January 4, 2016
By Philippe Fargues, Associate, Middle East Initiative
"As 2015 comes to a close, the annual numbers of migrants smuggled to Greece and Italy and asylum claims lodged in Germany have passed a million, as well as the number of additional displacements produced this year by the conflict in Syria. Moreover, Europe’s Mediterranean shore has now the unchallenged title of the world’s most lethal border. Not only this. The migrant crisis is also putting to the test some of Europe’s most fundamental values, from the freedom of circulation within its territories, to international protection beyond..."
China's continuing commitment to a nuclear strategy of assured retaliation indicates that it will prioritize avoiding a nuclear arms race with the United States. Nevertheless, leaders and militaries in both countries will need to be exceptionally careful to avoid nuclear escalation in a crisis.
December 8, 2015
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Associate, Managing the Atom Project
When the new report is brought before the IAEA’s Board of Governors on December 15, it should adopt a resolution based on: a credible baseline for monitoring and verification; assurances, with high confidence, that all weapons-related activities have been terminated; and future sampling and investigations carried out in-situ by IAEA inspectors and experts.
German Marshall Fund
By Andreas Goldthau, Associate, The Geopolitics of Energy Project
Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has raised security concerns, especially in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. But this threat is overestimated. The truth is that the EU market, a large market with relatively high prices, is very important for Gazprom. What is more, Europe’s regulatory apparatus is well-equipped to deal with market power and discriminatory pricing, which is at the core of the real problem Russian gas poses to Europe.
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.
"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, Science, Technology, and Pubic Policy Program, Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program, 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.