By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
In this policy brief, Harvard Project Director Robert Stavins focuses on how subnational policies will interact with a federal climate policy. It turns out that some of the interactions will be problematic, others will be benign, and still others could be positive. He also examines the role that could be played by subnational policies in the absence of a meaningful federal policy, with the conclusion that—like it or not—we may find that Sacramento, California comes to take the place of Washington as the center of national climate policy. This case study might provide insight for COP 17 delegates in designing the next steps toward a flexible international agreement.
The paper is intended for all policy analysts interested in Tunisia, but it could be especially helpful for members of the NCA and the legal advisory committee recently established to advise them on constitutional law and drafting procedure. It explores the different challenges of legitimate procedure the NCA faces in drafting an inclusive constitution during this critical phase in their democratic transition.
By Arani Kajenthira, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group and Afreen Siddiqi, Visting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program
Industrial and urban water reuse should be considered along with desalination as options for water supply in Saudi Arabia. Although the Saudi Ministry for Water and Electricity (MoWE) has estimated that an investment of $53 billion will be required for water desalination projects over the next 15 years , the evolving necessity to conserve fossil resources and mitigate GHG emissions requires Saudi policy makers to weigh in much more heavily the energy and environmental costs of desalination. Increasing water tariffs for groundwater and desalinated water to more adequately represent the costs of water supply could encourage conservation, but also reuse, which may be more appropriate for many inland and high-altitude cities.
By Robert Ross
China's carrier program reflects the Chinese Communist Party leadership's surrender to the forces of nationalism....As Chinese domestic instability has grown, the increasingly insecure Communist Party leadership has used the carrier program to bolster its nationalist legitimacy—just as it used the 2008 Olympics, the 2009 Shanghai Expo, high-speed rail, the 'world largest airport,' and other high-profile projects for this purpose."
By Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2008–2010
"Recent evidence confirms that the Osirak reactor was intended not to produce plutonium for a weapons program, but rather to develop know-how that would be necessary if Iraq acquired an unsafeguarded reactor better suited for large-scale production of plutonium. Israel's attack triggered a far more focused and determined Iraqi effort to acquire nuclear weapons."
By Monica Duffy Toft, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy; Former Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Former Director, Initiative on Religion and International Affairs.
This policy brief provides background information on how Islam in its various manifestations has developed and spread throughout the world and the role of elites in this evolution. Having emerged in seventh-century Arabia, Muslim communities have formed and thrived across the globe. Indeed today, the majority of Muslims live outside of the Middle East. From the earliest days of Islam, the movement of people and ideas has impacted the institutions of political power in countless regions and modern nation-states. Such changes in religious and political landscapes have occurred partially with the help of decisions by the ruling elites about the desired character of their states. This brief points to a few key reasons why past elites have incorporated Islam into their bids for power and, with that precedent, why today’s religious bids for control more often occur within Muslim societies as elites compete for power.
...[A]fter adopting a policy, decisionmakers should resist the temptation to marginalize any skeptics. Indeed, it may be advisable for someone to deliberately play the role of "devil's advocate" and question optimistic appraisals of likely outcomes. Following the 2002–03 decision to invade Iraq, U.S. war planners were extremely overconfident about the prospects for stabilizing the country. Skeptical voices were sidelined or excluded. If senior officials had anticipated the shift to implemental mind-sets and the associated overconfidence, a "devil's advocate" would have helped to challenge shaky assumptions behind the strategy.
The Kyoto Protocol establishes a very complex and ambitious regime, in architecture if not stringency. The problem is that relatively few states, representing only about a quarter of the world's emissions, have been willing to assume emission targets under Kyoto....The future of the Protocol thus seems doubtful at best. Even in the most optimistic scenario, a new round of emissions targets couldn't be agreed in time to prevent a legal gap between the first and second commitment periods. A possible middle ground would be to establish a transitional regime that would be political in nature, but that could evolve over time into a legally-binding regime.
By Ayman Ismail, Former Research Fellow, The Dubai Initiative
Over the five years prior to the financial crisis, global private equity and venture capital investments grew exponentially. Private equity firms and funds are becoming increasingly important actors in emerging markets: they act as a source of financing for new enterprises and as growth capital for existing ones, as owners and managers of portfolio companies, and as employers for both management and labor.
By Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Valentina Bosetti, Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Michela Catenacci and Audrey Lee, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2009–2011
Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century, or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.