018  (with Sebastian Bauhoff)

Deforestation isn’t associated with higher malaria prevalence in children in 17 African countries. Nor is it associated with higher fever in children in 41 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. That’s the surprising conclusion of our new CGD working paper...

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“Why Forests? Why Now? New Developments for the New Year ” Center for Global Development, January 2018  (with Frances Seymour)

Just over a year ago, we released our book Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy. Following a second print run, a limited number of hard copies are still available from Brookings Institution Press and on Amazon. But to ensure the widest possible distribution, we are now delighted to make the full book available online for free...

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“India's New Domestic Finance Instrument for Forests and Climate” UN-REDD Newsletter, January 2018  

From the blog: Every year the central government of India distributes tens of billions of dollars in tax revenue to states, based on a formula that includes states’ population, area, poverty, and other factors. In February, 2014, India’s 14th Finance Commission added forest cover to the formula, creating a sizable new fiscal incentive for state governments to protect and restore forests. Since forests are a safe, natural carbon capture and storage system, the reform is a big and innovative climate move as well...

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“The American Museum of Natural History Should Remove Misinformation on Climate Change from its Fossil Exhibit” jonahbusch.com, January 2018  

From the blog: Claims that "there is no reason to believe that another Ice Age won't come" and that human-made pollutants "may" affect Earth's climate are outdated at best and deceptive at worst. After 25 years it's time for them to go...

(UPDATE, April 2018: The American Museum of Natural History has replaced the misleading panel)

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“Is Indonesia’s fight against forest fires falling short?” East Asia Forum, November 2017 (with Armida Alisjahbana)

From the blog: Forest fires sweeping across Sumatra and Kalimantan in recent months prompted six Indonesian provinces to declare a state of emergency. Yet the scale of resources devoted to fighting and preventing fires remains far short of what is needed to turn around Indonesia’s rising rates of deforestation and meet Indonesia’s ambitious climate pledge...

Read more at East Asia Forum

“Forests deserve more respect when it comes to climate action” World Resources Institute, November 2017 (with Frances Seymour)

From the blog: Like the deadpan comic Rodney Dangerfield, forests "don't get no respect" when it comes to their potential as a solution to climate change...

Read more at World Resources Institute

“Forests and SDGs: Taking a Second Look” World Resources Institute, September 2017 (with Frances Seymour)

From the blog: This week’s United Nations General Assembly in New York City gives denizens of “Development World” the chance to update their mental maps of how forests contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As argued in our book, Why Forests? Why Now?, there’s good reason to do so: forests are an overlooked and undervalued asset in the struggle to achieve these goals...

Read more at World Resources Institute

 

“The 10 sustainable development goals that rainforests can help us achieve” Center for Global Development, August 2017 

From the blog: Tropical forests help people live safer, healthier, and more productive lives in many ways, not least by reducing climate change. In fact, tropical forests contribute to achieving more than half of the 17 sustainable development goals agreed by world leaders in 2015...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“How Leaders Condemning Trump’s Paris Pullout Can Match Words with Deeds on Climate” Center for Global Development, June 2017

From the blog: Last Thursday President Trump announced he’d withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement—a shameful act of self-harm. Condemnation has been swift, widespread, and gratifying. But if dangerous climate change is to be prevented then dissenting statements must be backed up with strong climate policies. Fortunately some countries, states, cities, and businesses are already matching words with deeds on climate. Here’s a rundown...

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“Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement Would Be a Shameful Act of Self-Harm” Center for Global Development, May 2017

From the blog: A decision by President Trump to remove the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement would be a shameful act of self-harm. The decision would hurt everyone in the world, and poor people most, by making it harder to avoid a future of bigger storms and fires, disappearing coastlines, and tougher crop-growing conditions. But the most severe and immediate harm would be to the United States, which by banishing itself from the community of nations trying to prevent dangerous climate change would irrevocably damage its global standing...

Read more at Center for Global Development

 

“Which Sustainable Development Goals are Most Crucial?” Latin America Advisor, Inter-American Dialogue, May 2017 (with Nancy Birdsall)

From the blog: Latin America has already shown notable leadership on Sustainable Development Goals related to climate and forests. For example, from 2004-2014 Brazil cut climate emissions more than any other country by reducing deforestation in the Amazon by 80 percent. It did so even while increasing beef and soy production during a period of robust economic growth, and it cost the Brazilian government just one-third as much as the Rio Olympics...

Read more at Latin America Advisor

 

 

 “As Green Climate Fund Considers Results-Based Payments for Forests, Two Lessons from Earlier Initiatives” Center for Global Development, April 2017

From the blog: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) could begin offering results-based payments for protecting and restoring tropical forests as early as July. That’s good news for the climate and for developing countries, where tropical deforestation can be nearly half of low-cost emission reductions...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Trump’s Retrogressive Executive Order on Climate Change: Development Perspective in 3 Charts” Center for Global Development, Mar. 2017

From the blog: On Tuesday the Trump Administration dropped a long-feared executive order on climate change. There’s no sugarcoating it—this order is an attempted assault by the administration on the climate we all depend on, the world’s poorest people most of all. Nevertheless, just how bad things get depends not just on vigorous opposition to these moves within the US, but more and more on other countries...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Five Ways to Share Climate’s Best Kept Secret This International Day of Forests” Center for Global Development, March 2017

From the blog: Protecting and restoring tropical forests represents one of the biggest, cheapest, and fastest ways to fight climate change, as Frances Seymour and I show in our book, Why Forests? Why Now? Yet climate conversations in rich countries remain heavily dominated by energy, while tropical forests often feel like climate’s best kept secret...

Read more at Center for Global Development

 

“Forests for Growth” Finance and Development Magazine, International Monetary Fund, February 2017 (with Frances Seymour)

From the blog: Tropical forests are places of wonder and beauty in the popular imagination, rich in cultural and biological diversity. Development planners view them more practically—as a source of timber revenue or a land bank for agricultural expansion. But evidence to support a third view is growing rapidly—tropical forests provide essential services that underpin both global climate stability and development goals...

Read more at International Monetary Fund

 

“Forest Monitoring and Climate Change: the Science, Economics and Politics” Global Forest Watch, February 2017

From the blog: Climate change disproportionately threatens the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. Tropical forests are critical to preventing climate change and supporting sustainable development. Results-based payments show promise as a way to protect tropical forests. And technological innovations in forest monitoring are helping advance not just the science of climate change, but also the economics and politics of fighting it...

Read more at Global Forest Watch

“If the Trump Administration Abandons Climate, Will China Take Global Leadership?” Center for Global Development, December 2016

From the blog: President-elect Donald Trump committed his first major personnel act on climate Wednesday, picking Scott Pruitt—Oklahoma Attorney General, climate change denier, and oil industry ally—to head the Environmental Protection Agency. If Pruitt is confirmed, he’ll be responsible for looking out for all Americans, not just for narrow oil interests. Maybe he’ll be persuaded to take a more forward-looking stance on climate by the Americans already grappling with sea level rise in Alaska, Florida, and Louisiana. But if that doesn’t concern him, perhaps the United States losing international goodwill and influence to an ascendant China will...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“China’s Eco-Compensation Programs for Improving Environmental Quality” Center for Global Development, December 2016

From the blog: For nearly two decades, China has been rolling out a collection of fiscal instruments for improving environmental quality. These programs, collectively termed “eco-compensation,” include not only payments for environmental services (PES), but also an array of taxes, fees, subsidies, funds, compensation payments, and interstate compacts.  Many of these programs are large and innovative... 

Read more at Center for Global Development

“What Does the Resurgence in Carbon Pricing Mean for Tropical Deforestation?” Center for Global Development, October 2016

From the blog: Carbon pricing policies are once again on the upswing, as evidenced by a flurry of news in the past two weeks. Canada’s federal government issued a carbon pricing plan that would see that all states implement either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs, starting in 2018. The Paris climate agreement will enter into force this November, with its promise of “internationally transferred mitigation outcomes.” And the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently inked an agreement through which airlines will purchase billions of tons of emission reduction credits...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Grading the Airlines’ Climate Agreement: Historic Steps, Missed Opportunities” Center for Global Development, October 2016

From the blog: In a historic climate agreement last Thursday, countries and airlines gathered at the triennial assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal committed to “carbon neutral growth” in international flights between more than 60 countries after 2021. This means that after airlines flying those international routes cut greenhouse gas emissions within their operations, they would need to offset any residual increase in their emissions by purchasing credits for emission reductions made in other sectors...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Airlines and Forests: A Match Made at Cruising Altitude” Center for Global Development, September 2016

From the blog: Coupling airlines and forests would be a match made at cruising altitude. Airlines will need lots of emission reductions to meet their goal of growing business without growing emissions. Meanwhile, tropical forest protection offers a big and affordable potential source of emission reductions, but requires large and reliable funding...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Affordable Climate Protection: Saving the Amazon Forest Cost Brazil Less Than Rio Olympics” Center for Global Development, August 2016

From the blog: From 2004-2013, Brazil reduced climate emissions by more than any other country on earth, thanks to its success cutting Amazon deforestation by 80 percent. Now, a new study in Ecological Economics finds that actions to protect the Amazon were affordable too, costing Brazilian governments at the federal, state, and local levels just $2.1 billion over nine years—one-third the estimated $6.2 billion price tag of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Uttar Pradesh Just Planted 49 Million Trees. Shouldn’t They Get More Than a Guinness Record?” Center for Global Development, July 2016

From the blog: Last week, 800,000 citizens of Uttar Pradesh—India’s most populous state—planted more than 49 million trees in 24 hours. This impressive feat shatters the previous record set in Pakistan (850,000 trees) and likely lands the volunteer tree-planters in the Guinness Book of World Records alongside the world’s oldest cat (Creme Puff, age 38) and the most surfers riding a single surfboard (66, last year in Huntington Beach, CA). But given the global climate benefits those trees will provide, shouldn't the tree-planters earn more than just recognition? Shouldn’t they earn some performance-based payments too?...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“As “Clean Coal” Falters, Remember Safe, Cheap, Carbon-Capture Already Exists” Center for Global Development, July 2016

From the blog: A showpiece “clean coal” project in Kemper Country, Mississippi is three years behind schedule, four billion dollars over budget, faces swirling allegations of contracting scandals and shoddy construction, and has yet to capture or store any carbon, as brought home on Tuesday by a 5000-word exposé in the New York Times. Whenever I read articles about Southern Company’s “clean coal” boondoggle (Grist and Politico published similar exposés in recent years), I remember that safe, cheap, natural carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS) is already available at large-scale—in the form of forests... 

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Snakes or Ladders at the Carbon Fund?” Center for Global Development, June 2016

From the blog: Next week in Paris, the Carbon Fund will decide whether to approve its first two results-based payment programs for conserving tropical forests. After eight years writing a charter, negotiating a rulebook, and vetting proposals, it’s long past time to finally do so...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“World Leaders Signed the Climate Agreement on Earth Day. How Will They Deliver?” Center for Global Development, April 2016

From the blog: This Earth Day, more than sixty heads of state gathered in New York to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change. The agreement declared in December the unanimous aim of 196 governments to work toward the near-elimination of greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of this century. The agreement sent a powerful signal that governments want a low-carbon future: energy without fossil fuels; agriculture without deforestation...

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“2015 Was a Turning Point Year for Climate Action” Center for Global Development, December 2015

From the blog: 2015 marked a historic turning point for action on climate change. Here are twelve stories from every month of 2015 that show how fast and how far the tide has turned on climate...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“The Paris Climate Agreement Feels Historic but Sustainable Development Goals Don’t. Why?” Center for Global Development, Dec. 2015 (with Charles Kenny)

From the blog: There were two major gatherings of global leaders this year – in New York for the UN General Assembly and in Paris for the climate talks.  But the climate change agreement feels truly historic in a way that the Sustainable Development Goals don’t (yet)... 

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“High Marks for the Paris Climate Agreement” Center for Global Development, December, 2015

From the blog: Late Saturday afternoon in Paris, the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, gaveled through a historic global climate agreement to the thunderous applause of diplomats representing almost 200 countries. A moment that so many people have worked so hard for, seemingly interminably, finally arrived...

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“Let Countries Trade Carbon” Center for Global Development, December, 2015

From the blog: Québec does it with California. Mexico wants to do it with California too, while California wants to do it with a Brazilian state. European countries have been doing it with each other for years, and China's started doing it with itself. And while some find it icky, the future of our species depends on it happening. It, of course, is carbon trading. 

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“Postcards from the Paris Climate Summit” Center for Global Development, December 2015

From the blog: I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport Monday morning jet lagged and optimistic. The lights on the RER train flashed the way to Le Bourget, the site of the climate summit...

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“At Paris Summit, Make Forests Part of the Climate Solution” Center for Global Development, November 2015

From the blog: In two weeks the world will meet in Paris for a long-awaited summit on climate change known as COP 21. In the face of despicable attacks last week, the climate conference is to be an expression of hope and solidarity...

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“California Looks to the Forests: My Remarks to the California Air Resources Board” Center for Global Development, October 2015

From the blog: California is looking to tropical forests to help slow climate change. After years of delays, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) appears to finally be moving ahead with plans to finance tropical forest protection through “sectoral offsets” to its cap-and-trade program, in which California companies could meet part of their climate obligations by buying offset credits from states in developing countries that reduce emissions from deforestation...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Eight Reasons for California to Lead on Climate and Forests” Center for Global Development, October 2015

From the blog: When it comes to fighting climate change, California is already a world leader on pricing carbon, transitioning to renewable energy, and decarbonizing the world’s eighth largest economy.  California now has yet another golden opportunity to lead on climate, by green-lighting finance to protect tropical forests... 

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“Seven Storylines in Last Week’s Climate Pledges” Center for Global Development, October 2015

From the blog: There’s a lot to like about the climate pledges that nearly 150 countries have now submitted to the United Nations in advance of the climate summit in Paris in December... 

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“Three Reasons the FAO’s New Forest Numbers Don’t Add Up” Center for Global Development, September 2015

From the blog: The FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) provides a useful compilation of official national statistics on forests. But when it comes to aggregating national data and drawing conclusions about global trends, the numbers reported by the FAO should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“The Last Guinea Worm: Carter, Kennedy, and a Victory for Person-to-Person Development” Center for Global Development, Sept. 2015

From the blog: When Jimmy Carter announced last month that he has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the 90-year-old former president stated that it is his dying wish to see the last guinea worm die before he does. He may well get his wish...

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“Tropical Forests Equal to the Size of India Will Be Lost by 2050, Unless We Act” Center for Global Development, August 2015

From the blog: An area of tropical forest the size of India will be deforested in the next 35 years, burning through more than one-sixth of the remaining carbon that can be emitted if global warming is to be kept below 2 degrees Celsius (the “planetary carbon budget”), but many of these emissions could be cheaply avoided by putting a price on carbon. These are the findings of my new CGD working paper with Jens Engelmann...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Climate Change and Development in Three Charts” Center for Global Development, August 2015

From the blog: The story of climate change and development can be told in three simple pie charts: Developing countries are hurt most by climate change (chart #1). Historically, developed countries were most responsible for climate change (chart #2).  But now, developing countries are most responsible for climate change (chart #3).  ­And that shift in who’s emitting may be what leads to a successful climate agreement this December in Paris...

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“North Pole Overflight: Five Snapshots from a Vanishing World” Center for Global Development, August 2015

From the blog: On a recent commercial flight from Washington to Beijing, the inflight map showed our plane flying over the giant white expanse of the North Pole. But I wanted a better view...

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“CGD’s Climate Work Wins Recognition” Center for Global Development, June 2015 (with Rajesh Mirchandani)

From the blog: We’re number 7! The International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG) has released its third annual ranking of climate think tanks, and CGD placed seventh out of 244 tanks ranked worldwide for 2014...  

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“Guess Who’s (Not) Coming to Dinner: Unrepresentative Statistics of White House State Dinners” Center for Global Development, June 2015 (with Sara del Fierro)

From the blog: With Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff visiting President Obama this week, it’s a natural time to ask, who gets invited to White House State Dinners and who gets left out in the cold?  It turns out that Europe and Latin America get wined and dined, while Sub-Saharan Africa has gotten snubbed.  So, for that matter, has Southeast Asia...

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“Pope Francis: Climate Change Hurts the Poor Most” Center for Global Development, June 2015

From the blog: Pope Francis has firmly pronounced that climate change is a threat to the world’s poor in a long-awaited encyclical released on Thursday...

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“The G-7 Commits to Decarbonization” Center for Global Development, June 2015

From the blog: The G-7 committed on Monday to “decarbonization of the global economy over the course of this century.” The goal of decarbonization — powering the economy without emitting greenhouse gases — has ascended with dizzying velocity from a plea by activists to acceptance at the highest levels of government. The G-7’s imprimatur increases the likelihood that decarbonization may be included in the global climate agreement this December in Paris...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Voluntary Climate Pledges Aren’t Effective, Efficient, or Equitable. Paris Can Succeed Anyway.” Center for Global Development, May 2015

From the blog: Country teams head to Bonn, Germany next week to start negotiating the terms of a Paris climate agreement.  Unless the agreement includes the three politically practical measures that I explain below, it is set up to fail...

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“Extending Indonesia’s Forest-Clearing Moratorium Helps the Climate. Expanding It Helps More.” Center for Global Development, May 2015

From the blog: Indonesia’s four-year-old moratorium on issuing new licenses to log and clear rainforest was extended for another two years on Wednesday by President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”). This is good news for millions of Indonesians who rely on forest goods and services, as well as for everyone worldwide who depends on a safe and stable climate.  The moratorium has likely lowered the country’s globally significant greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation by an estimated 1.0–2.5 percent over the last four years...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“7 Hopeful Climate Stories from around the Globe” Center for Global Development, April 2015

From the blog: Forty-five years after the first Earth Day in 1970, we’re still cranking up our planet’s thermostat by burning fossil fuels and clearing forests. Each passing week brings mounting evidence that the consequences of a hotter climate are awful for the rich (e.g., a record-breaking drought in California) and catastrophic for the poor (e.g., the tropical cyclone that leveled Vanuatu). But there’s a lot to celebrate this Earth Day as well...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“SDG Goal Thirteen on Climate: A Pound of Cure, Sure, But Where’s the Ounce of Prevention?” Center for Global Development, April 2015

From the blog: Expanding economic prosperity while avoiding dangerous climate change is perhaps the defining challenge of the 21st century.  So I’m glad to see that the draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a goal for climate.  But I’m puzzled by a pretty fundamental omission. While the draft SDGs list targets for adapting to climate change, and educating people about climate change, and even mobilizing serious money in response to climate change, there’s not actually a target for, ahem, preventing climate change...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Disruptive Data Disputes Documentation of Declining Deforestation” Center for Global Development, March 2015

From the blog: Two studies have come to sharply contradicting conclusions about recent trends in tropical deforestation.  One study, based on official national statistics, says that the rate of deforestation in the humid tropics  slowed by 25 percent between the 1990s and the 2000s. Another study, based on satellite data, says that forest loss in the humid tropics accelerated by 62 percent between the 1990s and the 2000s. Like Wild Western gunslingers at high noon, the town ain’t big enough for both conclusions... 

Read more at Center for Global Development

“India’s Big Climate Move” Center for Global Development, March 2015

From the blog: India just did something big for the climate: it announced that it will allocate $6 billion a year in tax revenue in a way that will encourage forest conservation. That’s more results-based finance for forest conservation than any other country in the world, including the current biggest spender Norway...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Is Indonesia’s Flagship Forest Policy Lowering Emissions by Enough to Meet Climate Targets?” Center for Global Development, Jan. 2015

From the blog: Indonesia’s flagship forest policy—a moratorium on new licenses to log or clear rainforests that started in 2011—has lowered the country’s greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation by an estimated 1.0–2.5 percent over four years. But unless the moratorium policy is significantly strengthened Indonesia is poised to fall far short of its national climate target of a 26–41 percent reduction in emissions by 2020. That’s because the new licenses that were the focus of the moratorium policy were responsible for only 15 percent of Indonesia’s emissions from deforestation from 2000–2010...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“12 Reasons for Climate Optimism This Holiday Season” Center for Global Development, December 2014

From the blog: It’s easy to feel down about climate change.  So why, in spite of everything, have events in 2014 made me more optimistic than ever about the prospects for a safe and stable climate?  With apologies to the popular Christmas song Twelve Days of Christmas, let me count the ways…

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Unsung Climate Hero: Forest Monitoring Technology” Center for Global Development, December 2014

From the blog: Delegates from hundreds of countries are in Lima, Peru, this week, facing the heroic task of negotiating a global climate deal under the auspices of the United Nations. As negotiations reach their climactic closing hours, it’s worth reflecting on a different set of climate heroes: the satellites and airplanes that monitor the state of the world’s forests, and the scientists that keep them flying...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“The Baker’s Dozen: A 748-Year-Old Solution for Climate Offsets” Center for Global Development, November 2014

From the blog: Can King Henry III’s royal decree governing bakers in 13th-century England teach us how to fight climate change, the greatest global challenge of the 21st century?  I’m pretty sure it can. Let me explain...

Read more at Center for Global Development

 

“Tropical Forests Offer up to 24-30 Percent of Potential Climate Mitigation” Center for Global Development, November 2014 (with Jens Engelmann)

From the blog: Two synthesis reports on the science of climate change released this week show just how much halting and reversing tropical deforestation could contribute to global efforts to avert global climate change, which threatens citizens of developing countries first and worst...

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“Nobel Laureate Jean Tirole’s Five-Step Plan to Fix the Climate” November 2014

From the blog: On Monday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, aka the Nobel Prize for Economics, to Professor Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics. Back in 2009, Tirole formulated a five-step plan to fix climate change...  

Read more at Center for Global Development

 

“A Tale of Two Rainstorms: The Science of Tropical Forests” Center for Global Development, October 2014

From the blog: Here’s a story about how forests provide many valuable services to people. It follows the path of two rainstorms, each flowing from the mountains to the river to the sea. With apologies to Charles Dickens…

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Why Quantifying the Value of Tropical Forests Matters for Development” Center for Global Development, October 2014

From the blog: More electricity. Fewer cases of diarrhea. Fewer lives lost to deadly storms.  These are among the objectives of the development planners and financiers meeting next week in Washington at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s annual meetings. And all of these are provided by tropical forests...

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Dream Come True: CGD Forest Work in the NYT” Center for Global Development, September 2014 (with Frances Seymour)

From the blog: It was our dream come true: our CGD initiative – Tropical Forests for Climate and Development  – getting mentioned on the front page of the New York Times, albeit the angle wasn’t quite what we had in mind.  We prefer to focus on the substance. 

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“Indigenous Peoples Prevent Deforestation. What About Other Local Communities?” Center for Global Development, August 2014

From the blog: Just how good are Indigenous Peoples at preventing tropical deforestation? What about other local communities?  In honor of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples this August 9th, let’s look at some numbers.

Read more at Center for Global Development

“Ozymandias” Center for Global Development, May 2014

From the blog: When contemplating the vast and admittedly policy-irrelevant timescales over which whole civilizations rise and fall, newspaper articles and policy reports fall short.  But poetry is great and would suffice... 

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“This Earth Day, Don’t Plant a Tree. (Save a Forest)” Center for Global Development, April 2014

From the blog: I love trees. Always have. As a kid I loved climbing them.  As an adult I enjoy watching the wildlife that lives in them.  And now as a Washington, DC-based policy wonk, I appreciate how the carbon that trees sequester from the atmosphere protects us from climate change and its regressive effects. So why would I say, this Earth Day, don’t plant a tree?

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“Halting and Reversing Deforestation Critical to 2°C Climate Target” Center for Global Development, April 2014

From the blog: The newly released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, "Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change,” describes the actions that people will need to take if we are to maintain a safe and stable global climate.  Like the two previous IPCC reports (which I have written about here and here), it is based on the collective volunteer work of dozens of top scientists and economists synthesizing the findings of thousands of peer-reviewed articles.

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“How Well are Performance-Based Payments Working? Lessons from Guyana” Center for Global Development, April 2014 (with Nancy Birdsall)

From the blog: What if international development finance paid for outcomes, like children educated or diseases avoided, rather than inputs like classrooms built or medicines procured?  That’s the premise of CGD’s longstanding work on Cash-on-Delivery Aid... 

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“Climate Change is Regressive” Center for Global Development, April 2014

From the blog: Please take a moment to read the newly released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability." What’s my takeaway from this report? Climate change is regressive--awful for the rich, but catastrophic for the poor... 

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“The Data Revolution Hits Forests” Center for Global Development, February 2014

From the blog: When a tree falls in a forest, does anyone realize that it’s fallen? You might be surprised to learn that until now, the answer to this question has basically been “no.”  In an age when Google Street View lets us watch our neighbors mow the lawn or walk the dog, data on the world’s forests has been stuck in the Typewriter Age...  

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“Carbon Fund Pioneers Multilateral Payments for Forest Carbon in Bottom-Up Climate World” Center for Global Development, Dec 2013

From the blog: Of all the international initiatives for REDD+, the Carbon Fund of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) perhaps comes closest to the original vision of multilateral payment-for-performance—rich countries paying tropical countries for verified emission reductions realized by keeping their forests standing.  Last week in Paris, The Carbon Fund reached an important milestone. After more than a year of negotiations, the Fund’s participants agreed to detailed guidance for forest countries’ REDD+ programs. 

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“Warsaw Delights on Tropical Forests” Center for Global Development, November 2013

From the blog: Fans of tropical forests for climate and development received an early holiday present from Warsaw last week at the conclusion of the 19th Convention of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 19).  Warsaw ended up being the COP that more or less finished writing the international rulebook for REDD+, the UNFCCC mechanism for payments to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation...  

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“Twelve Takeaways From the IPCC Report” Center for Global Development, September 2013

From the blog: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an extraordinary undertaking. Hundreds of scientists volunteer to put their professional lives on hold for months or years at a time. They synthesize the findings of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific articles to provide policymakers and the public with the best current scientific understanding of climate change.  Here are twelve takeaway messages from Friday’s IPCC report...

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“Making people more prosperous with forests than without” Institute for Advanced Development Studies, September 2013

From the blog: Tropical forests store carbon that regulates the global climate. They provide clean water to farms. They shelter a dizzying range of unique plants and animals, and are a source of life-saving medicines. These services are enjoyed by people all over the world, for which they are sent no invoice and pay no bill... 

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“Biodiversity payments can help communities fight climate change” Conservation International, November 2012

From the blog: It may seem strange that the future of tropical forests will be negotiated next week by the United Nations in Doha, Qatar — a tiny desert emirate with no forest land. Then again, perhaps it’s not so strange. After all, tropical forests provide many useful services to people who may never see them...

Read more at Conservation International

“Climate change increases costs of conserving biodiversity” Conservation International, April 2012

From the blog: We’re looking for indri. The indri (Indri indri) is a gentle tree-dwelling lemur that resembles a mashup of a koala and a panda — which is to say, it’s cute... 

Read more at Conservation International

© 2018 by Jonah Busch, Ph.D.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/khlongwangchao

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