After the progress made at UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Cancún, Mexico in 2010, many observers had unrealistically high hopes for the recently-concluded talks held in Durban, South Africa. To a great extent, those hopes were dashed.
The divide between developed and developing countries on some fundamental issues about roles and responsibilities remain as wide as ever. Developing countries want greater ambition and financial and technology support from developed countries while developed countries point to the explosive growth in emissions from rapidly growing developing countries and argue that all large economies have to make commitments.
China’s rapid industrial growth in the past three decades — averaging nearly 12% per year — has fueled a surging demand for energy. Indeed, in 2009, China edged out the United States to become the world’s largest energy consumer and in the late 1990s China shifted from being a net energy exporter to a net importer. China’s demand for energy continues to grow and is expected to account for a quarter of global energy consumption by 2035. Consequently, the quest for energy supplies has taken on strategic importance. Evidence shows that China has led an intensive search for all available energy supplies, ranging from coal to hydroelectric power, both at home and abroad.
Solving our energy challenges is a long-term proposition; however, we can achieve immediate economic and environmental benefits by better harnessing the energy we unintentionally waste each day. Putting into practice more robust energy effi ciency programs is a crucial component of our nation’s energy security. We can free up significant amounts of energy for more productive purposes and eliminate unnecessary expenditures on the part of both businesses and consumers. This paper examines key factors aff ecting energy efficiency and provides recommendations for how increased efficiency can berealized in the United States.
Many of you are probably a bit confused by the outcome of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen. Depending on which account you read, it was an unprecedented success or a complete failure, and everything in between. Regardless, it is important to understand exactly what happened in Copenhagen—and what did not. In this paper, we will try to make some sense of it all so you can draw your own conclusions.
As this year’s negotiations wind their way to a conclusion in Copenhagen, Denmark, the prospect of a new international deal is not very bright, and it is not hard to see why. Consider that the starting point for discussion is a 50% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Endorsed by G8 leaders, this “50-by-50” goal is among the most aggressive of the 177 emissions reduction scenarios examined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The Institute for 21st Century Energy has issued new report that discusses why higher oil and gas taxes will increase dependence on foreign oil, raise costs to consumers, jeopardize U.S. jobs and erode economic competitiveness. Taxing Our Way to Energy Insecurity Again reviews the reasons why the administration’s proposed $80 billion tax increase on oil and gas is the wrong path forward, and provides recommendations that will improve energy security and promote economic growth.
The Institute for 21st Century Energy issued a report that calls on the Obama Administration to commit to a permanent solution for the nation’s used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. The report, titled Revisiting America’s Nuclear Waste Policy, examines the nation’s nuclear waste policies and makes recommendations on how to move forward.
Climate change has been receiving a lot of attention in Washington lately. Policymakers have proposed various approaches to address this issue, but since it is so complicated, it can be difficult to understand what is really being considered. To help make it a little easier, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy has prepared this “cheat sheet” that defines the terms you will hear as the debate unfolds and answers some basic questions.
The Institute’s Transition Plan for Securing America’s Energy Future is an energy policy roadmap with 88 concrete recommendations and detailed timelines for President-elect Barack Obama and the 111th Congress. It forms a comprehensive, long-term energy strategy that if adopted, will put America on a path for a more secure, prosperous and clean energy future.