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David Timmons

Fossil-fuel-led growth has been a major contributory factor to rapid rise in carbon emissions. Emissions of CO2 from fossil-fuel combustion and industrial processes contributed about 78% of the total GHG emissions increase from 1970 to 2010. Cutting down on use of fossil fuels and shifting to clean energy sources is therefore a major strategy for combating global warming. This chapter discusses the economic principles that should govern renewable energy choices. Renewable energy sources including biomass energy, water power, wind, solar, and geothermal energy have somewhat different characteristics than fossil fuels: they are capital-intensive with their costs dependent on interest rates, their costs are highly dependent on their scales and production sites, and many renewable energy sources are available only intermittently. Minimizing the total cost of providing renewable energy suggests that marginal costs of individual renewable energy sources be equal. In many areas, use of more expensive sources such as solar photovoltaic energy will thus make it economical to develop hydropower and wind power on sites that might not appear feasible currently. Similarly, the marginal cost of renewable energy suggests that additional energy conservation will be economical, and a large portion of the transition to renewable energy will likely be accomplished through energy conservation rather than energy production. To minimize total costs, equality of marginal costs must also hold at all points of time and from all points in space, suggesting possibilities for energy storage and long-distance energy transmission facilities. While the market would eventually accomplish a renewable energy transition as a result of rising fossil-fuel prices, public policy will likely be needed to make the renewable energy transition soon enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

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Abrar Juhar Mohammed and Makoto Inoue

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is a recent global response to the challenges posed by emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Global interest in REDD+ is growing and warrants a comprehensive review of what REDD+ is, how it is implemented and what key issues need to be considered to steer REDD+ towards a climate resilient socio-ecological system. This chapter indicates that REDD+ can be understood as global multilevel forest governance that links different actors at different scales, from the local to the global (glocal). REDD+ has evolved from the narrowly scoped reducing emissions from deforestation (RED) to the current REDD+ that has considered not only deforestation but also forest degradation, sustainable forest management, and social and biodiversity safeguards through repeated engagement and negotiation among glocal actors since the 2005 Cancun IPCC meeting. Currently, a total of seven kinds of actor, ranging from multilateral financial institutions to national governments and indigenous people, are identified as playing an important role in the negotiation and/or design and/or implementation of REDD+. The authors identify five salient issues that need to be addressed to achieve a resilient socio-ecological system. These are: lack of a strong global institution; biodiversity concerns; lack of competitiveness; lack of tenure clarity; and prospects for distributive and procedural justice.

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Edited by K. N. Ninan and Makoto Inoue

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K.N. Ninan and Makoto Inoue

Climate change poses a great challenge to governments, societies and entities. This chapter discusses the need for building climate resilience, approaches for building climate resilience and the challenges and opportunities for building resilience to address the risks posed by climate change. It then discusses issues related to vulnerability, adaptation and resilience, sectoral perspectives, incentives, institutions, REDD+, local climate finance, and climate policy.

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Clem Tisdell

Rising sea levels, pollution, and increasing stresses on marine species and areas are major challenges confronting marine ecosystems as a result of climate change. In this chapter the author reviews the major changes in marine environments which natural scientists expect to occur because of elevated levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere and considers their general implications for the presence of living organisms and supply of marine ecoservices. The chapter then focuses attention on the insights obtained from a Norwegian investigation of the economic impacts of GHG-induced changes in marine ecosystems. Thereafter GHG-induced losses of coral reefs and their potential economic impacts are discussed. Proposed policies for responding to predicted changes in marine ecosystems are examined, followed by a discussion of building resilience in the context of marine ecosystems.

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Sir Robert T. Watson

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Kathleen A. Miller

Climate change is projected to aggravate water stress in dry and arid regions. Against the backdrop of the epic drought faced by the U.S. state of California in 2015, this chapter discusses the significant vulnerabilities and options for maintaining the resilience of the state’s water-dependent economic activities. The drought led to very uneven impacts on different water users and sections of the state, as well as on natural ecosystems versus managed landscapes. Differential vulnerabilities can be traced to the state’s complex geography, the configuration of its water storage and delivery infrastructure, and its imperfectly administered mixture of prior appropriation and riparian surface water rights coupled with limited regulation of groundwater withdrawals. Approaches for reducing economic losses have included selective fallowing, increased groundwater pumping, adoption of water-saving irrigation techniques, and market transfers of water. The chapter highlights innovative water management strategies that have emerged over the course of the drought and the lessons that California’s drought experience suggests for other areas that may face increasing drought risks in a warmer future climate.

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Carlo Fezzi, Amii R. Harwood, Andrew A. Lovett and Ian J. Bateman

Encouraging adaptation is an essential aspect of the policy response to climate change. However, given that human activities are the main cause of environmental transformations worldwide, it follows that adaptation itself has the potential to generate further pressures, creating new threats for both local and global ecosystems. From this perspective, policies designed to encourage adaptation may conflict with regulation aimed at preserving or enhancing environmental quality. This aspect of adaptation has received relatively little consideration in either policy design or academic debate. To highlight this issue, the authors analyse the trade-offs between two fundamental ecosystem services which will be impacted by climate change: provisioning services derived from agriculture and regulating services in the form of freshwater quality. Their results indicate that climate adaptation in the farming sector will generate fundamental changes in river water quality. In some areas, policies which encourage adaptation are expected to conflict with existing regulations aimed at improving freshwater ecosystems. These findings illustrate the importance of anticipating the wider impacts of human adaptation to climate change when designing environmental policies.

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Carlo Carraro and Marinella Davide

The European Union (EU) has a consolidated climate and energy policy, which has played a pioneering role by adopting a wide range of emission reduction measures. However, it is often claimed that these measures have a negative effect on the economy, especially in terms of growth and competitiveness. This chapter reviews the recent literature on the European experience to understand if these concerns are true. The authors’ analysis primarily focuses on studies assessing major economic indicators, such as costs, competitiveness, carbon leakage and income distribution, with the objective of highlighting both the limits and the opportunities of the EU’s regulatory framework, as well as its potential for reconciliation with socio-economic objectives.

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Victor Orindi, Yazan Elhadi and Ced Hesse

Giving favoured access to climate finance and clean technologies is critical to enabling developing countries to transit to a low carbon economy and society. Global climate finance to developing countries is set to rise with the establishment of the Green Climate Fund. To be effective, climate finance must reach and be prioritised by the communities that need it most and be used to fund solutions that work on the ground. To achieve this, mechanisms need to be put in place to channel the money from the national level to local communities in a way that is transparent, participatory and efficient. The institutional architecture of existing devolved or decentralised government provides a ready-made framework which offers good value for money and will be sustainable as finance flows increase in the future. The authors’ analysis of the Adaptation Consortium in Kenya indicates that devolved County Climate Change Funds are proving to be an effective mechanism to deliver climate finance in support of community-prioritised investments in public goods that build local resilience to climate change.