"Evaluating Mitigation Effort: Tools and Institutions for Assessing Nationally Determined Contributions"
By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
The emerging pledge and review approach to international climate policy provides countries with substantial discretion in how they craft their intended emission mitigation contributions. The resulting heterogeneity in mitigation pledges places significant demands for a well-functioning transparency and review mechanism. In particular, the specific forms of intended contributions necessitate economic analysis in order to estimate the aggregate effects of these contributions as well as to permit "apples-to-apples" comparisons of mitigation efforts. This paper discusses the tools that can inform such analyses as well as the institutional needs of climate transparency.
This policy brief informs the debate on the potential of regional governance in the EU2030 framework by drawing on knowledge from the field of interna&onal climate policy, where different forms of polycentric governance have been discussed and researched more intensively.
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 28, 2015
By Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Gabe Chan, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2015 and Amitai Bin-Nun, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 2014–2016
The Federal Government has many tools at its disposal to advance energy technology innovation. It can signal markets, for example, through energy tax and regulatory policy ("market pull"), and it can advance research, development, and deployment of energy technologies ("technology push"). Both of these kinds of tools can be effective, but the most effective policy portfolio balances a combination of these policies.
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, Former Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2015–2016
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
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
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, 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.