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Boer H.,School of International Relations
Global Environmental Politics | Year: 2013

Governing carbon stored in natural and human-managed ecosystems is an emerging area in global climate politics. Many developed and developing countries are devising and implementing a range of reform programs that aim to reduce emissions and increase sequestration in the land use, land use change and forestry, and agricultural sectors. In developing countries, mitigation programs and projects on the ground have accelerated under the global program Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The article applies a governmentality framework to analyze these policies and programs as forms of administrative, economic, and deliberative rationalities and associated technologies. What emerges in the analysis is that governing is conducted through common technologies including policy instruments and rules, stakeholder engagement processes, and the application of the same technical monitoring and carbon accounting methodologies. In the case of REDD +, there has been strong emphasis on the introduction of market and incentive approaches, but the major reforms have focused on government regulatory programs and building technical and administrative capacity. Importantly, this is allowing national and sub-national governments to extend their authority across all aspects of the reform agenda, which poses significant challenges for reducing forest loss in developing countries. © 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Poudel S.,Forum for Rural Welfare and Agricultural Reform for Development FORWARD | Kotani K.,School of International Relations
Climatic Change | Year: 2013

A rapid change in climate patterns potentially driven by global warming is considered to be greatest threats to agriculture. However, little is known about how the change in climate concretely affects agricultural production especially in Nepal with respect to seasons and regions of different altitudes. To examine this issue, we seek to empirically identify the impact of climatic variation on agricultural yield and its variability by utilizing the data of rice, wheat and climate variables in the central region of Nepal. The main focus is on whether the impacts vary across seasons, altitudes and the types of crops. For this purpose, we employ a stochastic production function approach by controlling a novel set of season-wise climatic and geographical variables. The result shows that an increase in the variance of both temperature and rainfall has adverse effects on crop productions in general. On the other hand, a change in the mean levels of the temperature and rainfall induces heterogeneous impacts, which can be considered beneficial, harmful or negligible, depending on the altitudes and the kinds of crops. These results imply that adaptation strategies must be tailor-made in Nepalese agriculture, considering growing seasons, altitudes and the types of crops. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Conca K.,School of International Relations
Global Environmental Politics | Year: 2012

This essay examines some of the reasons for the upsurge in interest in regional approaches to global environmental challenges. One reason is a growing sense of obstruction and drift at the global level. With the rate of formation of new global environmental agreements lagging, with many existing agreements seemingly stalled, and with the momentum of global summitry having faded, regions may seem a more pragmatic scale at which to promote the diffusion of ideas, the development of institutions, and social mobilization for change. Beyond political pragmatism, there are also conceptually interesting-if still debatable- arguments that regions hold promise for strengthening global environmental governance. The regional scale may offer superior conditions to the global for common-property resource management-although the historical track record seems mixed at best, and formidable barriers to collective action remain. Regions may be more conducive to promoting norm diffusion-although the causal direction appears to be more strongly global-to-regional than vice versa. However the conceptual promise of the regional scale plays out in practice, there is also a compelling ethical argument for a regional focus, as mitigation failures at the global level condemn particular locales to formidable challenges of adaptation. © 2012 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Falkner R.,School of International Relations
Energy Research and Social Science | Year: 2014

Energy is central to the survival and prosperity of human society, which explains the social sciences' interest in energy production, consumption and distribution. The emergence of the global environmental agenda in the second half of the 20th century gave rise to a distinctive research literature on how energy systems and global environmental protection are interconnected. The threat of disruptive climate change, in particular, has thrown the spotlight on the central role that energy plays in shaping the future relationship between human society and its natural environment. This article provides an overview of how the study of global environmental politics (GEP) has shaped energy research in the past and how it contributes to defining the future energy research agenda. It provides a brief review of the emergence of GEP within the discipline of International Relations. It identifies three core conceptual lenses that are central to the GEP research agenda: (i) the study of environmental impacts and ecological limits; (ii) the notions of sustainability and sustainable development; and (iii) the concept of global environmental governance. The article then maps the emerging energy research agenda from a GEP perspective, focused on climate change as the predominant concern and framing of contemporary GEP scholarship. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Detert N.,SusDev Solutions Pte Ltd | Kotani K.,School of International Relations
Energy Policy | Year: 2013

Developing nations are seeking alternative energy for electricity, and one attractive alternative is renewable energy. This research analyzes changing investment environment for renewable energy with real options approach, and explores its potential in developing economies through studying the case of Mongolia under coal price uncertainty. To evaluate comparative attractiveness of either continuing to use coal-based infrastructures or switching to renewable energy, we formulate social revenue functions for the two environments, assuming that renewable energy has lower external costs, and coal prices follow geometric Brownian motion (GBM) or geometric mean-reverting (GMR) processes. We find the optimal trigger coal prices for switching technologies with some scenarios in electricity price and externality; characterize when renewable energy investments become attractive. In contrast to conventional wisdom, we identify some situations where the value of having more decision opportunities does not exceed that of a now-or-never decision for switching technologies, and welfare losses are incurred. The optimal trigger prices are higher in GBM than in GMR, and our result raises the possible risks for waiting to switch energy. To avoid welfare losses in Mongolia, the government should increase electricity prices or switch to renewable energy earlier, especially when people pay more for the removal of externalities. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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