The United States largely waits for a disaster to strike and then spends billions to repair damages. Investing in resilience today can significantly reduce the costs to recover after a disaster strikes.
For years, medical experts have used wastewater to track the spread of diseases. The National Wastewater Surveillance System has the potential to significantly change the way we fight COVID-19 as well as future pandemics, bacterial diseases, and viruses. But building up the robustness of a wastewater surveillance system will take financial support, and it's not clear Congress will provide it.
If green bonds are a viable tool to reduce emissions and adapt infrastructure to the effects of climate change, how can governments encourage the issuance, sales, and growth in the share of green bonds in the total bond market?
To achieve the Biden administration's blueprint for solar energy and focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation, green bonds may be worth considering. But, like any other financing instrument, they may be best considered through a cost-benefit lens.
The fire seasons that have been scorching huge areas and wiping entire towns from the map appear to be the future. Accepting that wildland fires are a part of our environment and working to live with fires rather than continuously fighting against them may be the most responsible path forward.
The United States spends billions on prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities. New lows in incarceration rates present a chance to shift resources away from costly correctional facilities and toward education, job training, transportation, and other community services.
Infrastructure investments the United States makes today to recover from the pandemic can help boost resilience for the future. We will need to think beyond what we've done in the past to ensure that these investments can continue to protect the nation from shifting threats in the future.
Negotiations are underway between the White House and Congress about the scope of investment in infrastructure and how to pay for it. But reaching a compromise on spending may not be enough to ensure that the spending will produce results as intended.
With U.S. domestic challenges ranging from the ongoing pandemic to long-delayed infrastructure investments, now is a good time to consider spending that provides both domestic and national security benefits. Infrastructure spending offers one such example.
President Joe Biden addressed a joint session of Congress, summarizing his administration's early COVID-19 response and outlining plans that aim to loosen the pandemic's year-long grip on a weary nation. The speech reflected the fact that the United States faces policy challenges across a wide range of domains.
It's been clear for years that the gas tax has been losing its ability to pay for America's existing roads and bridges, let alone improvements and new construction. A vehicle miles traveled fee could provide a potential option for a 21st-century transportation funding system.
In the United States, federal, state, and local governments share responsibility for paying for losses from disasters. As the frequency and severity of disasters has increased, so have the losses. It's worth considering whether the current risk-sharing approach is appropriate.
Estimating the cost of disasters is a complex process. Disaster recovery is complicated even further during this new era of COVID-19, when extra precautions must be taken. How can we estimate costs quickly and reliably, thus improving the flow of dollars back into the community?
Beijing and Tehran are in the process of finalizing an ambitious partnership covering a range of security and economic issues. The United States should not overreact to shifting geopolitical dynamics in the Middle East, and should instead keep an eye out to assess the evolution of the relationship and take stock of what is delivered instead of what is merely promised.
Under the Belt and Road Initiative, China works with more than 70 countries to design and implement large infrastructure projects. Why are countries of all stripes turning to China for funding when the world is awash with cash?