October 25, 2008
By Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School
As Americans learned all too dramatically on 9/11 and again during the financial crisis this autumn, we inhabit a rapidly integrating planet where dangers can strike at any time and from great distances. And when others -- China, India, Brazil -- are rising to share power in the world with us, America needs to spend more time, not less, talking and listening to friends and foes alike.
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
By Jennifer C. Bulkeley, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2008-2009; Former Research Assistant, Preventive Defense Project, 2007-2009
Over the past decade, the Belfer Center’s Preventive Defense Project (PDP) has organized a series of “Track II” dialogues between Taiwan, mainland China, and the United States – dialogues that have contributed substantially to diffusing tensions between leaders in the U.S. and China. The off-the-record discussions offer participants an opportunity to speak candidly about issues often deemed too controversial to be discussed in official Track I bilateral discussions. At meetings in July 2008, the PDP delegation encouraged participants from Taiwan and mainland China to seize the opportunity for an improved relationship.
By Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications
The Winter 2008-09 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming research, activities, and analysis by Center faculty, fellows, and staff on critical global issues. "What should the next president do first?" is a question raised in this issue. Belfer Center experts respond to the question with advice on what they consider priority issues of national security, climate/energy policy, and the economic crisis.
The Winter 2008-09 issue also features take-aways from the Center’s recent “Acting in Time on Energy Policy” conference hosted by the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group. In addition, it spotlights Belfer Center Faculty Affiliate Richard Clarke and new Kennedy School Professor Nicholas Burns.
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
By Hongyan He Oliver, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2004–2009
While the world congratulated Beijing for its dazzling Olympic stadiums and the splendid opening ceremony, the Belfer Center's Hongyan Oliver argues that it should have also given the city another round of applause for its decade-long efforts to clean up its air. While some of these improvements were temporary, she notes, "its Olympic effort showed the world and China that it is capable of making great changes."
By Ananth Chikkatur, Former Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
This paper explores strategies for addressing CO2 emissions from using coal to provide electricity in India.
"An Elaborated Proposal for Global Climate Policy Architecture: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets for All Countries in All Decades"
By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth
This paper offers a detailed plan to set quantitative national limits on emissions of greenhouse gases, building on the foundation of the Kyoto Protocol. It attempts to fill in the most serious gaps: the absence of targets extending as far as 2100, the absence of participation by the United States and developing countries, and the absence of reason to think that countries will abide by commitments. The plan elaborates on the idea of a framework of formulas that can assign quantitative limits across countries, one budget period at a time. Unlike other proposals for century-long paths of emission targets that are based purely on science (concentration goals) or economics (cost-benefit optimization), this plan is based partly on politics.
October 13, 2008
Op-Ed, Agence Global
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
Among the problems the senior American military and intelligence leaders acknowledge these days in Afghanistan are a robust and expanding heroin trade, the limited impact of the central government in Kabul, a steady stream of militants from next door Pakistan where they enjoy safe havens and popular support, and a weak economy.
Recent growth in carbon dioxide emissions from China's energy sector has exceeded expectations. In a major US government study of future emissions released in 2007, participating models appear to have substantially underestimated the near-term rate of increase in China's emissions. We present a recalibration of one of those models to be consistent with both current observations and historical development patterns. The implications of the new specification for the feasibility of commonly discussed stabilization targets, particularly when considering incomplete global participation, are profound. Unless China's emissions begin to depart soon from their (newly projected) business-as-usual path, stringent stabilization goals may be unattainable. The current round of global policy negotiations must engage China and other developing countries, not to the exclusion of emissions reductions in the developed world and possibly with the help of significant financial incentives, if such goals are to be achieved. It is in all nations' interests to work cooperatively to limit our interference with the global climate.
October 7, 2008
Op-Ed, Baltimore Sun
"Today, the United States and Europe must respond to Russia's military behavior in Georgia and elsewhere in its former empire. But they must also maintain a working relationship with Russia to continue vital cooperation between Russian and U.S. experts to reduce nuclear weapons and keep them out of terrorists' hands....Preventing nuclear terrorism must be a top priority of U.S. national security policy, and securing global stockpiles of nuclear weapons and materials is the most effective way to achieve this."