By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
Market-approaches to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases lie at the heart of any cost-effective set of policies put forward in an international agreement—and will be considered at COP 17 in Durban in both the Kyoto and Long-term Cooperative Action discussions. Joseph Aldy and Robert Stavins "examine the opportunities and challenges associated with the major options for carbon pricing: carbon taxes, cap‐and‐trade, emission reduction credits, clean energy standards, and fossil fuel subsidy reductions."
Geoengineering grows in salience, the more time that passes without an effective international regime for mitigating climate change. It will be in the background of negotiations at COP 17 in Durban—and, perhaps, in the foreground of some important discussions. This discussion paper by Daniel Bodansky explores the opportunities and risks presented by geoengineering, as well as the particular challenges to crafting an effective system of governance for this set of approaches to addressing climate change
"Cyber Norm Emergence at the United Nations—An Analysis of the UN's Activities Regarding Cyber-security"
By Tim Maurer
Cyber-warfare is no longer science fiction and the debate among policy-makers on what norms will guide behavior in cyber-space is in full swing. The United Nations (UN) is one of the fora where this debate is taking place exhibiting an astonishing rate of norm emergence in cyber-space. Most recently, Russia together with China proposed an “International code of conduct for information security” in September 2011 after the U.S. reversed its long-standing policy position in 2010.
By Tim Maurer
The recent publications on WikiLeaks reveal a story about money, fame, sex, underground hackers, and betrayal. But it also involves fundamental questions regarding cyber-security and foreign policy. This paper argues WikiLeaks is only the symptom of a new, larger problem which is the result of technological advances that allow a large quantity of data to be 'stolen' at low or no cost by one or more individuals and to be potentially made public and to go 'viral', spreading exponentially online.
"Sustainable Cooperation in Global Climate Policy: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets to Build on Copenhagen and Cancun"
In pursuit of a workable successor to the Kyoto Protocol, this study offers a framework of formulas that produces precise numerical targets for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases, in all regions of the world in all decades of this century....Firms, consumers, and researchers base their current decisions to invest in plant and equipment, consumer durables, or new technological possibilities on the expected future price of carbon: If government commitments are not credible from the start, then they will not raise the expected future carbon price.
For the past forty years, United States Presidents have repeatedly called for a reduction in the country's dependence on fossil fuels in general and foreign oil specifically. Some officials advocate the electrification of the passenger vehicle fleet as a path to meeting this goal. The Obama administration has embraced a goal of having one million electric-powered vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015, while others proposed a medium-term goal where electric vehicles would consist of 20% of the passenger vehicle fleet by 2030 — approximately 30 million electric vehicles. The technology itself is not in question; many of the global automobile companies are planning to sell plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and/or battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2012. The key question is, will Americans buy them?
This study examines the legal, regulatory and financial issues encountered in nine planned commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects under Phase III of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Program. In Phase III of the RCSP, financial issues dominated the outcomes in these projects, directly causing termination of three of the projects and contributing to termination in two others. Long-term liability and lack of coordination among regulatory authorities also posed significant barriers.
"U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe after NATO's Lisbon Summit: Why Their Withdrawal Is Desirable and Feasible"
By Tom Sauer, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1997-1999 and Bob van der Zwaan, Former Research Associate, Energy Technology Innovation research group/Project on Managing the Atom Project/Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 2001–2005
This paper describes how, over the past two decades, the usefulness of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons that are forward-deployed in Europe has gradually declined, and it explains the logic behind their decreased importance.
By Debra K. Decker, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2006–2011
Nuclear forensics and attribution are the new "deterrence" concepts against illicit use of fissile material. Although the science is being developed, the required systems of policies and processes have not been fully analyzed. This paper attempts to show how nuclear attribution can advance from theory to practice by establishing multilaterally coordinated policies and procedures and by replicating systems that have worked in other disciplines.
In order to induce investment in research and development, incentive-based instruments such as emissions taxes and carbon cap and trade have to be expected to be in place after the new technology comes to market. This can be several years after the decision to invest in R & D is made. Policies announced or put in place today can be changed. To put it simply, there is a commitment problem. This commitment problem does not apply to policies put in place today that lower the cost of R & D, such as subsidies or complementary investments by public-sector entities. We compare the effects of an emissions tax, an emissions quota with tradeable permits, and R & D subsidies on a firm’s incentive to conduct R & D in the absence of commitment by the government.