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Projects
Climate Change and Security Project
Brian Job, Leanne Smythe
Over the next 30 years, climate change will emerge as a global security concern of unprecedented scope and seriousness. Researchers at the Liu Institute for Global Issues have launched a research project which is exploring the security implications of climate change for Canada.
Leapfrogging over development? Promoting rural renewables for climate change mitigation
Hisham Zerriffi
Renewable energy technologies have the potential to help solve two pressing problems. On one hand, carbon-free energy sources must play a role in climate change mitigation. On the other hand, renewables might help meet needs of rural people without access to modern energy services. However, if renewables are deployed to combat climate change (primarily resulting from emissions in the developed economies) then providing basic energy services in the developing world may be compromised. The tendency to conflate the two drivers by installing renewables in rural areas for carbon mitigation reasons rather than for development reasons could compromise both goals. The danger is supporting sub-optimal policies for mitigating carbon and for rural energy. This is problematic given the limited funds available for energy development and reducing greenhouse gases. This paper analyzes how these goals have been balanced by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Project documents are used to determine whether incremental costs of installing renewables were covered by GEF funds and whether the costs are comparable with other carbon mitigation options. The results raise concerns about the effectiveness and appropriateness of GEF funding of such projects and highlight the importance of post-Kyoto framework design to reduce emissions and promote development.
Global Focus: Global Climate Change: Reaching Agreement in Copenhagen
Various
Leading up to the Copenhagen talks, the Liu Institute and its faculty members were involved in a series of events aiming to inform, highlight, debate, and discuss the challenges and opportunities that world leaders face in the task of agreeing on an ambitious, global agreement that meets the challenge set by science.
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Publications
Apply scientific rigour to climate change aid decisions, UBC academics argue
By Randy Shore
As the world prepares to unleash $100-billion-a-year of climate change aid on the developing world, three academics at UBC have set the table for a rational discussion about how to spend the money. In an article published in Science, Simon Donner, Milind Kandlikar and Hisham Zerriffi argue that the world must learn from the waste and misappropriation that has characterized much of the history of foreign aid and apply scientific standards to decision-making about project funding. “In some cases rigorous, randomized control trials can test specific hypotheses about aid initiatives and policies,” writes Donner and his two colleagues.
November 21, 2011
Experts advise on managing climate change aid
By Deborah Jones
A group of climate science experts from the Liu Institute have recommended measures to manage billions of dollars earmarked to help poor countries fight climate change, and avoid problems common among aid programs. In Cancun last year world leaders pledged $100 billion annually, starting in 2020, to help developing countries adapt to climate change and mitigate the damage. In a paper published in the journal Science, Simon Donner and his colleagues Milind Kandlikar and Hisham Zerriffi, all of UBC, make three main recommendations for managing the funds. “The international aid system is fraught with problems, and by adding another $100 million a year to it, basically doubling it, we could end up worsening a lot of problems,” said Donner.
November 18, 2011
Preparing to Manage Climate Change Financing
Hisham Zerriffi, Milind Kandlikar, Simon Donner
At the 2010 Cancun Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the international community agreed in principle to one of the largest development programs in history. The developed nations pledged to mobilize U.S.$100 billion per year by the year 2020 to “address the needs of developing countries” in responding to climate change (1). The funds, which may apply to adaptation and mitigation, are proposed to flow through multiple channels, including existing development banks, official development assistance, bilateral programs, international private investment flows (e.g., carbon markets), and other public and private mechanisms. Recommendations provided by a transitional committee for the management and operation of the proposed climate change financing will be considered by the parties to the UNFCCC at the upcoming conference in Durban, South Africa (2).
November 17, 2011
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Events
Oct
9
2014
Farming for a Sustainable Planet
October 09, 2014
Join us for an engaging lecture and Q&A by Navin Ramankutty, Professor, Global Food Security and Sustainability, as part of the UBC The Future of Food Global Dialogue Series. Photo credit: Don Erhardt
Dec
7
2012
The Publicness of Non-State Global Environmental and Social Governance
December 07, 2012
Talk by Steven Bernstein, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto on public non-state authority and global governance.
Mar
21
2011
State Science and its Discontents
March 21, 2011
What India's debate on transgenic crops tells us about the relationship between Science and Democracy
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