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Rachel Cleetus

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About the author: Rachel Cleetus is an expert on the design and economic evaluation of climate and energy policies, as well as the costs of climate change. She holds a Ph.D. in economics. See Rachel's full bio.

Coastal Communities on the Front Lines of Sea Level Rise and Flooding: Convening a Conversation

Last week, almost six months after Hurricane Sandy came ashore to devastating effect, UCS convened a multi-state roundtable on the growing risks from sea level rise, storm surges, and flooding. Officials from Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia, together with a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, came together to talk about what they are doing to help protect their communities from these risks and what future steps may be needed to build resilience. Read More

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Costly Climate Impacts Show Why We Need Power Plant Carbon Standards

Tomorrow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will likely miss a legal deadline for finalizing its draft carbon standard for curtailing carbon emissions from new power plants. Power plants are the single largest stationary source of  U.S. global warming emissions. Cutting those emissions is critical to slowing the magnitude and pace of climate change. Furthermore, an ambitious standard is achievable because we have abundant cleaner forms of energy. So why the delay? Read More

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White House Champions of Change Event Features Community Resilience Leaders

Today’s “Champions of Change” event in Washington can be seen as a kick-off for a desperately-needed national conversation on climate change. It couldn’t have had a more fitting theme: “Preparing for the Costly Impacts of Climate Change – Community Resilience Leaders.” Read More

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Well-Designed Power Plant Carbon Standards Can Reduce Emissions and Increase Renewable Energy

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to soon finalize carbon standards for new power plants, bolstering the existing market trend away from building new coal-fired power plants. Next up is the carbon standard for existing power plants – a major source of U.S. global warming emissions. Designing this standard with the flexibility to include renewable energy and efficiency as compliance options can help achieve deep emissions reductions at an affordable cost. Read More

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Rebuilding for Climate Resilience in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

It’s been three months since Hurricane Sandy pounded the coasts of New Jersey and New York (among other places), changing forever our understanding of our vulnerability to coastal flooding. While recovery and rebuilding continues to be a long, hard, painful process, there are encouraging signs that we may have begun an important national conversation about facing climate risks in a more resilient way. Read More

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2013 Begins Without Respite from Drought

The latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor and predictions from National Weather Service were released today. They show a grim picture of continuing drought for the foreseeable future for large swathes of the U.S. Read More

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A Crucial Benchmark for Climate Action is at Risk. Why it Matters Now More than Ever.

Several recent reports have pointed out that without significant, immediate action to lower global warming emissions, we are getting dangerously close to blowing past emissions levels that would lead to a 2°C or more increase in global temperatures. That may lead some to think that the 2°C benchmark is becoming increasingly irrelevant, but nothing could be further from the truth. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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California’s First Carbon Auction Generates Nearly $300 Million in Revenues

California recently held its first auction for carbon allowances, the launch of the cap-and-trade program that is part of its Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32). My colleague, Jasmin Ansar, offered some early commentary on the auction and I recently circled back with her to get an update on how it went. Read More

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Pricing Carbon Pollution: A Historic Day in California

Yesterday California held its first auction of permits for carbon emissions under its landmark cap-and-trade program. My colleague and fellow economist, Jasmin Ansar, has been on the ground in California working on this issue for years. Today I asked her to provide some expert insight into the latest developments. Read More

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Hurricane Sandy: An Unfolding Human and Economic Crisis

Hurricane Sandy has put climate change firmly on our country’s radar screen. What’s clear is that we are not at all adequately prepared for the risks of extreme weather, especially in a warming world. And our ill-preparedness is devastatingly costly. Can we learn from this and do better? Read More

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