Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spotlight: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

By Nicole C. Sasaki, J.D. Candidate 2014, Pace Law School
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions—C2ES—is “an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to advance strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change.” Although C2ES was launched only in November 2011, it has its roots in the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, an organization recognized nationally and internationally as “an influential and pragmatic voice on climate issues.” The organization’s purpose is to provide "timely, impartial information and analysis on the scientific, economic, technological and policy dimensions of climate and energy challenges." C2ES is primarily sponsored by major energy corporations. The organization lists GE, HP, Entergy, and Shell as strategic partners, and Alcoa Foundation, Bank of America, Duke Energy, The Energy Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund as major contributors. Despite the corporate funding, C2ES maintains its research independence, emphasizing that the organization exercises independent judgment and assumes sole responsibility for its policies, projects, and publications.

Of interest to environmental legal researchers is C2ES’s Publications Library, accessible by clicking the link for “Publications” in the top right-hand corner of any page within the website.

The scope of the C2ES Publications Library is limited to materials dating back only to 1998. Relevant topics include electric vehicles, energy and technology, federal, international, science, and U.S. states and regions. Types of publications include articles, briefs, fact sheets, reports, and papers. This resource would be of value to environmental researchers looking for current and recent resources on climate and energy. In addition, there are publications on international topics. However, researchers should note that these publications sacrifice peer review in exchange for currency.

Before searching the C2ES Publications Library, researchers should click on “Filter by Keywords” and scroll through the keywords listed to see how C2ES categorizes its materials.For example, researchers interested in hydro-fracking will find that C2ES does not use the common terms“hydraulic fracturing,” “hydro-fracking,” or “fracking,” but has instead categorized this subject area as “natural gas.” Search terms can be entered into either of the search boxes, but it should be noted that the search boxes do not recognize Boolean operators. The filters can be modified as to date, topic, author and/or publication type by using each filter’s own comprehensive drop-down menu of options. Entering keywords listed in the dropdown menu into either of the search boxes returns more relevant results than by filtering using the same keywords.Therefore, filtering by keywords is not recommended.Researchers should track their search terms, because once the search has been conducted, the search boxes automatically reset.Search results can be further narrowed by conducting a CTRL-F search, but researchers should be aware that only publication titles, not contents, are searched.

Search results are shown in reverse chronological order, are formatted as either images or PDFs, and are available for free downloading or a free copy can be ordered from C2ES. Search results can be selected by clicking on either the publication name or “Read More.”

This will take the researcher to a new page that summarizes the publication and has a hyperlink for the publication itself.

Outside of the Publications Library, environmental legal researchers may be interested in the Congressional Testimony subtopic within C2ES’s Newsroom, accessible by clicking on the link “Congressional Testimony” in the bottom right-hand corner of any page within the website.

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