After an 18-month stretch without a White House science adviser – the longest any modern president has gone without a science adviser – Trump appoints extreme weather expert Kelvin Droegemeier to the post. Kelvin Droegemeier is vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma and a climate change scientist. His selection was widely welcomed.
Iraqi Kurdistan is blessed with abundant water resources, but these resources are under increasing stress. Changing demographics, dam building in neighboring countries, and drought have driven Kurdish hydropolitics to a critical juncture where two distinct water futures are possible—and both have implications for regional stability and for U.S. interests.
Argentina, host of this year’s G20 summit, has dropped carbon pricing from the agenda. But denied this was an attempt to accommodate Donald Trump’s US.
Trump fired Rex Tillerson, a former Exxon CEO who supported staying in the Paris climate accord. Pompeo is a Koch brothers ally and climate policy critic.
In November 2017, the U.S. government released its first ever Global Water Strategy – to our knowledge also the first of its kind globally. The opening page cites President Trump claiming that ‘[w]ater may be the most important issue we face for the next generation’. This priority may surprise observers of the current U.S. administration.
Russia is “playing politics with energy supplies,” said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a major policy speech at the Wilson Center in November. In Europe, the debate is raging over how best to achieve energy security in the face of the twin challenges of Russian dominance and the need to decarbonize the economy. The ongoing securitization of Russian natural gas could not only complicate the road to a low carbon future in Europe, it could also undermine a European integration project that has mostly been a success.
On November 17, adelphi hosted a high-level panel discussion on “How to prevent climate security risks?” at the German Pavilion at COP23. The panel discussion was an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved and to deepen the discussion on how to prevent climate-related risks and incorporate them into policy planning.
Climate change is no longer a niche issue, but is now part of broader political and economic agendas. In the U.S., for example, those supporting climate action face a broad alliance of opposition extending beyond climate change across many issues, as well as dysfunctions in the U.S. policy making process. For these reasons, Paul Joffe argues that climate diplomacy requires a strategy that goes beyond climate change to address the full range of these drivers.
News that the Trump administration will move to repeal and replace the clean power plan (CPP) – a major initiative to cut emissions from the US electricity sector – has been met with concern overseas.
As global temperatures rise, warmer air and oceans are expected to fuel stronger hurricanes, with dangerous consequences.
The consequences of Houston’s historic inundation, in deaths and dollars, are nowhere near fully tallied. Indeed, the economic costs will take months to calculate, and years to overcome.
The impacts of Hurricane Harvey continue to be felt in the southern US. The events have sparked early debate over the links between the hurricane and climate change. Commentary from scientists suggests that warming is likely to have intensified its impact. Nevertheless, many other factors are likely to have played a role. These include Houston’s population explosion, continued building in flood-prone areas and subsidence due to groundwater over-extraction, media reports suggest.
Top officials from Canada, Mexico and the US are now renegotiating the 23-year old North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On the campaign trail, candidate Trump consistently called NAFTA “the worst trade deal ever,” and, in one of his first official acts as president, he signed an executive order to renegotiate the agreement. The first round has just ended, so we are about to get an important clue about the direction of travel of climate diplomacy and policy in Canada, Mexico and the US.