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National Climate Strategies

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Successfully addressing the climate crisis while achieving sustainable development goals will require carefully constructed strategies to enact rapid economic transitions to a cleaner economy—tailored to national circumstances and priorities.  The Center for Global Sustainability has expertise in country-specific analytical and policy approaches for climate, energy, resilience, and more. Our country-based work informs the development and implementation of comprehensive strategies from all levels of decision-making within a country—from local and regional governments to civil society to national government.  

We have large and active programs focusing on the United States, China, India, Brazil and Latin America, and Indonesia and have several projects specific to other countries in diverse development contexts. We integrate detailed and robust modeling tools with policy engagement and other diverse methodological approaches to illuminate pathways to higher national ambition and action for 2030 and beyond.

Research Themes 

  • Pathways for 1.5°C: The Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) at the University of Maryland pioneers groundbreaking research and analysis focused on achieving 1.5°C pathways, a crucial goal in combating climate change. Leveraging interdisciplinary expertise and cutting-edge methodologies, CGS conducts rigorous studies examining the intersection of policy, technology, economics, and societal dynamics to identify feasible strategies for transitioning toward a low-carbon future. Through collaborative partnerships with governments, industry leaders, research organizations, academia, and international leaders, CGS generates actionable insights and innovative solutions aimed at accelerating global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C—safeguarding the planet's ecological integrity and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.
  • Achieving a global coal phaseout through national strategies: The Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) at the University of Maryland spearheads transformative research on coal phaseout strategies to inform global and national dialogues. CGS's pioneering methodology, integrating detailed plant-level analysis with a complex global integrated assessment model (IAM), has revolutionized coal retirement planning. CGS has developed tailored strategies for countries like China, India, and Indonesia, effectively demonstrating the feasibility of transitioning away from coal while addressing local priorities such as air pollution reduction and energy security. 
  • Supporting Global, National, and Subnational Methane Strategies: The Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) at the University of Maryland, through cross-sectoral research and analysis, has informed multiple pathways to phaseout the powerful but short-lived climate pollutant that accounts for a third of this past century's net warming. CGS research and expertise play a pivotal role in advancing global and national strategies to rapidly reduce methane emissions from energy, agriculture, and waste, which is crucial for meeting the ambitious 1.5-degree warming target. First-of-its-kind analysis has influenced domestic policy, including the development of the United States' methane reduction target. Furthermore, CGS, through the SCALE initiative, helps address waste methane in key countries like Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico, underscoring its commitment to catalyzing impactful methane mitigation efforts globally.
  • U.S.-China Engagement on Climate: With expertise in both U.S. and China, embedded in a center with expertise in other key countries through policy, modeling, empirical assessment, and engagement in key topic areas, CGS has broad links with current policy discussions in China and internationally and has been deeply involved in high-level governmental dialogues and climate discussions between the United States and China. Through extensive multi-institution research collaborations involving leading Chinese and international partners, CGS drives the development of long-term low-carbon strategies. CGS's support for official U.S.-China climate negotiations at COP26 and COP27, including negotiations on collaborative opportunities and declarations, underscores its instrumental role in fostering bilateral cooperation towards ambitious climate action.

Country Programs

  • China: The China Program at CGS integrates scientific research, education, policy analysis, and stakeholder engagement to help understand and inform the development and deployment of China’s climate, energy, and environment strategies across international, national, and local contexts.
  • Indonesia: The Indonesia Program support development of a collaborative research network to identify key problems, data limitations, knowledge gaps and research areas.
  • United States: The U.S. Program has works with our U.S. and international partners to deliver analysis that informs "all-in" ambitious and achievable U.S. climate policies.
  • India: The India Progam works with our partners to develop GCAM-India (with Indian state-level details) and assess the low-carbon development strategy with stakeholders in coal-reliant regions.
  • Brazil: The Brazil Program works with our partners on pathways for the bioenergy industry and helping support analysis for the next Brazilian climate target to answer requests from their Ministries of Environment, Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Science & Technology.

Related Publications

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