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Home - Global Challenges - Energy and the Environment

Energy and the Environment

Energy Futures and Urban Air Pollution: Challenges for China and the United States
The academies of science and engineering from the world’s two largest energy consumers, the United States and China, collaborated in a series of activities. One resulting study, Energy Futures and Urban Air Pollution: Challenges for China and the United States (2007), provides the governments of both countries with key recommendations on addressing energy consumption and air-quality issues while maintaining economic growth. Order the book.

US-China Cooperation on Electricity from Renewables
This joint study will assist Chinese and American policy makers in developing strategies to meet renewable energy goals, to highlight prospects for technology transfer between countries, and to identify areas ripe for future cooperation. Learn more about this ongoing study.

American's Energy Future
Responding to the new sense of urgency about America’s energy future is difficult due to competing national priorities and interests, such as reducing oil import dependence, ensuring that affordable energy is available, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The America’s Energy Future Initiative at the National Academies is designed to provide a credible analysis of technology options and their costs and impacts to help make sensible decisions about alternatives to current technologies for using energy more efficiently and for ensuring an affordable supply of energy from a diversity of sources. Download the brochure "What you need to know about energy" (2008, PDF 1.7 MB) or access a selection of energy related reports. 

Climate Change
At a time when responding to climate change is one of the nation's most important and complex endeavors, the National Academies provide helpful analysis and advice to policy makers and stakeholders through its expert, consensus reports and other activities. The booklet Understanding and Responding to Climate Change (2008, PDF 3.3.MB) presents recommendations from the National Academies' many expert reports on climate change in an easy-to-read format. Given the global nature of climate change, the work of the Climate Change Program and its reports on climate change-related topics are also valuable for an international audience. 

Ocean Science
In one way or another, every landform and creature on Earth reflects the presence of the oceans. Understanding the oceans is essential to our understanding of the origin of life, weather and climate, the health of the environment, energy sources, and many more topics. National Academies’ reports on ocean-related topics provide in-depth analysis and useful advice for national and international policy makers and the general public. The Ocean Science Series booklets intend to help readers interpret information about the state of our oceans and better understand the role of ocean science. Learn more about our other Ocean Studies activities.

Global Environmental Health in the 21st Century
Global regulatory standards will always be a major driver in the field of environmental health. Yet, there is a growing understanding of the value of voluntary standards to fill in gaps or to work in concert with formal regulations. The workshop summary Global Environmental Health in the 21st Century: From Governmental Regulation to Corporate Social Responsibility (2007, PDF 943 KB) captures the dialogue on the challenges and advancement of non-regulatory mechanisms to address complex environmental exposures and opportunities to improve environmental health.

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