Opportunities in the Policy Portfolio Model | Brunswick Group

Opportunities in the Policy Portfolio Model

By Brunswick Geopolitical Principal Robert B. Zoellick, former President of the World Bank and former head of US climate policy negotiations.

The rio climate change framework treaty of 1992 designed a global approach built upon national action plans. This encouraged specific steps and the tracking of results, which nation states review at periodic United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conferences. These reviews update scientific assessments and analyses of the combined effects of the nations’ plans.


In essence, the Rio approach combines local and national customized initiatives—commitments with worldwide evaluations based upon ongoing scientific input. The process builds in feedback loops. This model encourages a menu of diverse policy responses, through which countries, cities, companies and civil society groups can innovate, experiment, combine, act and evaluate.

This policy portfolio model includes tools that address both sources and sinks of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and energy conservation and efficiency, especially in transmission lines; forestation and avoided deforestation (including biodiversity practices); soil carbon that could enrich agriculture; resilience and adaptation measures; carbon pricing and markets; non-carbon energy sources; technology innovation and diffusion for countries at various stages of development; and financial support, including from multilateral financial institutions as well as the private sector.

Both public and private sectors can benefit from learning about the full mix of these climate-carbon options and recognizing how they might best plug in.



Photograph: Flavio Veloso/Getty Images

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