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December 19, 2014
By Leonardo Maugeri, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program/Geopolitics of Energy Project
In 2012, when many energy experts argued that oil production had peaked, Leonardo Maugeri published “Oil: The Next Revolution,” which forecast a glut of oil and collapsing prices in the next several years. His prediction proved prescient. Now, as analysts look past today’s oil-market drama to a near future of robust liquefied natural gas exports, Maugeri is again challenging conventional wisdom. The long-hoped-for and hyped-up gas market, he concludes, will disappoint.
“Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports” details the new findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now an associate with the Geopolitics of Energy project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
The Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Market Mechanisms to Achieve a Low-Carbon Future for China explored both the opportunities and challenges for market-oriented climate, technology, and water resources policy in China. The workshop convened prominent members of the academic and policy communities from China, the United States, and Europe at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on June 3-4, 2014.
By Scott Moore, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2014
This discussion paper examines the development of water markets as a solution to water scarcity in China, with particular focus on Water Rights Trading (WRT). Water scarcity is an issue of growing concern for China, particularly in the north, where a combination of limited water supplies, economic growth, and population increases are increasingly straining water resources. The Chinese government has moved enthusiastically toward an embrace of market mechanisms to address water scarcity, with WRT being the preferred policy instrument in the agricultural sector, which accounts for the majority of water use in China. This discussion paper proposes several policy recommendations to improve the development of water markets in China, in particular by lowering the transaction costs to establishing markets and improving policy coordination.
Reducing carbon emissions in Shanghai is a huge undertaking and involves every facet of both energy supply options and energy consumption patterns. The report focuses on three areas: 1. The integration of land use, transportation, and housing planning; 2. Improving building efficiency; and 3. Improving electricity use in building operations. As public concern over conventional air pollutants grows and the demand for air conditioning in the increasingly hot summers and heating in the winter rises, the potential of "locking-in" inefficient and costly energy use patterns increases. This report addresses these challenges.
China has ambitious goals for developing and deploying electric vehicles (EV). The stated intention is to “leapfrog” the auto industries of other countries and seize the emerging EV market. Since 2009, policies have included generous subsidies for consumers in certain locations, as well as strong pressure on local governments to purchase EVs. Yet four years into the program, progress has fallen far short of the intended targets. China has only about 40,000 EVs on the road, of which roughly 80% are public fleet vehicles such as buses and sanitation vehicles.
March 12, 2014
Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication shared some of the group's findings on Americans' view of global warming and his analysis at a recent seminar.
October 10, 2013
By Cristine Russell, Senior Fellow, Environment and Natural Resources Program
Planting a forest to improve air quality may prove to be as cost-effective as expensive new pollution control equipment, according to preliminary results from a novel experiment at a Freeport, Texas chemical plant. Officials involved in the study say this innovative approach could become a test case before the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which has identified reforestation as a potential air quality improvement strategy.
Leaders of an unusual collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, the world's largest conservation group, and the Dow Chemical Company, a Fortune 100 corporation, told a Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) audience this week that they were encouraged by initial findings validating a dollars-and-cents approach to valuing nature that may help businesses with their bottom line while improving the environment in local communities.
August 8, 2013
Nature, issue 7461, volume 500
By Zhu Liu, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Dabo Guan, Douglas Crawford-Brown, Qiang Zhang, Kebin He and Jianguo Liu
"First, China must move away from coal and boost recycling and renewable energies. Second, emissions-mitigation indicators, such as energy-efficiency targets, should be set relative to physical output (such as tonnes of steel production) rather than to economic growth. Third, regional energy supply and demand must be balanced. Fourth, energy prices should be linked to market mechanisms rather than set centrally by authorities. And fifth, China must reduce air pollutants alongside CO2 emissions."