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.
By Henrik Larsen, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, February 2013–March 2015
This paper explains changes in NATO's nationbuilding strategy for Afghanistan over time as an internal push-and-pull struggle between the major NATO contributors. It distinguishes between he "light footprint" phase, which had numerous problems connected to limited resources and growing insurgency (2003–2008), NATO's adoption of a comprehensive approach (CSPMP) and counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy (2009–2011), the transition and drawdown (2011–2014), and the Enduring Partnership (beyond 2014). The paper explains NATO's drawdown, stressing both increased budgetary strictures compelling decisionmakers to focus on domestic concerns nd predominant national narratives connected to a protracted stabilization effort in Afghanistan.
The authors draw upon the past decade of experience with carbon markets to test a series of hypotheses about why governments have demonstrated a preference for linking.
November 1, 2013
By Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom and Paolo Foradori, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, September 2011–2014; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, April–August 2011
How significant is the proposal for a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, given the violence and turmoil rocking the region? The short essays in this discussion paper, by experts from across the region, provide a snap shot of the diversity of views on the issue. As a collection, the essays demonstrate the scale and complexity of the challenges associated with establishing a WMD-free zone in the region. The gaps between the positions of key parties are clearly evident; but the reader will also find unexpected commonalities.
September 23, 2013
"Organizing for Arms Control: The National Security Implications of the Loss of an Independent Arms Control Agency"
By Leon Ratz
Fourteen years since the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) was dissolved, Leon Ratz (HKS '13) explores the national security implications of the loss of America's independent arms control agency. Ratz argues that the organizational merger has weakened the federal government's decision-making and analytic capabilities when it comes to addressing critical arms control and non-proliferation challenges.
The author conducts a comparative analysis of fixed and intensity carbon targets, as these might be used in national policy or a multilateral climate agreement. The discussion is relevant to the ongoing UNFCCC negotiations on the 2015 Durban-Platform agreement.