Benjamin Dills

Growth and the Environment, A Response

In his April 30th article, “Two Environmental Lessons from the Heritage Foundation’s 2016 Index of Economic Freedom,”  Sam Mulopulos uses the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom as a jumping off point for laying out an argument that economic growth and free trade ultimately benefit the environment. There is some merit to this idea in…

Using Family Planning to Combat Climate Change

Population growth is one of the most important factors contributing to climate change and environmental degradation. An effective solution to this environmental challenge comes from outside of the environmental sector. One of the most cost effective uses for the $100 billion in climate financing promised at COP 21 is ensuring that every woman has access to…

Maintaining the Momentum of Paris

The creation of the Paris climate deal was a significant accomplishment, but far more important than signing the deal is following through on its commitments, and developing even more ambitious goals to mitigate the threat of climate change. The United States and the rest of the world should build on the momentum of Paris by…

Illuminating the Lack of Women in Government Through Data

Twenty years after the 1995 United Nation’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, only 27% of countries in the world have legislatures that meet the goal of women holding 30% of decision-making positions. Parliamentarians meeting at the UN on August 31st agreed that more work clearly needs to be done, but many avoided speaking…

The Tentative Hope of the Sustainable Development Goals

The draft Sustainable Development Goals provide a grand vision for the future of humanity, but the recent conference on international finance in Addis Ababa raises questions about the political will to follow through on their implementation.

Cities and Climate: Local Governments with Global Impact

On Thursday, June 1st, 2017, President Trump announced to the world that he would be pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Responses from mayors across the world have been strong and swift, with cities charting their own path on climate change and building on the active work they have been doing…

Transcript and Audio: Charged Affairs’ Conversation with Andrew Selee, Executive VP of the Wilson Center

Charge Affairs’ Senior Staff Writer Benjamin Dills sat down with Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President of the Wilson Center, to talk about the evolving role of nonpartisan institutions in foreign policy dialogue in the United States. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity. The full, unedited audio is available below. Benjamin Dills: Thank…

Building a Climate-Ready Military

In the past decade, there has been increasing recognition within the national security establishment that climate change is a national security issue. The 2010 and 2014 Quadrennial Defense Reviews, flagship documents by the Department of Defense on US military doctrine, addressed climate change as significant factor in America’s security, stating that: “the impacts of climate…

Climate Engineering and the Need for Global Governance

While the past few years have seen tremendous accomplishments in the fight against climate change, projections for changes in global temperature continue to be dire. Even if every country fulfills its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, the UN Environmental Program predicts that global emissions will still lead to well more than 2 degrees Celsius…

All is Not Lost: Maintaining Global Momentum on Climate Without the U.S.

The global outlook on climate change shifted radically in less than a week this November. The Paris Climate Agreement came into force on Friday, November 4, 2016. This allowed negotiators from the signatory countries to begin developing the rules of implementation at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakech on Monday, November 7.…

Indigenous Rights: A Cornerstone to Sustainability

In 2015, more than three people a week were killed for protesting land theft and the development of ecologically destructive industries, such as mining, agribusiness, damming, and logging. In 2014, 116 environmental activists were killed, with 47 coming from indigenous communities (a far larger proportion than their share of the population). Since 2000, at least…

Will President Obama’s September Call to Action Secure His Climate Legacy?

On September 21, 2016, the White House released a memorandum requiring 20 federal agencies to work together to address the national security implications of climate change. Within 90 days of the release of the memorandum, those 20 agencies need to develop an interagency Climate Change and National Security Action Plan. This is an unprecedented move…

Considering the Nuclear Option: Alternative Power Sources for a Post-Paris World

On September 3, China and the United States signed the Paris Climate Agreement, bringing the reality of its implementation that much closer. When 55 countries that together generate at least 55% of the world’s emissions sign on, the agreement will come into force. Translating the agreement’s commitments from theory to practice, however, will require massive…

Paris Climate Agreement: Lost at Sea?

The maritime shipping industry hauls roughly 90% of global trade every year. If the shipping industry was a country, it would be the world’s sixth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, coming in below Japan and just above Brazil and Germany. According to the International Maritime Organization, shipping accounted for 2.5 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions in 2016,…

Climate and Conflict: Finding Opportunities for Peace

In past years, researchers, politicians, and journalists alike have paid increasing attention to the possible links between climate change and conflict. On the surface, the connection appears simple. Climate change brings on drought and extreme weather, destroying people’s livelihoods and in turn creating economic and political instability that leads to conflict. In understanding climate change as…