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Liu Q.,National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation | Gu A.,Tsinghua University | Teng F.,Tsinghua University | Song R.,World Resource Institute | Chen Y.,National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation
Energies | Year: 2017

China has submitted its nationally determined contribution to peak its energy-related emissions around 2030. To understand how China might develop its economy while controlling CO2 emissions, this study surveys a number of recent modeling scenarios that project the country's economic growth, energy mix, and associated emissions until 2050. Our analysis suggests that China's CO2 emissions will continue to grow until 2040 or 2050 and will approximately double their 2010 level without additional policy intervention. The alternative scenario, however, suggests that peaking CO2 emissions around 2030 requires the emission growth rate to be reduced by 2% below the reference level. This step would result in a plateau in China's emissions from 2020 to 2030. This paper also proposed a deep de-carbonization pathway for China that is consistent with China's goal of peaking emissions by around 2030, which can best be achieved through a combination of improvements in energy and carbon intensities. Our analysis also indicated that the potential for energy intensity decline will be limited over time. Thus, the peaking will be largely dependent on the share of non-fossil fuel energy in primary energy consumption. © 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI.

Mao X.Q.,Beijing Normal University | Zeng A.,Beijing Normal University | Hu T.,World Resource Institute | Xing Y.K.,Beijing Normal University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

The coal-fired power industry in China is confronted with pressing local air pollution and CO2 control issues. This study explores the opportunity of co-controlling local air pollutants and CO2 in the context of the Chinese coal-fired power industry, with an integrated multi-pollutant co-control strategy decision-making framework. Reduction technologies and measures are evaluated through the use of unit costs of pollution reduction (UCPR), and the most cost-effective abatement routes are then designed. Our analysis shows that energy-saving technologies and structure-adjustment measures are the most favoured options in terms of co-control effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, while end-of-pipe control measures are the least preferred. Integrated multi-pollutant reduction co-control routes are more cost-effective (and desirable) than single-pollutant reduction routes, meaning that co-control strategies hold more potential in terms of multi-pollutant control effectiveness and monetary benefits. The sensitivity analysis verifies the robustness of the results to changing parameters. Although co-control strategies are attractive and effective, there are policy barriers to their implementation. Certain policy modifications should be enacted to promote co-control for the Chinese coal-fired power industry. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Mao X.,Beijing Normal University | Zeng A.,Beijing Normal University | Hu T.,World Resource Institute | Zhou J.,Beijing Normal University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2013

The present study proposes an integrated multipollutant cocontrol strategy framework in the context of the Chinese iron and steel industry. The unit cost of pollutant reduction (UCPR) was used to examine the cost-effectiveness of each emission reduction measure. The marginal abatement cost (MAC) curves for SO2, NOx, PM2.5, and CO2 were drawn based on the UCPR and the abatement potential. Air pollutant equivalence (APeq) captures the nature of the damage value-weights of various air pollutants and acts as uniformization multiple air pollutants index. Single pollutant abatement routes designed in accordance with the corresponding reduction targets revealed that the cocontrol strategy has promising potential. Moreover, with the same reduction cost limitations as the single pollutant abatement routes, the multipollutant cocontrol routes are able to obtain more desirable pollution reduction and health benefits. Co-control strategy generally shows cost-effective advantage over single-pollutant abatement strategy. The results are robust to changing parameters according to sensitivity analysis. Co-control strategy would be an important step to achieve energy/carbon intensity targets and pollution control targets in China. Though cocontrol strategy has got some traction in policy debates, there are barriers to integrate it into policy making in the near future in China. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Margono B.A.,University of Maryland University College | Potapov P.V.,University of Maryland University College | Turubanova S.,University of Maryland University College | Stolle F.,World Resource Institute | Hansen M.C.,University of Maryland University College
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

Extensive clearing of Indonesian primary forests results in increased greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. However, there is no consensus on the areal extent and temporal trends of primary forest clearing in Indonesia. Here we report a spatially and temporally explicit quantification of Indonesian primary forest loss, which totalled over 6.02 Mha from 2000 to 2012 and increased on average by 47,600 ha per year. By 2012, annual primary forest loss in Indonesia was estimated to be higher than in Brazil (0.84 Mha and 0.46 Mha, respectively). Proportional loss of primary forests in wetland landforms increased and almost all clearing of primary forests occurred within degraded types, meaning logging preceded conversion processes. Loss within official forest land uses that restrict or prohibit clearing totalled 40% of all loss within national forest land. The increasing loss of Indonesian primary forests has significant implications for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation efforts. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

News Article | September 21, 2016

After a clutch of nations signed in New York this week,the Paris Agreement now just needs to meet the second criteria for its ratification, the signature of economies responsible for 55% of global emissions, leading the UNFCCC to predict it could be in force by the end of the year. Chile is one of the fastest growing renewables markets, mainly thanks to regulated market auctions in which wind and solar projects win the majority of long-term contracts. “With this, Chile assumes publicly the commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions and joins the group of countries which have opted to act to combat climate change,” said Bachelet in New York yesterday. According to the UNFCCC 60 of the 185 signatories have ratified the Paris Agreement, including key nations that are responsible for just over 47% of global CO2 emissions. In South America, Mexico, Brazil and Peru have also ratified the treaty according to the Paris Agreement Tracker published by the World Resource Institute (WRI). The Paris Agreement renewable energy target is already set down in Chilean law. Among other objectives Chile has committed to reducing marginal costs of electricity by 30% by 2018 and to implement power efficiency measures to reduce power consumption by 20% by 2025. It will also implement a carbon tax of $5 per tonne of CO2 starting in 2017, which will raise the cost of thermal power generation. The measures are part of efforts to reduce the country’s CO2 emissions by 30% per unit of GDP by 2030, compared to 2007 levels. Aside from the tenders – which have led non-hydro renewables to account for about 10% of power supply with over 1GW of solar capacity and about 900MW of wind – the government has recently announced the Transforma Solar programme. It aims to attract $800m of private and public investment in the country’s solar industry over the next 10 years to raise it to 10% of the country’s power generation. The programme features 50 initiatives, which include incentive for the development of a local equipment industry, training of personnel, and solar power research and development centres.

News Article | November 14, 2016

Mar-a-Lago, President-elect Donald Trump's signature piece of property in the South, is just 70-miles north of Miami in Palm Beach, a mostly upscale barrier island. But the residence and private club is likely to be affected by the rising tides and increasingly powerful hurricanes that now regularly batter the coast of Florida. Miami and nearby coastal towns in Florida are, and will be, impacted by changes in our climate—the sea levels in just the past decade rose at double the rate of the entire century before, according to the World Resource Institute. But in the end, Floridians chose noted climate change-skeptic Donald Trump as their future leader. That's partly because the environment is not a deciding factor for many voters, according to a Pew Center report. But it's also because not everyone thinks the government has a role in climate change, at least not right now. Scientists say Florida has a lot to lose in the onset of climate change aside from luxury, waterfront properties. Temperatures will rise from 3°F to 7°F , and the sea level will rise from 8 to 23 inches by 2099 in the southeastern United States, according to studies by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-affiliate which includes international, independent scientists. Local resident Camille Santiago, a left-leaning voter, has an array of worries regarding climate change effects on Miami. She's frustrated that the election was primarily focused on personal attacks rather than real issues. "I honestly think people themselves don't acknowledge that climate change is going to affect our coastal areas," Santiago told me. "I'm expecting it to be massively worse with Donald Trump in office, but we need to change our behavior as individuals because that is all we can do. We can't control the corporations and we will need to rise above his (Trump's) denial." In addition to Santiago's general fear of what global warming has in store, she says she needs to regularly worry about her car getting stuck in flooded streets, traffic delays due to flooding, and a surge in mosquito populations following flooding. It's a costly problem. Miami has already allocated $500 million for installing pumps and raising the roadways. The pumps help thrust sitting water from the streets into Biscayne Bay. And the raising of the streets is noticeable here, as people are now walking on roadways that are several feet higher than before. President-elect Trump has repeatedly said that canceling climate change funding would be one of his immediate actions upon becoming POTUS. He has expressed a desire to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, the government agency tasked with implementing regulations to secure the environment. And he said he will cancel the billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and leave the Paris Agreement. Trump supporter Michael Kagdis, a Palm Beach resident, has photos on his Instagram of election night at the Mar-a-Lago. Kagdis, unlike his candidate, recognized climate change as a definite threat, but he agrees that it should not be a priority for Trump once in office. "I believe that there are so many other immediate threats that I don't think it (climate change) makes the top 10," Kagdis explained to Motherboard. "We've had problems with domestic terrorism here in Florida, most recently during the Orlando shootings, and that costs a lot of money." Kagdis went on to say, "I fully understand the nobleness of looking 40 years into the future, but we are not doing a good job regarding the issues that are at the front door." In Florida, some of these issues are already at the front door. Businesses and homes are now left sitting in a soup bowl under the raised streets. And the combination of this tropical climate and flooding makes it harder to ward off tropical disease. Dade County expects to spend $12 million on fighting the Zika virus by the end of next month. The Zika virus is currently being spread due to stagnant flood waters in South Florida. Read more: Zika Is Driving Miami into Debt It's not just Trump leading a crusade against climate change action. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a potential pick for Trump's cabinet, has been skeptical of global warming, and his administration had reportedly even banned the words "climate change", according to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Still, Floridians hope that the future president will recognize climate change—especially when it gets personal. "It is inevitable that President Trump will have to recognize the fact that his much beloved properties are at immediate risk," said Ramsay Stevens, a South Florida-based clean energy entrepreneur and consultant who volunteered for Hillary Clinton. "It's also important to note that while a Trump Presidency may eliminate any current government support for clean energy, the policies of the Obama administration were largely focused on creating and incubating private market capacity." That means the private sector has to assume responsibility for saving the climate, Stevens said, without depending on the US government to provide solutions. The MIT Technology Review in 2014 reported that $44 trillion between now and 2050 would be needed to battle climate change, and all of the governments in the world combined can not and will not match that under any proposed budgets. Meanwhile, Florida is on the path to becoming one of the country's most visible victims of climate change. And the change doesn't just impact humans: Just a seven inch rise in seas will affect nearly 60,000 acres of the Florida Keys where endangered Key Deer live, according to The Nature Conservancy. And the Everglades risk becoming uninhabitable for already threatened Florida Panthers. As the sea temperatures rise, toxic algaes will breed such as red tide, killing manatees. With an entire ecosystem at risk, it remains to be seen whether or not Trump will abandon the government's current environmental safeguards, or put new ones in place. But for now, Floridians are left to balance the science and politics with what is happening in their own neighborhoods. Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.

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