Sergio Abranches

of Ecopolity

Sergio Abranches, Ph.D., political science, Cornell University, is a writer, journalist and blogger, writing and commenting on Ecopolitics, the relationship between economic development, societal progress and the environment, with an emphasis on climate change and the Amazon. Has a daily op-ed commentary on the Brazilian all-news radio network CBN (Ecopolítica) and edits two blogs: Ecopolity (www.ecopolity.com) in English, and Ecopolitica (www.ecopolitica.info) in Portuguese. His book Copenhague: Antes e Depois (Copenhagen before and after), on COP15, has been published in Brazil last August.

Comments Off on China Braces for a Carbon Market

Last week, China’s National Development and Reform Commission reportedly directed seven regions to set overall emissions control targets and submit proposals for how caps should be allocated. The directive, which encompasses the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tianjin and the provinces of Guangdong and Hubei, aims to establish cap-and-trade pilot projects for the…

Comments Off on Can APEC Deal Help COP17 Climate Change Talks?

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries may become a good example of how to deal politically with deadlocking issues. At their summit in Honolulu last week, they agreed to reduce import tariffs to boost trade in products that cut fossil fuel use and reduce pollution.  With dismal expectations for the COP17 climate change talks, which…

A Surge of Wind Over Brazil

Brazil has suddenly realized the attractiveness of its immense wind power potential. Once deemed too expensive and small-scale, unable to meet the country’s power needs, it is now braced to grow sevenfold to 2014. Brazil has today a dismal 1 gigawatt of wind power installed capacity. But the government’s regulatory agency has already approved an…

Comments Off on Climate and Carbon Connections to the Current Economic Crisis

Among the many reasons for concern about the near future of the global economy, markets are looking at food price inflation in China as a factor that might increase the likelihood of a world recession. The world has actually been under a global food price inflation for a few years, mainly due to a sequence…

The Future Is Low Carbon

Moving from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy entails replacing the global energy and industrial high-carbon infrastructure over the next decades. UN’s recent Economic and Social Survey 2011 – The Great Green Technological Transformation estimates replacement costs at $15-$20 trillion, or between one quarter and one third of global income. This is a herculean task.…

If you are looking for a good synthesis of the IPCC appraisal of recent climate science findings, don’t expect to see it on the upcoming Summary for Policy Makers. You’ll be disappointed. It will likely be just a watered down political piece, rather than a set of substantive scientific recommendations to policy makers. For substance…

Comments Off on Can local sustainable development save the Amazon?

Local sustainable development 2.0, that’s how we should call what is happening in 80 municipalities of the Brazilian giant state of Pará, in the Amazon region. Pará is 1.8 times the size of Texas. These 80 towns are basically dominated by cattle-ranching and some timber production. Beef, timber, and soybean have been the main culprits…

Since the Copenhagen Climate summit we’ve known there is something very wrong with the U.N. political framework for climate change. Early morning compromise decisions by exhausted negotiators have become the rule at Climate Change meetings. It happened again at the preparatory talks in Bangkok last week. Delegates have consumed three and a half days just…

Comments Off on Back to a global green recovery plan?

A scenario of sustained high oil prices can no longer be discarded. If the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East continue to spread to other countries over the next months, it is quite likely that oil prices will keep high, and may even reach new record heights. Not an unlikely development, particularly if…

Comments Off on Our environment is full of clouds and the clock is ticking

Are people who write about climate change and environmental issues destined to become doomsayers? This question returned to my mind while I was reading the World Meteorological Organization’s review of 2010 significant weather and climate events. I was looking for a broader context to comment on the major weather-related tragedy on record that happened in…