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.
May 31, 2014
By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Thanks to the boom in American unconventional oil and gas production, the United States is swapping its long-suffered vulnerability to imported energy in favor of a new strategic asset. Even if the technology behind this energy renaissance remains limited to the American space, its geopolitical consequences will go beyond American shores.
The authors explore relationships among emissions-reduction commitments, investment in low-carbon technology, border-carbon adjustments, and international collaboration to address climate change.
March 11, 2014
By Trevor Findlay, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
There has been much speculation as to what might replace the Nuclear Security Summits after 2016. One candidate touted as a suitable inheritor of the summits’ mantle is the International Atomic Energy Agency. In this discussion paper, Trevor Findlay examines whether and to what extent the IAEA could and should do so, what form its role might take, and how the Agency and summiteers might prepare for such an eventuality.
This discussion paper explores the potential adverse impacts of unilateral climate policies on domestic energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries.
By Scott Moore, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2014
Northern China's Yellow River is experiencing conditions of acute water scarcity, which has become an issue of growing concern to scholars, policymakers, and the public at large in both China and abroad. This Discussion Paper analyzes the current and future response of the Chinese government to conditions of water scarcity in the Yellow River Basin.
"The Optimal Energy Mix in Power Generation and the Contribution from Natural Gas in Reducing Carbon Emissions to 2030 and Beyond"
The authors evaluate the consistency of economic incentives and climate objectives in Europe, with regard to energy markets. In this context, they examine policy interactions between the EU-ETS and Europe's renewable target—and the role of natural gas in a transition to a low-carbon economy.
The comparability of domestic actions to mitigate global climate change has important implications for the stability, equity, and efficiency of international climate agreements. the authors examine a variety of metrics that could be used to evaluate countries' climate change mitigation effort and illustrate their potential application for large developed and developing countries.
The author finds that, in theory, if countries agree to negotiate an international agreement in terms of a harmonized shadow price on carbon and if passage of the agreement is conditioned on a simple majority of countries voting in favor, then the incentives that countries face can lead to their agreeing to a uniform shadow price on carbon that is close to the price that would lead to an efficient outcome in terms of emissions abatement.
Does temperature affect economic performance—and has it always affected social welfare through its impact on physical and cognitive function? This paper presents a model of labor supply under thermal stress, building on a longstanding physiological literature linking thermal stress to health and task performance.