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Karsenty A.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Romero C.,University of Florida | Cerutti P.O.,Center for International Forestry Research | Doucet J.-L.,University of Liège | And 18 more authors.
Land Use Policy | Year: 2017

This viewpoint paper presents a reaction to the article by Brandt et al. (2016). It highlights the complexities inherent to the attribution of deforestation impacts to policy interventions when using remote-sensing data. This critique argues that in the context of the Congo a suite of factors (i.e., population density in particular) other than those considered by Brandt et al. (e.g., type of forest, distance from roads and markets) play essential roles in determining the fates of forests. It also contends that care is needed when making decisions regarding which units will be included in the comparison group so that contextual factors and on-the-ground information are properly considered (e.g., when logging operations are inactive or when a concession is used for ‘conservation’ purposes). Finally, it proposes that a focus on an analysis of deforestation rates for a given level of timber production might be a metric that more accurately represents one aspect of the consequences of forest management, which should also consider the appraisal of trade-offs associated with a larger set of social, financial and ecological objectives. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Zahabi S.A.H.,McGill University | Zahabi S.A.H.,Environment Canada | Chang A.,World Resources Institute WRI | Miranda-Moreno L.F.,McGill University | Patterson Z.,Concordia University at Montréal
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment | Year: 2016

This paper investigates the evolution of urban cycling in Montreal, Canada and its link to both built environment indicators and bicycle infrastructure accessibility. The effect of new cycling infrastructure on transport-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is then explored. More specifically, we aim at investigating how commuting cycling modal share has evolved across neighborhood built-environment typologies and over time in Montreal, Canada. For this purpose, automobile and bicycle trip information from origin-destination surveys for the years 1998, 2003 and 2008 are used. Neighborhood typologies are generated from different built environment indicators (population and employment density, land use diversity, etc.). Furthermore, to represent the commuter mode choice (bicycle vs automobile), a standard binary logit and simultaneous equation modeling approach are adopted to represent the mode choice and the household location. Among other things, we observe an important increase in the likelihood to cycle across built environment types and over time in the study region. In particular, urban and urban-suburb neighborhoods have experienced an important growth over the 10 years, going from a modal split of 2.8-5.3% and 1.4-3.0%, respectively. After controlling for other factors, the model regression analysis also confirms the important increase across years as well as the significant differences of bicycle ridership across neighborhoods. A statistically significant association is also found between the index of bicycle infrastructure accessibility and bike mode choice - an increase of 10% in the accessibility index results in a 3.7% increase in the ridership. Based on the estimated models and in combination with a GHG inventory at the trip level, the potential impact of planned cycling infrastructure is explored using a basic scenario. A reduction of close to 2% in GHG emissions is observed for an increase of 7% in the length of the bicycle network. Results show the important benefits of bicycle infrastructure to reduce commuting automobile usage and GHG emissions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Moreira J.R.,University of Sao Paulo | Romeiro V.,World Resources Institute WRI | Fuss S.,Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change | Kraxner F.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Pacca S.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Applied Energy | Year: 2016

Stabilization at concentrations consistent with keeping global warming below 2 °C above the pre-industrial level will require drastic cuts in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions during the first half of the century; net negative emissions approaching 2100 are required in the vast majority of current emission scenarios. For negative emissions, the focus has been on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), where carbon-neutral bioenergy would be combined with additional carbon capture thus yielding emissions lower than zero. Different BECCS technologies are considered around the world and one option that deserves special attention applies CCS to ethanol production. It is currently possible to eliminate 27.7 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 emissions per year through capture and storage of CO2 released during fermentation, which is part of sugar cane-based ethanol production in Brazil. Thus, BECCS could reduce the country's emissions from energy production by roughly 5%. Such emissions are additional to those due to the substitution of biomass-based electricity for fossil-fueled power plants. This paper assesses the potential and cost effectiveness of negative emissions in the joint production system of ethanol and electricity based on sugar cane, bagasse, and other residues in Brazil. An important benefit is that CO2 can be captured twice along the proposed BECCS supply chain (once during fermentation and once during electricity generation). This study only considers BECCS from fermentation because capturing such CO2 is straightforward, thus potentially representing a cost-effective mitigation option for Brazil compared to other alternatives. The assessment shows that fuel prices would increase by less than 3.5% due to the adoption of BECCS from fermentation, while increasing investors’ revenues are sufficient to compensate for the investment required. With appropriate government subsidies, or by sharing BECCS costs between all car fuels and all electricity supplied by hydro and bioelectricity, the increment in ethanol and electricity prices could be less than 1% for the final consumer. Meanwhile it would supply 77.3% of all cars’ fuel (private cars) and 17.9% of all electricity in Brazil. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Cameron E.,World Resources Institute WRI
Review of European Community and International Environmental Law | Year: 2012

In recent years human rights have begun to feature prominently as a tool to address climate change. This article explores how the institutions and tools of the human rights system are being deployed to complement the negotiations within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, close the emissions gap and hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C or 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It offers an explanation of how the interface between rights and climate change has helped to evolve our analysis of socio-ecological thresholds, created a strong and compelling narrative centered on climate justice, and enhanced political processes to better account for the experience of vulnerable populations. The article shows that the various Special Procedures and Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council are already advancing the cause of urgent and ambitious climate action and suggests ways in which they can become more influential in a wider climate change regime complex. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Weischer L.,World Resources Institute WRI | Morgan J.,World Resources Institute WRI | Patel M.,World Resources Institute WRI
Review of European Community and International Environmental Law | Year: 2012

Clubs, defined as smaller groups of countries that take action outside of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), have been suggested in the literature as a way forward for climate action. Some have suggested them as a replacement of the UNFCCC. This article, by contrast, explores how clubs could assist in catalyzing greater ambition, defined as emissions reduction targets in line with climate science, which would eventually be captured in the UNFCCC. An analysis of the existing climate club landscape shows that clubs currently promote dialogue and/or implementation of specific activities. While these clubs make important contributions, their mandate and configuration are not focused on significantly increasing ambition. Current clubs enable incremental, rather than transformational change. An analysis of selected proposals for new kinds of climate clubs shows that, as a common element, they call for further incentives for action to underpin greater ambition. The article further analyzes a set of incentives, predominantly economic, for 'transformational clubs', related to trade, investment, labour mobility or access to finance, and identifies a set of future research questions. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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