Stories for Decem ber/January
Profeta Testifies to Congress on
Federal-State Partnership to Fight Climate Change
On December 5, Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute, spoke at a congressional hearing to outline a potential path for overcoming the national political stalemate on climate change and achieving "fast and significant action." 

In prepared testimony for the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, Profeta encouraged Congress to consider a model for fighting climate change that has worked for other environmental challenges—a federal-state partnership. Under the concept, the federal government would establish emissions targets while empowering states to craft individual plans for how to meet those goals.
Protecting the State's Drinking Water:
Project Maps Infrastructure for NC Communities
For more than a year, a team of students from the Nicholas School of the Environment and Pratt School of Engineering has been working to create a single digital map of North Carolina’s drinking water systems. The finished product will be a key component of a data-driven approach to identifying policies that will help protect the state’s water supply.

The effort is part of a larger project called Innovations in Infrastructure, led by co-principal investigators  Megan Mullin, associate professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment, and  Amy Pickle, State Policy Program director at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. The project is funded by a multiyear  Collaboratory grant from the Duke Provost’s Office.
Net-Zero Commitments Make
Madrid Carbon Market Letdown More Critical
For the second consecutive year, negotiations over international carbon markets broke down at the United Nations' annual climate conference.

Jackson Ewing, senior fellow at the Nicholas Institute, was among the climate and energy experts who participated in COP25 in Madrid. Ewing wrote for the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition about how finding common ground on these markets is critical to ensuring countries and businesses committed to net-zero emissions meet their targets.
New Web Page Features Work
on Climate Resilience and Adaptation
Given accelerating global climate change, understanding and enhancing the ways in which our social and ecological systems can withstand, respond to, and recover from changes and disruptions is critical.

From the role of coastal habitats to reservoir operations to management of public lands, the Nicholas Institute is engaged in a variety of work to improve climate resilience and adaption.

Celeste Bollini, Emily Millar, Tibor Vegh, and John Virdin

This analysis seeks to evaluate the size and distribution of the services the mangrove ecosystem is providing to local communities in Suriname and Guyana. The study involves three components: (i) the description, from the scientific and grey literatures, of the mangrove ecosystem services specific to local communities in Guyana and Suriname; (ii) identification of methods that could be used to estimate the economic values of these services, and estimation of the economic values for mangrove forests’ fisheries support ecosystem service; and (iii) identification of local beneficiaries of these services.

Emily Pakhtigian, Eric Burton, Marc Jeuland, Subhrendu Pattanayak, Jonathan Phillips, Christine Eibs Singer, Hadley Taylor, Michelle Hallack, Javier Cuervo, Carlos Jacome, and Natasha C. Marzolf

Governments face important decisions regarding how to balance power quality, quantity, and reliability priorities with how to ensure all populations receive access as quickly as possible. The Energy Access Dividend in Honduras and Haiti develops a methodology to quantify and monetize benefits generated through accelerated electricity access.

F orty-seven authors including John Virdin and Tibor Vegh
The Progress Report on Ocean and Climate Action for 2019 addresses progress (or lack thereof) in nine categories: 1. Purpose of the Progress Report and progress achieved at COP24, within the UNFCC framework and in related international fora; 2. The central role of oceans in climate and associated science and policy issues, covering new scientific findings and their policy implications; 3. The central role of Nationally Determined Contributions; 4. Mitigation (including Blue Carbon, curbing air emissions from ships, renewable energy, and carbon capture and storage); 5. Adaptation; 6. Low Carbon Blue Economy; 7. Population Displacement; 8. Financing on Oceans and Climate; and 9. Capacity Development.

Dyhia Belhabib, William W. L. Cheung, David Kroodsma, Vicky W. Y. Lam, Philip J. Underwood, and John Virdin

Small‐scale fisheries contribute substantially to the sustainability of coastal communities by providing livelihood and economic opportunities and ensuring food security. However, their geographic range of operation overlaps with that of industrial fisheries, increasing the resource competition, risk of vessel collision and inter‐sector conflicts, while jeopardizing the sustainability of fish stocks.
Upcoming Events
  • Policy Boot Camps. These informal discussions with Nicholas Institute professionals give Duke students an opportunity to learn about environmental policy making institutions. Fridays, January 17; February 7, 21, & 28; and March 27, 3–5 p.m. Grainger Hall, Board Room (Room 5109).

  • Social Coast Forum. Lydia Olander will present on the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Logic Models & Socio-Economic Indicators project. Monday, February 3–Thursday, February 6. Charleston, South Carolina.

  • Carbon Pricing in Wholesale Energy Markets. NYU's Institute for Policy Integrity and the Nicholas Institute are hosting this conference to focus on different approaches for carbon pricing in wholesale energy markets. Tuesday, March 3, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Washington, DC.
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