The ability to compare the aspirations and effectiveness of domestic actions to mitigate global climate change is vital to the success of international climate agreements. The current research explores a variety of potential metrics that might facilitate comparison of mitigation effort—and how transparency in policy design can contribute to comparability, accountability, and hence the effectiveness of an international agreement.
June 26, 2014
"Watch this Space: 'Collective Self-defense,' Constitutional Reinterpretation, and Japan's Security Policy"
By Adam P. Liff, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2013–2014
Throughout the postwar period, the Government of Japan's (GOJ) definition and interpretation of collective self-defense and Article 9 of Japan's constitution have played a crucial role in how its leaders develop and employ military power. This issue also has had significant implications for its political and security relationship with the United States.
For the first time in more than two decades, the United States faces a competitor that has the ability to inflict heavy costs on its air and naval forces. Maintaining stability in East Asia will therefore require significant changes in U.S. military capabilities and posture—changes that are likely to prove difficult while defense resources are scarce. Many of these changes will take years to implement, however, and China's military modernization shows no signs of slowing. The United States cannot afford to delay.
During the last ten years, a number of countries and sub-national jurisdictions have started greenhouse-gas emissions trading systems (ETSs), and a number of others are in planning and preparation. There is increasing interest in linking these systems, both directly and indirectly via connections to emissions-reduction-credit (ERC) systems, the largest of which is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol. This research reviews the evidence of the past decade and finds a number of economic, political, and strategic factors influencing policy decisions about whether or not to link. Because the number of proposed and existing linkages is too small to permit a statistical analysis, we qualitatively identify the determinants of policy decisions involving linkage.
By Pinar Akcayoz De Neve, Project Manager, Environment and Natural Resources Program
This policy brief is based on the discussion paper "Leapfrogging or Stalling Out? Electric Vehicles in China" by Sabrina Howell, Henry Lee and Adam Heal, published by the Belfer Center in June 2014.
By Lucas Kello, Former Associate, Cyber Security Project, 2014–2016; Former Research Fellow, Cyber Security Project, 2013–2014; Former Research Fellow, Cyber Security Project/International Security Program, 2011–2013
The cyber revolution presents formidable challenges to security policy. The risks of inadvertent or accelerating cyber crises are significant but poorly grasped. The penalty for falling behind in terms of strategic adaptation may be disastrous.
By Dominic D.P. Johnson and 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.
In the future, territorial conflict is likely to become more important, as populations grow and resources decline, and as territorial disputes expand into new domains, such as the polar regions, outer space and near-Earth orbits, radio frequency bands, the internet, and the commercial control of land. To avoid war and to enable other positive effects to follow, resolving conflicts is critical. Should territorial issues be resolved, studies have found that demilitarization and democratization are more likely to ensue. States will have a better chance of achieving these goals if they step back and recognize the broader patterns of territoriality in nature, of which humans are just one particularly deadly example.
A central question in climate policy is whether early investments in low-carbon technologies are a useful first step towards a more effective climate agreement in the future. We introduce a climate cooperation model with endogenous R&D investments where countries protect their international competitiveness via border carbon adjustments (BCA). BCA raises the scope for cooperation and leads to a non-trivial relation between countries' prior R&D investments and participation in the coalition. We find that early investments in R&D render free-riding more attractive. Therefore, with delayed cooperation on emission abatement and ex-ante R&D investments, the outcome is often characterized by high participation but inefficiently low technology investments and abatement.
March 27, 2014
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Olli Heinonen and Simon Henderson write that although Iran's nuclear potential will likely dominate talks between President Obama and King Abdullah on March 29, Riyadh's own nuclear plans should also be part of the discussion.
By Scott Moore, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2014
This brief looks at the so-far inadequate responses of the Chinese government and makes the case that new institutions are needed to allow China to meet this growing challenge.