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Upcoming Events

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities, Meeting 1
February 12-13, 2015
Washington, DC 


View a list of Sustainability-related meetings at The National Academies 

Past Events:

Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability
December 10-11, 2014
Washington, DC

Homelessness and Urban Sustainability: Implications of Changes to the US Health System on a Vulnerable Population

November 12, 2014
Washington, DC

Considerations for the Future of Animal Science Research

September 8-9, 2014
Washington, DC


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Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS)
The National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 334-2694
Fax: (202) 334-3094
E-mail:
Sustainability@nas.edu


 



Meetings

View a list of Sustainability-related meetings at The National Academies

Ongoing ACTIVITIES

View a list of Sustainability-related ongoing activities at The National Academies
Economy & Industry

"More often than not, when development is discussed, the emphasis is on the economy, with its productive sectors providing the incentives and the means for investment as well as the funds for environmental maintenance and restoration."
Our Common Journey
 

Publications                                                                                                

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs:  Summary of a Workshop (2014)
This report is the summary of a workshop held on June 9-10, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. This workshop convened 40 thought leaders from the Gulf region's education, employer and policymaking communities to facilitate a discussion of the current state of education and training pathways for preparing the region's middle-skilled workforce in both the short- and long-term and to identify perceived needs and potential opportunities that might be addressed by the Gulf Research Program.

Mindset Shifts for Ownership of Our Continent's Development Agenda (2014)
This new report from several African science academies recommends catalysts for giving all sectors of society in Africa a greater stake in and responsibility for the continent's post-2015 development agenda. The report emphasizes the need for a shift in mindset in order to drive these changes. The report is intended to inform the African Union’s Agenda 2063a vision set forth in 2013 for Africa’s next 50 years of developmentas well as the United Nations' planned Sustainable Development Goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals that expire in 2015.


Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas EmissionsEffects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2013)
The tax system affects emissions primarily through changes in the prices of inputs and outputs or goods and services. Most of the tax provisions considered in this report relate directly to the production or consumption of different energy sources. However, there is a substantial set of tax expenditures called "broad-based" that favor certain categories of consumption-among them, employer-provided health care, owner-occupied housing, and purchase of new plants and equipment. This report examines both tax expenditures and excise taxes that could have a significant impact on GHG emissions.  
 

Worker Health and Safety on Offshore Wind Farms (2013)
TRB Special Report 310: Worker Health and Safety on Offshore Wind Farms examines the hazards and risks to workers on offshore wind farms on the outer continental shelf as compared to offshore oil and gas operations; explores gaps and overlaps in jurisdictional authority for worker health and safety on offshore wind farms; and evaluates the adequacy of-and recommends enhancements to-the existing safety management system (SMS) requirement published in 30 CFR 585.810. Specifically, the committee recommends that the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) adopt a full SMS rule for workers on offshore wind farms at a level of detail that includes the baseline elements identified in this report.   

Book Cover

Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy (2011)
In the United States, we have come to depend upon plentiful and inexpensive energy to support our economy and lifestyles. In recent years, many questions have been raised regarding the sustainability of our current pattern of high consumption of nonrenewable energy and its environmental consequences. This report evaluates the economic and environmental consequences of increasing biofuels production as a result of Renewable Fuels Standard, as amended by EISA (RFS2). The report describes biofuels produced in 2010 and those projected to be produced and consumed by 2022, reviews model projections and other estimates of the relative impact on the prices of land, and discusses the potential environmental harm and benefits of biofuels production and the barriers to achieving the RFS2 consumption mandate.

TRB Special Report 305: Structural Integrity of Offshore Wind Turbines: Oversight of Design, Fabrication, and Installation explores the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) approach to overseeing the development and safe operation of wind turbines on the outer continental shelf, with a focus on structural safety. The committee that developed the report recommended that in order to facilitate the orderly development of offshore wind energy and support the stable economic development of this nascent industry, the United States needs a set of clear requirements that can accommodate future design development.
 

Sustainability and the U.S. EPA (2011)
A new  report from the National Research Council presents a framework for incorporating sustainability into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's principles and decision making.  The framework, which was requested by EPA, is intended to help the agency better assess the social, environmental, and economic impacts of various options as it makes decisions.The recommended sustainability approach both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980s. The report recommends that EPA formally adopt as its sustainability paradigm the widely used "three pillars" approach, which means considering the environmental, social, and economic impacts of an action or decision

Building the 21st Century: U.S. China Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovations (2011)
The global economy is characterized by increasing locational competition to attract the resources necessary to develop leading-edge technologies as drivers of regional and national growth. One means of facilitating such growth and improving national competitiveness is to improve the operation of the national innovation system. This report studies selected foreign innovation programs and comparing them with major U.S. programs. This analysis of Comparative Innovation Policy includes a review of the goals, concept, structure, operation, funding levels, and evaluation of foreign programs designed to advance the innovation capacity of national economies and enhance their international competitiveness. This analysis focuses on key areas of future growth, such as renewable energy, among others, to generate case-specific recommendations where appropriate.
 

Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles (2011)
Various combinations of commercially available technologies could greatly reduce fuel consumption in passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and other light-duty vehicles without compromising vehicle performance or safety. This report estimates the potential fuel savings and costs to consumers of available technology combinations for three types of engines: spark-ignition gasoline, compression-ignition diesel, and hybrid. The book focuses on fuel consumption--the amount of fuel consumed in a given driving distance--because energy savings are directly related to the amount of fuel used. In contrast, fuel economy measures how far a vehicle will travel with a gallon of fuel. Because fuel consumption data indicate money saved on fuel purchases and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, the book finds that vehicle stickers should provide consumers with fuel consumption data in addition to fuel economy information.

Analysis of Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Fire, and Oil Spill to Identify Measures to Prevent Similar Accidents in the Future: Interim Report (2010)
The National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council have released the interim report of the Committee on the Analysis of Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Fire, and Oil Spill to Identify Measures to Prevent Similar Accidents in the Future. The interim report includes the committee's preliminary findings and observations on various actions and decisions including well design, cementing operations, well monitoring, and well control actions. The interim report also considers management, oversight, and regulation of offshore operations.

Describing Socioeconomic Futures for Climate Change Research and Assessment (2010)
The implications of climate change for the environment and society depend on the rate and magnitude of climate change, but also on changes in technology, economics, lifestyles, and policy that will affect the capacity both for limiting and adapting to climate change. This book reviews the state of science for considering socioeconomic changes over long time frames and clarifies definitions and concepts to facilitate communication across research communities. The book also explores driving forces and key uncertainties that will affect impacts, adaptation, vulnerability and mitigation in the future. Furthermore, it considers research needs and the elements of a strategy for describing socioeconomic and environmental futures for climate change research and assessment.  

Strategic Planning for the Florida Citrus Industry: Addressing Citrus Greening(2010)
Citrus greening, a disease that reduces yield, compromises the flavor, color, and size of citrus fruit and eventually kills the citrus tree, is now present in all 34 Floridian citrus-producing counties. A successful citrus greening response will focus on earlier detection of diseased trees, so that these sources of new infections can be removed more quickly, and on new methods to control the insects that carry the bacteria. In the longerterm, technologies such as genomics could be used to develop new citrus strains that are resistant to both the bacteria and the insect.





Older Publications

 

 
 

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