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Featured Research

Galik, C.S. (2020). A continuing need to revisit BECCS and its potential. Nature Climate Change, 10, 2-3.

As work continues to finalize and then implement the Paris Agreement Rulebook, biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) remains a flashpoint in the debate over reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs). The IPCC has suggested that BECCS could play a central role in meeting GHG reduction targets, with a vast majority of the scenarios in its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) relying on the technology to limit global warming to less than 2 °C. However, there remains a critical and continued need to consider the practical realities of BECCS and the potential disconnect between research and application. Concerns have been raised about the potential to achieve the magnitudes suggested by modelling analyses, as well as the social and environmental implications of doing so. And although more recent summaries by the IPCC indicate a reduced dependence on BECCS, the technology remains a dominant contributor to strategies for achieving long- term climate stability.

Galik, C.S., Latta, G.S., & Gambino, C. (2019). Piecemeal or combined? Assessing greenhouse gas mitigation spillovers in US forest and agriculture policy portfolios. Climate Policy, 19, 1270-1283.

Forest and agricultural sector response to comprehensive climate policy is well represented in the literature. Less analysis has been devoted to piecemeal solutions. We use the Forest and Agriculture Sector Optimization Model with Greenhouse Gases (FASOMGHG) to project the individual and combined effect of three existing U.S. Department of Agriculture programmes with potential to increase greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation. We find that a combined policy scenario may achieve greater mitigation than individual constituent programmes, suggesting the possibility of complementary spillover effects in some periods. Mitigation varies over time, however, and some periods experience net emissions as markets and management practices respond to initial policy shocks. The regional distribution of GHG mitigation also varies between policy scenario. Differences in the magnitude and imputed cost of mitigation under each scenario, generating negative values for some programmes and time periods, reinforces the need to evaluate portfolio design to cost-effectively achieve near-term GHG mitigation.

Galik, C. S., DeCarolis, J. F., & Fell, H. (2017). Evaluating the U.S. mid-century strategy for deep decarbonization amidst early century uncertainty. Climate Policy, 17, 1046-1056.

The recent change in US presidential administrations has introduced significant uncertainty about both domestic and international policy support for continued reductions in GHG emissions. This brief analysis estimates the potential climate ramifications of changing US leadership, contrasting the Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization (MCS) released under the Obama Administration, with campaign statements, early executive actions, and prevailing market conditions to estimate potential emission pathways under the Trump Administration. The analysis highlights areas where GHG reductions are less robust to changing policy conditions, and offers brief recommendations for addressing emissions in the interim. It specifically finds that continued reductions in the electricity sector are less vulnerable to changes in federal policy than those in the built environment and land use sectors. Given the long-lived nature of investments in these latter two sectors, however, opportunities for near-term climate action by willing cities, states, private landowners, and non-profit organizations warrant renewed attention in this time of climate uncertainty.

Other Recent Research

Ba, Y., & Galik, C. S. (2019). Polycentric systems and multi-scale climate change mitigation and adaptation in the built environment. Review of Policy Research,

Galik, C. S., & Olander, L. P. (2018). A review of the use of early-action incentives in U.S. environmental markets. Land Use Policy, 72, 1-11.

Galik, C. S., Murray, B. C., & Parish, M. C. (2017). Near-term pathways for achieving agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation in the U.S. Climate, 5, 69.

Galik, C. S., DeCarolis, J. F., & Fell, H. (2017). Evaluating the U.S. mid-century strategy for deep decarbonization amidst early century uncertainty. Climate Policy, 17, 1046-1056.

Galik, C. S., & Grala, R. K. (2017). Conservation program delivery in the southern U.S.: Preferences and interactions. Journal of Environmental Management, 198P1, 75-83.

Galik, C. S., BenDor, T. K., DeMeester, J., & Wolfe, D. (2017). Improving habitat exchange planning through theory, application, and lessons from other fields. Environmental Science and Policy, 73, 45-51.

Galik, C. S., & McAdams, D. L. (2017). Supply, demand, and uncertainty: Implications for prelisting conservation policy. Ecological Economics, 137, 91-98.

Murray, B. C., Galik, C. S., & Vegh, T. (2017). Biogas in the United States: Estimating future production and learning from international experiences. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 22, 485-501.