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Articles on Policy

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Listening to science is a lot easier for politicians when behind-the-scenes intermediaries are there to help. Morsa Images/DigitalVision via Getty Images

The behind-the-scenes people and organizations connecting science and decision-making

Before new policy can be based on evidence, decision-makers need to understand the relevant research. Intermediaries between scientists and policymakers translate information and build relationships.
Annie Storey holds a cross with a photo of her late son Alex Storey, before a march to mark the five-year anniversary of British Columbia declaring a public health emergency in the overdose crisis, in Vancouver, on April 14, 2021. CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Overdose crisis: The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare decades of drug policy failures

Across the country, overdose deaths have spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The use of coal for electric power has been declining fast in the U.S. AP Photo/J. David Ake

What’s really driving coal power’s demise?

Contrary to popular belief, falling natural gas prices didn’t significantly accelerate coal power plant retirements. Here’s what did.
President Joe Biden talked about healing the rifts and uniting America in his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2021. Michael S. Williamson/Washington Post

5 ways Biden can help rural America thrive and bridge the rural-urban divide

A new federal antipoverty program for both rural and urban areas is part of the solution, but the power of Big Ag, lack of internet and struggling towns need attention, too.
In a year tied for the warmest on record globally, the U.S. was hit with costly hurricanes, wildfires, storms and drought. AP Photo/Noah Berger and Gerald Herbert

After a record 22 ‘billion dollar disasters’ in 2020, it’s time to overhaul US disaster policy – here’s how

NOAA released its list of climate and weather disasters that cost the nation more than $1 billion each. Like many climate and weather events this past year, it shattered the record.
Even if every country meets its commitments, the world will still be on track to warm by more than 3 degrees Celsius this century, a new UNEP report shows. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

5 years after Paris: How countries’ climate policies match up to their promises, and who’s aiming for net zero emissions

Bold visions for slowing global warming have emerged from all over the world. What’s not clear is how countries will meet them.
The next administration will need to carefully weigh the economic, social and environmental impacts of both climate change and the policy responses. Jim Watson/Getty Images

Biden’s climate change plans can quickly raise the bar, but can they be transformative?

After four years of the US government undoing climate change policies and partnerships, a Biden administration has a chance to rebuild that leadership. But success will require more than quick wins.
Pick a political flavour: a Christchurch ice cream shop named its offerings after the party leaders during the 2020 campaign. GettyImages

NZ election 2020: 5 experts on the final debate and the campaign’s winners and losers ahead of the big decision

It was a campaign like no other, and while there were missed opportunities and lapses of judgement, the fact New Zealanders are voting in a safe and fair election is reason enough to celebrate.

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