CMI Integration & Outreach
CMI Integration and Outreach introduces new conceptual frameworks that are useful for climate change policy. One effort seeks to make the emerging statistical analyses of extreme events more accessible. A second effort focuses on improving the risk-assessment framework for the current scientific understanding of sea level rise. A third explores the value for climate policy analysis of adding a new component to traditional carbon accounting that tracks “committed emissions,” i.e., the future emissions that are likely to result when a power plant, vehicle, or addition to infrastructure is placed into service.
Research Highlights – At a Glance
Robert Williams, Eric Larson, and Thomas Kreutz: Meeting current targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change will require major changes in the makeup of the US electricity sector in the coming decades. A study by the Energy Systems Analysis group identifies incentives for carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a promising and economically viable approach to meeting emissions reduction goals. The study includes a thought experiment that analyzes how the contributions of different CCS technologies, along with shifts to renewable energy sources, could enable the US to achieve an 83% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power generation by 2050.
Michael Oppenheimer: To achieve incremental, near-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions, both governmental and private stakeholders can be encouraged to form partnerships driven by diverse political and economic incentives. These initiatives may take a variety of forms, and may serve to enhance the emissions reductions promised by existing international agreements.
Robert Socolow: A new academic field, Destiny Studies, should be created to foster coherent thinking about future time and the planetary vulnerabilities that will constrain what we are able to do. Today, when we make decisions that affect future generations, we are inconsistent and not guided by general principles. Notably, we are confused about future time—for example, we have difficulty distinguishing 500-year and 50-year time frames. Climate change and its solutions make particularly stringent demands on thinking about the future and are ripe for Destiny Studies.
Current Research Projects
- Toward a Low-Carbon Future for US Electricity
- Fostering New Collaborations to Curb Climate Change
- Destiny Studies: Creating Our Near and Far Futures
- Integration and Outreach Publications