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international agreements

US-Brazil 20% Renewable Commitment is a Good Start, But We Can Do More

July 3, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

International Renewables Commitments

President Obama and his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff, announced a pretty impressive clean energy commitment at their joint White House appearance recently. They pledged that each country would get 20 percent of its electricity from non-hydro renewable sources, like solar and wind power, by 2030.[read more]

Progress on Phasing Down HFCs as Countries Build Momentum Toward a Deal

July 1, 2015 by David Doniger

HFC Reduction

The global effort to phase down powerful heat-trapping hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is gaining speed as several nations recently put forth detailed plans to curb HFC use. Negotiators at the upcoming Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) in Paris next month will weigh in on updated amendment proposals.[read more]

Is Germany Outsourcing Its Future Energy Security?

June 15, 2015 by Roman Kilisek
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German Energy Planning

German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel recently touted another step towards enhancing EU energy security via regional cooperation. The Minister and 11 of his colleagues from neighboring countries signed a declaration to ensure the supply of electricity among those countries.[read more]

It's Not All About Oil and Gas in the Arctic

May 4, 2015 by Roman Kilisek

Arctic Energy and Risk

Recently, the US assumed the two-year rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum, at the conclusion of the 2015 ministerial meeting in Iqaluit in Canada. The US has outlined a policy agenda with a focus on addressing the effects of climate change.[read more]

Deal on HFC Super-Pollutants Inches Forward

April 27, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

A global deal to phase down the powerful heat-trapping chemicals called hydrofluorcarbons (HFCs) inched forward after a week of international negotiations in Bangkok under the Montreal Protocol, the world's most successful environmental treaty.[read more]

Is Iran After Nuclear Power for Energy Purposes? [STORIFY]

April 14, 2015 by Jessica Obeid
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The U.S. and Iran have inked an historic framework agreement that aims to curb Iran's path to a nuclear weapon while preserving the nation's ability to develop a domestic nuclear energy industry. Most of the analysis out there on the deal focuses on the global geopolitics, but what about the energy fundamentals?[read more]

An Energy Perspective on the Iran Nuclear Framework

April 14, 2015 by Geoffrey Styles
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The coverage of the recently agreed international nuclear framework for Iran's nuclear program has missed an important aspect. Nearly all analysis I have read considered the deal from a security and geopolitical perspective, without examining the merits of civilian nuclear power within Iran's domestic energy mix.[read more]

U.S. Climate Target Encourages Others to Put Best Foot Forward

April 10, 2015 by Elliot Diringer

The U.S. pushed strongly for getting climate targets on the table well ahead of this year’s Paris negotiation, arguing that exposing countries’ offerings to a bit of scrutiny would encourage them to “put their best foot forward.” With the formal submission of its intended target, the U.S. has arguably done just that.[read more]

How Should National Contributions be Measured?

April 7, 2015 by David Hone

Emissions and Contributions

The last days of March saw the start of submissions of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC. The United States, Switzerland, European Union, Mexico and Russia have all met the requested deadline of the end of Q1 2015.[read more]

Getting to Net-Zero Emissions

March 16, 2015 by David Hone
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Net-Zero Emissions

It is looking increasingly likely, but not a given, that a reference to global net-zero emissions or even a specific goal to achieve net-zero emissions by a certain date (e.g. end of the century) will appear in the climate deal that is expected to emerge from the Paris COP at the end of this year.[read more]

United States to Provide Air Quality Data Overseas

February 28, 2015 by Barbara Finamore

Air Quality Data Sharing

Recently, the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new partnership that will monitor air quality at selected U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, building on the successful work of the United States embassy in Beijing.[read more]

Keystone XL Pipeline Veto: Right Decision at the Right Time

February 27, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
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Obama and the Keystone Veto

We don't need Congress to be a pipeline permitting agency. And, there's a good process in place that lets president decide whether transboundary energy projects are in the national interest. The Keystone pipeline has repeatedly been shown to be dangerous to our water, communities, and climate.[read more]

Preparing for Paris: Fifty Shades of Grey?

February 23, 2015 by David Hone

COP 21 Preparations

The tension was building, but finally just before Valentine’s Day weekend the negotiators in Geneva completed the first draft of a Paris negotiating text and released it at the end of the eighth part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.[read more]

INDCs: Bridging the Gap Between National and International Climate Action

February 23, 2015 by Kelly Levin

As the world marches toward December’s United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21) Paris climate summit, governments are determining what effort they will make to reduce emissions and address climate change. Countries are in the midst of implementing commitments through 2020.[read more]

Germany, Turkey, and Russia: Strange Energy Bedfellows

February 23, 2015 by Roman Kilisek

Partnerships and Conflicts

The recent Munich Security Conference brought together – as it does every year – important decision-makers in international politics, including heads of state and government along with foreign and defense ministers to discuss “hot” foreign and security policy issues.[read more]