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[en] Highlights: ► Changes in atmosphere policies over several decades are analysed. ► Direct regulation is less effective and been complemented by other instruments. ► Policy approaches are more complex and integrated and the scale of the issues has evolved. ► The role of stakeholders has grown and the corporate sector has assumed increased responsibility. ► Governance arrangements have become more complex, multilevel and polycentric. -- Abstract: Atmospheric environmental policies have changed considerably over the last several decades. Clearly the relative importance of the various issues has changed over half a century, for example from smoke, sulphur dioxide and photochemical smog being the top priorities to greenhouse gases being the major priority. The traditional policy instrument to control emissions to the atmosphere has been command and control regulation. In many countries this was successful in reducing emissions from point sources, the first generation issues, and to a lesser extent, emissions from mobile and area sources, the second generation issues, although challenges remain in many jurisdictions. However once the simpler, easier, cheaper and obvious targets had been at least partially controlled this form of regulation became less effective. It has been complemented by other instruments including economic instruments, self-regulation, voluntarism and information instruments to address more complex issues including climate change, a third generation issue. Policy approaches to atmospheric environmental issues have become more complex. Policies that directly focus on atmospheric issues have been partially replaced by more integrated approaches that consider multimedia (water, land, etc.) and sustainability issues. Pressures from stakeholders for inclusion, greater transparency and better communication have grown and non-government stakeholders have become increasingly important participants in governance. The scale of the issues has evolved from a local to national, regional and global scales. Consequently the approaches to atmospheric environmental policy have also been amended. The international dimensions of atmospheric issues have grown in prominence and challenge governance and politics with pressures for international cooperation and harmonisation of policies. This is reducing the policy flexibility of national governments. Partially in response to these changes, to manage environmental risks and protect their brands, leaders in the corporate sector have generally found it beneficial to increase responsibility and accountability, including establishing corporate environmental policies, environmental management systems, risk management, sustainability reporting and other measures. This analysis clearly identifies that these changes are inter-related. Acting together they have transformed the way that atmospheric issues are governed in the last several decades in developed countries. Together they have led to governments in many developed countries vacating leadership roles and becoming increasingly managers of the policy process. As the leadership role of governments has been partially eroded, governments are more reliant on persuasion and diplomacy in their relations with stakeholders. As a consequence, governance arrangements have become more complex, multilevel and polycentric
[en] Highlights: • Protocols are the foundation of an offset program. • Using sample projects, we “road test” landfill, manure and afforestation protocols from 5 programs. • For a given project, we find large variation in the volume of offsets generated. • Harmonization of protocols can increase the likelihood that “a ton is a ton”. • Harmonization can enhance prospects for linking emission trading systems. -- Abstract: The outcome of recent international climate negotiations suggests we are headed toward a more fragmented carbon market, with multiple emission trading and offset programs operating in parallel. To effectively harmonize and link across programs, it will be important to ensure that across offset programs and protocols that a “ton is a ton”. In this article, we consider how sample offsets projects in the U.S. carbon market are treated across protocols from five programs: the Clean Development Mechanism, Climate Action Reserve, Chicago Climate Exchange, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and the U.S. EPA's former program, Climate Leaders. We find that differences among protocols for landfill methane, manure management, and afforestation/reforestation project types in accounting boundary definitions, baseline setting methods, measurement rules, emission factors, and discounts lead to differences in offsets credited that are often significant (e.g. greater than 50%). We suggest opportunities for modification and harmonization of protocols that can improve offset quality and credibility and enhance prospects for future linking of trading units and systems
[en] Highlights: • Concerns and issues in sustainability of CDM forestry projects are reviewed. • Ecological restoration is suggested to be integrated in the CDM framework. • As an ecosystem supporting service, soil restoration on degraded land is of primary importance. • Regenerating forests naturally rather than through monoculture plantations is suggested. • Potential social impacts of ecological restoration are discussed. - Abstract: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is proposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development. CDM forestry projects should contribute to mitigation of climate change through afforestation and reforestation (A/R) activities on degraded land in developing countries. However, like other types of CDM projects, the forestry projects have encountered a number of concerns and critiques. Appropriate approaches and concrete aims to achieve long-term sustainability have been lacking, and reforms have therefore been called for. The aims of this paper are to examine the published information relevant to these concerns, and frame appropriate approaches for a more sustainable CDM. In this review, as a first step to tackle some of these issues, ecological restoration is suggested for integration into the CDM framework. Essentially, this involves the restoration of ecosystem supporting service (soil restoration), upon which forests regenerate naturally rather than establishing monoculture plantations. In this way, forestry projects would bring cost-effective opportunities for multiple ecosystem services. Potential approaches, necessary additions to the monitoring plans, and social impacts of ecological restoration in CDM projects are discussed
[en] Highlights: • Discussion of inconsistencies of South African air quality and climate mitigation policies. • Air quality and climate change policies impact lower economical strata. • Local/indoor air pollution is a possible consequence of climate change mitigation. • An integration of climate change mitigation and air quality policies is needed. • The use of an integrated climate/air pollution model is proposed. - Abstract: Climate change mitigation and air quality management are mostly addressed separately in South African legal acts and policies. This approach is not always coherent, especially in the context of other serious issues South Africa is facing, such as poverty alleviation. Policies implemented to mitigate climate change might increase negative health affects due to unanticipated outcomes (e.g. increased local air pollution), and these indirect consequences must therefore be taken into account when devising mitigation strategies. However, greenhouse gas mitigation policies can also have co-benefits and positive impacts on local air pollution. An evidence-based approach that takes into account greenhouse gas emissions, ambient air pollutants, economic factors (affordability, cost optimisation), social factors (poverty alleviations, public health benefits), and political acceptability is needed tackle these challenges. A proposal is made that use of an integrated climate/air pollution techno-economic optimising model, such as the Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Synergies (GAINS) model, may provide a rational decision support tool to guide policy makers into effective strategies for combined Climate Change and Air Quality mitigation measures.
[en] Highlights: • Legitimacy is a condition for the success of incentive based conservation and REDD+ programs, beyond pure carbon effectiveness. • Local stakeholders, i.e., Indigenous groups, must perceive these programs to be legitimate. • Social safeguards are not neutral but part of a wider discourse on how REDD+ is designed and legitimized. • Input and output criteria of legitimacy can provide a useful way to determine the legitimacy of conservation incentive programs. - Abstract: Incentive-based conservation has become a significant part of how tropical forests are being governed. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is a mechanism to mitigate climate change that many countries have started to implement. REDD+, however, is criticized for its potential negative impacts on local populations and Indigenous people. To prevent and mitigate the negative impacts, safeguards are increasingly being used to prevent and shift the focus toward ‘non-carbon’ elements of forest conservation. We discuss the legitimacy of these types of projects from a stakeholder perspective. Using a normative framework, we assess the Ecuadorian Socio Bosque conservation program, concentrating more specifically on the level of input and output legitimacy. Results show that Socio Bosque in its current form has shortcomings in both input and output legitimacy. We argue that an encompassing conception of legitimacy, including input and output criteria, particularly from a local stakeholder perspective, is essential for the future success of incentive-based conservation and particularly for REDD+ projects
[en] Highlights: • The Norwegian policy to promote the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) is unusually powerful. • Numerical examples show that the policy means an approximate tax relief for a EV owner about 8000 USD/year. • The same time an average EV is might imply an emission reduction of less than 1 tonne CO_2. • The policy might cause small emission reductions at high costs. • The policy might have the unfortunate side-effect that households buy more cars and drive more. - Abstract: As a result of generous policies to increase the use of electric vehicles (EVs), the sales of EVs in Norway are rapidly increasing. This in sharp contrast to most other rich countries without such generous policies. Due to the subsidies, driving an EV implies very low costs to the owner on the margin, probably leading to more driving at the expense of public transport and cycling. Moreover, because most EVs’ driving range is low, the policy gives Norwegian households incentives to purchase a second car, again stimulating the use of private cars instead of public transport and cycling. These effects are analysed in light of possible greenhouse gas (GHG) emission benefits as well as other possible benefits of utilizing EVs versus conventional cars. We discuss whether the EV policy can be justified, as well as whether this policy should be implemented by other countries
[en] Highlights: • Incorporates wellbeing into understandings of climate change impacts on health. • Considers a range of secondary impacts of climate change on health and wellbeing. • Examines co-benefits and dis-benefits of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies for health and wellbeing. • Emphasises the spatially and socially differentiated repercussions of adaptation and mitigation measures. - Abstract: Anthropogenic climate change is progressively transforming the environment despite political and technological attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle global warming. Here we propose that greater insight and understanding of the health-related impacts of climate change can be gained by integrating the positivist approaches used in public health and epidemiology, with holistic social science perspectives on health in which the concept of ‘wellbeing’ is more explicitly recognised. Such an approach enables us to acknowledge and explore a wide range of more subtle, yet important health-related outcomes of climate change. At the same time, incorporating notions of wellbeing enables recognition of both the health co-benefits and dis-benefits of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies across different population groups and geographical contexts. The paper recommends that future adaptation and mitigation policies seek to ensure that benefits are available for all since current evidence suggests that they are spatially and socially differentiated, and their accessibility is dependent on a range of contextually specific socio-cultural factors
[en] Highlights: • Participatory scenario planning (PSP) in climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability research in the Arctic is increasingly common. • The approach is being used to explore diverse sectors including traditional livelihoods, resource extraction, community planning, shipping, and tourism. • Studies generally follow recognized best practice in PSP, however, many (42%) do not incorporate climate projections. • Most studies utilize a forecasting approach, however, those studies utilizing a back-casting approach have higher local participation. • Though studies integrate different knowledge systems, cultural factors may impact the utility and acceptance of the approach. - Abstract: Participatory scenario planning (PSP) approaches are increasingly being used in research on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (IAV). We identify and evaluate how PSP has been used in IAV studies in the Arctic, reviewing work published in the peer-reviewed and grey literature (n = 43). Studies utilizing PSP commonly follow the stages recognized as ‘best practice’ in the general literature in scenario planning, engaging with multiple ways of knowing including western science and traditional knowledge, and are employed in a diversity of sectors. Community participation, however, varies between studies, and climate projections are only utilized in just over half of the studies reviewed, raising concern that important future drivers of change are not fully captured. The time required to conduct PSP, involving extensive community engagement, was consistently reported as a challenge, and for application in Indigenous communities requires careful consideration of local culture, values, and belief systems on what it means to prepare for future climate impacts.
[en] Highlights: • The role of shelters and sheltering practices during bushfires is examined. • Safe sheltering requires considerable planning and preparation by residents. • Importance of active sheltering by continually monitoring conditions inside and outside the shelter. • Appropriately designed and located shelters can reduce shelter failure, and facilitate egress. • Need for contingency planning and preparation for sheltering and safe sheltering behaviours. - Abstract: The decision of whether to leave or stay and defend is a well communicated public safety policy for those at risk from bushfire in Australia. Advice relating to sheltering practices during bushfire is less developed. This paper presents findings from a study of sheltering practices during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The study examined the circumstances and challenges experienced by residents when sheltering and/or exiting houses, sheds, and personal bunkers. The analysis considered a number of factors including human behaviour and decision making, house design and construction, the surrounding landscape and fire behaviour. The results show the need for contingency planning and the need for active sheltering, involving regular monitoring of conditions inside and outside the shelter and actions to protect the shelter and its occupants. Also discussed is the tenability and location of the shelters and key questions around how bushfire-related building controls can improve the predictability of shelter failure, reduce the rate of shelter tenability loss and facilitate egress. This research highlights the need for enhanced community engagement and education to encourage residents to plan and prepare for active sheltering.
[en] Highlights: • Combine GVC and MLP frameworks to study foreign investment in a biofuels value chain. • High entry barriers in new agriculture-based value chains for global biofuel markets. • International start-up firms with insufficient equity capital attracted by the hype. • Low level of learning and knowledge sharing between niche actors increased costs. • GVC important for understanding biofuel niche development in developing countries. - Abstract: The article draws on the multi-level perspective (MLP) and global value chain (GVC) frameworks to analyse the drivers and trajectories of foreign private investment in biofuel production in Ghana. It is based on a narrative of the evolution of a niche for jatropha production in Ghana in the period 1995–2016 including company case studies. The factors analysed relating to MLP are alignment of expectations, network formation, and learning and knowledge sharing, and those relating to GVC are chain structure, governance, ownership, and access to land and capital. High entry barriers for creating a new agriculture-based value chain for global biofuel markets, i.e. high volume requirements, high capital needs, and market risks contributed to the collapse of the jatropha sector in Ghana. A low level of learning and knowledge sharing between jatropha actors in Ghana, alongside weak public R&D support, reduced access to technical and managerial information. Confirming previous GVC research on biofuels, policy and NGOs had a stronger influence on the jatropha value chain than in typical agricultural chains. Moreover, global drivers and the strategies and capabilities of foreign investors can strongly influence the development of a new biofuel value chain in a developing country. The latter points complement previous research on jatropha, which highlights politico- economic factors such as land tenure, regional and local power relations, and the interests of donors and NGOs. The study exemplifies a non- evolutionary niche development that goes beyond the European experiences of industrial niche development on which the MLP framework was first established. The importance of investors and policy at different levels of the value chain illustrate the synergies in combining the MLP and GVC frameworks in research on energy transitions in developing countries.