Doug Boucher

Sr. scientist & dir., Climate Research and Analysis

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Doug Boucher is an expert in preserving tropical forests to curtail global warming emissions. He has been participating in United Nations international climate negotiations since 2007 and his expertise has helped shape U.S. and U.N. policies. He holds a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan. See Doug's full bio.

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Beef and the Paris Agreement: Changing What We Eat to Stop Causing Climate Change

On Earth Day two weeks ago, 171 countries officially signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. In doing so, they agreed to the long term goal of ending humanity’s damage to the climate—that is, reducing our emissions of global warming pollution to zero—in the second half of this century. One encouraging part of the ongoing scientific discussion about how to achieve this ambitious goal, is that we’re finally starting to take seriously the impact of what people eat. Three recent studies show that it makes a big difference, to the climate as well as to our health.

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What’s Driving Deforestation Now?

UCS has just created a new set of web pages summarizing the latest scientific information on the drivers of tropical deforestation. Even though we published a 120-page book about this issue, The Root of the Problem, just five years ago, there is so much new information that what we wrote then is rapidly becoming out of date. And some of these new studies have changed scientists’ minds about the problem in important ways. Read more >

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The Long-Term Goal We Need: The Science of Climate Neutrality

We’re halfway through the two weeks of the climate change negotiations here in Paris, and one contentious part of the draft text being negotiated is Article 3.1, entitled “Collective Long-Term Goal.” This will be a fundamental to the Paris Agreement, because it will establish what the nations of the world agree to be their ultimate objective in terms of global warming. Will it be to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, or 2 degrees, or—God forbid—no limit at all?

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Brazil’s Progress in Reducing Deforestation – Is It Over?

Shortly before I arrived here in Paris for the climate negotiations, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research released the annual figure on Amazon deforestation for 2014–2015. This number comes out each year about this time, and is eagerly awaited as a sign of whether the dramatic progress that Brazil made over the past decade in reducing deforestation by three-fourths, is continuing.

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The Land Sector in INDCs: What We Have and What We Need as Paris Climate Talks Begin

As the world’s political leaders come to Paris for the international climate negotiations (COP21), how do things look with respect to the land sector (agriculture and forests), which is responsible for nearly ¼ of global greenhouse gas emissions? Over the past year, the Union of Concerned Scientists has been analyzing how countries included the land sector in their “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs). What are their plans and how could they be made better?

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