Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Brookings Wants Deeper Impact on Climate & Energy Policy

This week the Brookings Institution announced a new blog called PlanetPolicy which aims to shape the debate on energy and climate change.

Brookings President Strobe Talbott wrote this week about how important climate change is to the think tank:
...contributing to the search for a transformative climate and energy policy is a Brookings priority. In the dozen years that I’ve been at Brookings, my colleagues and I have been on the case.  We have published dozens of books on the subject, including one that Bill Antholis and I wrote in 2010.  All five of our research programs have promoted climate and change and clean energy research—designing local energy innovation initiatives, shaping the design and economic assessment of national approaches, shaping the structure of global negotiations, and crafting diplomatic strategies for U.S.-China cooperation. We have worked closely with administrations and members of Congress from both parties, the media, and numerous NGOs to contribute our ideas directly into the public debate and the policy process.
Talbott wrote that the latest United Nations (UN) assessment on climate change raises the urgency of the threat, and said that Brookings wants to expand the scope and increase the impact of its climate-related work.

Talbott also said that Brookings has been beefing up its energy/climate team.  He cited the recent appointment of Qi Ye as Senior Fellow and Director of the Brookings Tsinghua Center, and said that Ye is one of China's leading authorities on environmental implementation.  He also pointed to the Brookings India Center led by Vikram Mehta, an expert on energy policy.  Brookings also announced a few weeks ago that Patricia Mulroy, one of the US's leading authorities on water resources, will join Brookings as a Senior Fellow in Metropolitan Studies.

Brookings, according to Talbott, wants to design smart policies that can reduce carbon emissions, without reducing energy security or American competitiveness.  To that end, Brookings has launched the new PlanetPolicy blog which will cover a range of questions and solutions for the climate and energy challenges facing the world.

The blog already has several posts, including one from William Antholis on climate change policy in India, and one from Joshua Meltzer and Claire Langley on the need for US leadership on climate change.  Other writings from Brookings about climate change can be found here.

Brookings was recently ranked as the top think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  Brookings was ranked as the 4th best think tank in the world in terms of environmental policy, after World Resources Institute (#1), Stockholm Environment Institute (#2), and Worldwatch Institute (#3).

It is also worth noting that Brookings is not the only think tank with a climate blog.  For example, the Center for American Progress (CAP) has its ClimateProgress blog.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on the first-ever ranking of climate think tanks.