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Preview: - Energy/Environment - Energy and Environment

A nonpartisan resource for information and analysis

Published: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:03:08 -0400

Last Build Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:03:08 -0400

Copyright: Copyright 2017 by the Council on Foreign Relations. All Rights Reserved.

U.S. Should Increase Its Strategic Commitment to the Arctic, Says CFR Task Force

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:28:17 -0400

“The United States, through Alaska, is a significant Arctic nation with strategic, economic, and scientific interests,” asserts a new Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored (CFR) Independent Task Force report, Arctic Imperatives: Reinforcing U.S. Strategy on America’s Fourth Coast. With the Arctic “warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet” and melting sea ice opening up this resource-rich region to new trade routes and commercial activities, the report stresses that “the United States needs to increase its strategic commitment to the region or risk leaving its interests unprotected.”


Arctic Imperatives

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:33:20 -0400

The Task Force finds that Alaska and the Arctic are of growing economic and geostrategic importance and recommends actions to improve the United States’ strategic presence in the Arctic region.


Trump’s Draconian Budget Proposals Will Destroy U.S. Clean Energy Innovation

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:05:21 -0500

Steep budget cuts at the Department of Energy will undermine U.S. innovation and job creation in clean energy.


Presidential Memorandum: Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:37:06 -0500

This memo was signed by President Trump on January 24, 2017.


Solar Power and Clean Energy Innovation

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:49:17 -0500

Experts discuss innovations in solar technology, investment opportunities in the renewable energy industry, and the effects of solar power innovation on the U.S. energy portfolio.


Environmental Health and China’s Rise

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 12:49:30 -0500

CFR hosted a workshop to discuss environmental health linkages in China, the Chinese government’s capability to respond to associated health crises, and international experience for coping with similar challenges. 


Donald Trump Must Take North Korea's Nuclear Threat Seriously

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 11:47:53 -0500

During his annual New Year’s address on Sunday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s dropped a bombshell: He stated as part of his review of the past year's accomplishments that North Korea has entered “the final stage in preparations to test-launch” an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). One that could hit the United States. To deal with the threat, the Trump administration should strengthen sanctions and find a way to work with China or, at a minimum, should isolate North Korea as an essential area of cooperation in an otherwise contentious U.S.-China relationship. 


Unlocking Clean Energy

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 09:41:06 -0500

Many government policies now "lock in" mature clear energy technologies while blocking out innovative alternatives. Here's Varun Sivaram's plan to transform lock-in barriers into bridges for technological succession.


California Must Adopt the Electrical Grid of the Future

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 10:35:56 -0500

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Varun Sivaram argues that California must merge its grid with neighbors to continue to reach its ambitious targets for renewable power.


Scrap the Iran Nuclear Deal

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 10:16:54 -0500

The incoming Trump administration will confront a Middle East in turmoil, writes Ray Takeyh. 


The President's Inbox: Energy and Climate Change

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:31:37 -0500

CFR's James M. Lindsay, Robert McMahon, and Varun Sivaram examine President-Elect Donald Trump's energy and climate change priorities. 


Media Files:

Focus, Reform, Invest: Energy Innovation Agenda for Trump, Congress

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 12:23:37 -0500

Varun Sivaram builds the case for energy innovation under the Trump Administration. He argues that President Trump should focus the government on technology-specific missions, reform the sprawling set of energy-focused federal institutions, and invest in research and development.


All Rex Tillerson Cares About Is Energy

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:20:33 -0500

Laurie Garrett writes that all Rex Tillerson cares about is energy, but does that mean he’s going to gut America’s $50 billion foreign aid budget?


Rising Sea Levels and the Threat to U.S. Coastal Areas

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:02:33 -0500

As sea levels rise around the world, experts discuss the adaptation policies for U.S. coastal cities and the budgetary and national security implications of rising sea levels on U.S. coastal communities.


Domestic Sources of Transnational Climate Governance

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 13:39:28 -0400

Miles Kahler analyzes the complex interrelationship between state and non-state actors with regard to transnational climate governance. 


What to Watch at the Climate Conference in Marrakech

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 14:01:02 -0400

At climate talks in Morocco, negotiators will try to move forward on issues left unresolved by the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, developed and developing countries still remain far apart on major issues, write CFR’s Varun Sivaram and Sagatom Saha.


The Future of U.S. Energy Security: A Conversation With Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 14:04:18 -0400

Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall provides her perspective on the changing definition of energy security and the role of innovation in ensuring America’s energy future.


Media Files:

Must Reads of the Week: Greenland Melting, the Assad Quandary, and More

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 11:51:27 -0400

What Editors are reading the week of October 24–28, 2016.


Nuclear North Korea

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:00:51 -0400

Adam Mount and Scott A. Snyder discuss the threat of North Korea's accelerating nuclear program and offer policy recommendations for stability in Northeast Asia.


Media Files:

Why Locking in Fuel Subsidy Reforms is a Top U.S. Priority

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:04:54 -0400

Many countries quietly reduced their subsidies in the past few years, but more work remains. The United States can help consolidate these goals, write CFR’s Varun Sivaram and Jennifer Harris.


Sustaining Fuel Subsidy Reform

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:40:07 -0400

Fuel subsidies often strain government budgets, fail to target poverty efficiently, distribute benefits unfairly, perpetuate corrupt regimes, and worsen climate change.


Back-to-School Event: Deforestation of the Amazon

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 11:28:57 -0400

Experts discuss deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.


Media Files:

Caring for Creation

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:00:52 -0400

Paul Douglas and Mitchell C. Hescox discuss faith, science, and responsible stewardship of the environment.


Media Files:

Must Reads of the Week: Siberian Energy, Germany's Refugee Debate, and More

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:31:29 -0400

What Editors are reading the week of September 19–23, 2016.


Climate Change and the Next U.S. President

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:44:41 -0400

The next president of the United States will play a critical role in shaping the country's climate policy, deciding whether and how to reduce emissions, while minimizing any impact on economic growth. This video explains the domestic and global challenges. 


A Conversation With Ernest J. Moniz

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 11:15:45 -0400

Ernest Moniz discusses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, its one-year anniversary, and the effectiveness of the nuclear deal's nonproliferation and verification measures in blocking Iran's path to a nuclear weapon.


Media Files:

Must Reads of the Week: Overfishing, Putin on Trump, and More

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:19:24 -0400

What Editors are reading the week of September 5–9, 2016.


Venture Capital and Cleantech: The Wrong Model for Clean Energy Innovation

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:59:06 -0400

Venture capital (VC) firms spent over $25 billion funding clean energy technology (cleantech) start-ups from 2006 to 2011 and lost over half their money; as a result, funding has dried up in the cleantech sector. In this report, we present the most comprehensive account to date of the cleantech VC boom and bust, aggregating hundreds of investments to calculate the risk/return profile of cleantech, compared with those of medical and software technology investments. The results are stark—cleantech offered VCs a dismal risk/return profile, dragged down by companies developing new materials, chemistries, or processes that never achieved manufacturing scale. We conclude that the VC model is broken for the cleantech sector, which suffers especially from a dearth of large corporations willing to invest in innovation. Fortunately, new public and private capital may be on the way after announcements made at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit. If a new and more diverse set of actors avoids the mistakes of the cleantech VC boom and bust, then they may be able to support a new generation of cleantech companies."


The Impact of Removing Tax Preferences for U.S. Oil and Gas Production

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:30:31 -0400

This study analyzes the current U.S. oil and gas tax preferences to evaluate whether or not they improve energy security, mitigate climate change, and save taxpayer dollars. 


Clean energy technology investors need fresh support after VC losses

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 09:19:57 -0400

A new wave of public and private support for clean energy technology will be required to reboot investment in cleantech after the VC boom and bust, writes Varun Sivaram and Benjamin Gaddy.