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Dickinson to Durban » Entries tagged with "robert stavins"

Climate Kick Boxing: Make the First Strike

By Sam Pollan, ‘14 Environmental policy in the United States is in a precarious position. While urgent action is recognized as necessary, it has not yet been institutionalized. One of the main conflicts in policy making is the epic battle between the economy and the environment. A federal policy that is expensive, even if it is likely to produce the highest reduction in emissions, will never be implemented as a US policy. The current contenders for possible policies are market based solutions. Robert Stavins, in his article “A Golden Opportunity to Please Conservatives and Liberals Alike,” mentions four policies with almost identical yields in reductions. These policies range from absolute regulation, the most costly, to cap-and-trade systems, which are up to 90 percent cheaper. Market based approaches (i.e. cap-and-trade) provide economic incentives … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change

Key Players in U.S. Climate Policy

The companies listed above are those establishments chosen by Resources for the Future (RFF) research on an executive summary and overview of potential U.S. climate change policy implementations.  The opinions of these companies, along with RFF researchers, provide a wide range of inputs and estimations for appropriate climate legislation in the United Sates.  The array of representatives ranges from oil and gas companies to agricultural and chemical producers.  It is important for these companies to have a say in legislation because it is likely that they will be most affected by changes in policy.  Possible implementations for greenhouse gas emission reductions are market-based approaches, like a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax.  Such policies enforce greenhouse gas emission reductions on those companies most responsible for emitting in the first place.   Thus, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Summer Reading Responses

Is something better than nothing?

The first major paper I completed at Dickinson College was one entitled, “A New Atmosphere for International Relations: Working together to solve a global crisis”. It was an essay written for a 100 level international relations course in which I discussed the COP15 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. In my response, I held a very pessimistic view that there would not be a significant change in policy as a result of the conference. While what I predicted turned out to be fairly accurate, I can almost promise that my opinion did not have a very strong foundation in background information. I was not even an environmental studies major at the time and to be honest, I’m pretty sure that for a while I thought the acronym COP was in reference to the fact that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Summer Reading Responses

Our legs are moving but are we walking?

Are climate negotiations moving forward? Yes, but at a crawl. The results of the past two COP gatherings have yielded two documents: the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreements. The Copenhagen Accord, written at COP 15, is a short document expressing the recognition that global climate change is a serious problem and the only way to address it is through serious cutbacks in emissions. It also clearly states that two degrees Celsius is the target for maximum temperature change. This in itself is not a novel idea; however, the last sentence of the document asks for “consideration of strengthening the long-term goal referencing various matters presented by the science, including in relation to temperature rises of 1.5 degrees Celsius.” The idea to cut emissions below the minimum required has not … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change