ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
This discussion paper explores the potential adverse impacts of unilateral climate policies on domestic energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries.
"A Multi-regional Input–output Analysis of Domestic Virtual Water Trade and Provincial Water Footprint in China"
Journal Article, Ecological Economics, volume 100
By Chao Zhang, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–July 2013 and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
China's booming economy has brought increasing pressures on its water resources. The water scarcity problem in China is characterized by a mismatch between the spatial distributions of water resources, economic development and other primary factors of production, which leads to the separation of production and consumption of water-intensive products. In this paper, the authors quantify the scale and structure of virtual water trade and consumption-based water footprints at the provincial level in China based on a multi-regional input–output model.
February 18, 2014
Suzanne Goldenberg, Naomi Oreskes, and Peter Frumhoff discussed how climate skeptics influence the public's perception of climate change science and what journalists and scientists could do to combat misinformation.
Watch the video here.
February 13, 2014
Op-Ed, Express Tribune
By Afreen Siddiqi, Visting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program
"Crop production in the heartlands of Pakistan — served by a massive network of canals — now increasingly relies on energy consuming groundwater pumps to meet irrigation needs. A million tube wells are reportedly installed in Punjab alone, and energy use in pumping and farm operations may account for up to one-fifth of the province's energy consumption."
By Scott Moore, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
Northern China's Yellow River is experiencing conditions of acute water scarcity, which has become an issue of growing concern to scholars, policymakers, and the public at large in both China and abroad. This Discussion Paper analyzes the current and future response of the Chinese government to conditions of water scarcity in the Yellow River Basin.
"The Optimal Energy Mix in Power Generation and the Contribution from Natural Gas in Reducing Carbon Emissions to 2030 and Beyond"
The authors evaluate the consistency of economic incentives and climate objectives in Europe, with regard to energy markets. In this context, they examine policy interactions between the EU-ETS and Europe's renewable target—and the role of natural gas in a transition to a low-carbon economy.
January 23, 2014
Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Tom Bielefeld, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Although the truck-jacking of highly radioactive material outside Mexico City on December 1, 2013 ended without the worst case materializing, it should serve as a wakeup call, not just in Mexico but also in the United States and elsewhere. Dangerous radiation sources remain vulnerable to theft, especially when they are out on the road. There is also poorly protected radioactive material in hospitals and other facilities. Improving security requires tougher regulations and greater risk awareness in the industry. Unfortunately, the United States is no exception, so it’s time for the country to get serious about locking up its radioactive material.
The comparability of domestic actions to mitigate global climate change has important implications for the stability, equity, and efficiency of international climate agreements. the authors examine a variety of metrics that could be used to evaluate countries' climate change mitigation effort and illustrate their potential application for large developed and developing countries.
The author finds that, in theory, if countries agree to negotiate an international agreement in terms of a harmonized shadow price on carbon and if passage of the agreement is conditioned on a simple majority of countries voting in favor, then the incentives that countries face can lead to their agreeing to a uniform shadow price on carbon that is close to the price that would lead to an efficient outcome in terms of emissions abatement.
Journal Article, Environmental Science and Technology, issue 2, volume 48
China's unprecedented change offers a unique opportunity for uncovering relationships between economic growth and environmental pressure. Here the authors show the trajectories of China's environmental pressure and reveal underlying socioeconomic drivers during 1992−2010. Mining and manufacturing industries are the main contributors to increasing environmental pressure from the producer perspective. Changes in urban household consumption, fixed capital formation, and exports are the main drivers from the consumer perspective....Environmental sustainability can only be achieved by timely technology innovation and changes of production structure and consumption pattern.