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Climate Change Policy 

The Institute maintains an active climate change portfolio that  engages a broad array of organizations, governments, and scholarly disciplines in such areas as the architecture of international climate agreements, climate finance, clean energy transitions (especially in the electricity and building sectors), mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants, adaptation, enhancing carbon sinks, climate and security, and climate engineering. Our work primarily focuses on the U.S., China, and India, and the international mechanisms that have been created in the past 25 years to create a system of global climate governance. From 2013-2016 Institute Director Andrew Light served in the Obama Administration, working on the negotiations that created the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, and in Secretary Kerry’s Office of Policy Planning in the U.S. Department of State. This work has been collaborative, working with various Washington, D.C. think tanks and NGOs. Active projects include the production of a major report on governance of Solar Radiation Management, finalizing the creation of a global mechanism for annual assessment of progress toward the targets under the Paris Agreement (the “Global Stocktake”), implementing the Kigali Amendment on a global phase-down of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, and a study of the creation and future of the Warsaw Mechanism on Loss and Damage under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 


David Morrow (George Mason University and American University) 

Gwynne Taraska (Climate Advisers) 

George Mason University, Center for Climate Change Communication

George Mason University, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences


B. Hale & A. Light (eds.) Routledge Companion to Environmental Ethics, Routledge, (forthcoming).


Light, A. and Gwynne Taraska. “A Responsible Path: Enhancing Action on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants” in Climate Justice in a Non-Ideal World. C. Heyward and D. Roser (eds.). Oxford University Press, (2016).


Light, A. “Climate Diplomacy" in The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics. S. Gardiner and A. Thompson (eds.). Oxford University Press, (2016). 


Light, A. “U.S.-Canadian Climate Cooperation at a Crossroads,” “The Palmer Conference on Public Sector Leadership,” University of Prince Edward Island, August 30, 2017 (plenary address). 


Light, A. “Do We Need a Global Moratorium on Climate Engineering Research?” Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment workshop, World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, September 8, 2017. 


Light, A. “Does the Anthropocene Imply Anything for Geoengineering?” Climate Engineering Conference 2017, Berlin, Germany, October 11, 2017. 


Light, A. “Policy Opportunities for Mitigation of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants After Paris,” Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate meeting, National Academy of Sciences, November 6, 2017. 


Light, A. “America’s Climate and Security Gambit,” “Enhancing Climate Diplomacy in a Changing Political Environment,” workshop, Institute for Environmental Security, GLOBE-EU, and EU Presidency, Brussels, November 20, 2017.

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