By René Castro
Improvements in eco-efficiency—defined as a combination of reducing waste and reducing the use of raw inputs—offer one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering production costs. In addition, changes in culture—at the level of individual businesses, countries, or both—can enhance the eco-competitive position of these businesses and countries. This paper describes three examples from Costa Rica and shows how the goal of achieving carbon neutrality can provide incentives for improving eco-efficiency and eco-competitiveness.
By Philippe Fargues, Associate, Middle East Initiative
"Irregular migration has great resonance in the Gulf, just as in the West. Migrants in irregular situation avoid state administrative procedures and so their numbers are unknown. The largest amnesty (Saudi Arabia 2013) would have affected more than 50 per cent of the migrants in the country. Irregular migration is by definition a breach of legislations that regulate the migrant’s status.
In the Gulf States it is, in particular, a by-product of: the sponsorship (kafâla) system that hampers both a migrant’s individual freedom of movement and the free functioning of the labour market; nationalisation policies that continue to extend the list of occupations reserved for nationals; and nationality laws that bar citizenship to all but a very few first- and second-generation migrants."
October 21, 2015
By Derek S. Reveron, Faculty Affililate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Dr. Derek Reveron, professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Navy War College, testified before the Armed Services Committee on October 21, 2015.
October 13, 2015
By Andrew Gawthorpe, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program
This written testimony to the UK Parliament's Defence Select Committee focuses on the continuing challenges posed to the United Kingdom by the weakness of state institutions and the resultant instability, civil war, and insurgency in the Middle East and North Africa. It argues that the spillover effects of this state weakness threaten the UK directly and the cohesion of its vital European security partnerships.To avoid a cycle of inaction followed by tardy and inappropriate over-reaction, the UK needs to work with its international partners to craft a strategy of sustained engagement towards the region.
September 21, 2015
Two proliferation experts discuss the risk of other regional states pursuing nuclear capabilities of their own to counter Iran, and whether they have the necessary funds, technical capability, outside help, and political will.
September 23, 2015
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
The Thucydides Trap Case File has been assembled by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center searching for precedents and analogs that may help us better understand the current case of what political scientists call “hegemonic challenge.” This file includes all cases that we have identified so far where a major rising power threatened to displace a major ruling power. In 12 of the 16 cases, this rivalry produced war. In 4 of the cases, by extraordinary efforts or circumstances, the parties avoided war. Lessons from both the failures and successes offer many insights and clues for statesmen attempting to manage current relations between an emerging superpower and the reigning hegemon.
September 22, 2015
The goal of the Thucydides Project is to illuminate the challenge both America and China face as China rises to rival U.S. predominance in Asia today, and in time the world. As part of the Applied History Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center, the Thucydides Project is exploring this challenge by examining historical precedents and analogs. The 16 cases identified in phase one of the project include all instances since 1500 (that we have been able to identify and review) in which a major “ruling power” was challenged by a rapidly “rising” power.
Plants draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, sequestering the carbon in biomass and thus helping to mitigate climate change. This mitigation has an economic value commensurate with reduced damages from climate change. However, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has not calculated the carbon-sequestration benefits provided by the 84 million acres of land it manages, even though 85% of this land is vegetated.
The NPS has a dual mission—to foster both tourism ("visitation" to those researching this topic) and land stewardship. Measuring the value of carbon sequestration would complement ongoing attempts to measure the economic value of tourism by providing an initial estimate of the economic importance of one component of the NPS's stewardship obligations.
"The Role of Border Carbon Adjustment in Unilateral Climate Policy: Insights from a Model-Comparison Study—Summary"
In the absence of an effective global agreement to reduce carbon emissions, some industrialized countries have taken unilateral action to reduce emissions. However, unilateral carbon policy can lead to leakage of carbon emissions and precludes abating emissions where such abatement would be least expensive (possibly in other countries). Border carbon adjustment (BCA) is one policy option to mitigate these two disadvantages of unilateral action, but the effectiveness of these measures remains unclear. Comparing the results of simulated carbon policy and BCA in multiple computable general equilibrium (CGE) models of the global economy offers several estimates of the effectiveness of BCA.
September 30, 2015
By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Simon Saradzhyan testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee Hearing on "The Threat of Islamist Extremism in Russia," on September 30, 2015.
In his testimony, Saradzhyan asked: "Can the United States and Russia cooperate against the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other international terrorist organizations, even though the bilateral relationship has deteriorated in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine? My answer is they can and they will if they act in their best interest."