ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
July 20, 2016
The purpose of the workshop was to identify options for elaborating and implementing the Paris Agreement—and to identify policies and institutions that might complement or supplement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process.
July 20, 2016
Op-Ed, Boston Globe Magazine
By Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
"The system favors negligent behavior because it provides no incentive to change and no penalties for making the same mistakes over and over. Not only is this a waste of taxpayer money, it is also fundamentally inconsistent with the goal of building a resilient society that must have the capacity to learn from the past."
Estimates of damages from climate change are dependent on estimates of global-average-temperature increase, which in turn depend on how marginal increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations affect temperature. The "likely" range of temperature increase from a doubling of concentrations has stalled for 35 years at 1.5–4.5° C—making estimates of damages difficult and unreliable.
July 18, 2016
Harvard Project Director Robert N. Stavins was awarded the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Award on July 12, 2016, which is presented annually by the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) to a leader in advancing environmental policy in California. CCEEB is a coalition of business, labor, and public leaders seeking to promote both a sound economy and a healthy environment. The award is named after the former California governor, founding CCEEB Chairman, and father of current Governor Jerry Brown.
July 5, 2016
Op-Ed, The Washington Post
By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project
Senior Fellow of the Future of Diplomacy Project, David Ignatius examines the Navy’s energy diet that began seven years ago with an edict from newly appointed Secretary Ray Mabus, who issued five goals for radically changing how the Navy bought and consumed fuel.
"Federal Coal Program Reform, the Clean Power Plan, and the Interaction of Upstream and Downstream Climate Policies"
Can supply-side environmental policies that limit the extraction of fossil fuels reduce CO2 emissions? We study interactions between a specific supply-side policy — an environmental charge on federal coal — and demand-side emissions regulation under the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Using a detailed dynamic model of the power sector, we estimate that, absent the CPP, an environmental charge equal to the social cost of carbon would generate three-quarters of the projected CPP emissions reductions. With the CPP in place, the charge reduces emissions by reducing leakage and causing the CPP to be non-binding in some scenarios.
June 16, 2016
Op-Ed, Project Syndicate
"China has initiated a limited research program on albedo modification. The U.S. has not. Given that albedo modification is the kind of technology that necessitates an open, transparent, and international research effort — precisely the kind of effort in which the U.S. excels — this is a serious failing."
"Promise and Reality of Market-based Environmental Policy in China: Empirical Analyses of the Ecological Restoration Program on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau"
Journal Article, Global Environmental Change, volume 39
By Pu Wang, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Sustainability Science, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Steven A. Wolf, James P. Lassoie, Gregory L. Poe, Stephen J. Morreale, Xukun Su and Shikui Dong
Environmental conservation programs in China have increasingly emphasized integration of marketbased logic into regulatory programs. But the realization of market logic and the effectiveness of such efforts are widely questioned by scientists and policy analysts. The authors empirically analyze the design, implementation, and outcomes of the ecological restoration program in the Three-Rivers Headwater Region in China, a large-scale conservation scheme aimed at restoring degraded grasslands and improving local livelihoods.
June 13, 2016
Magazine or Newspaper Article, Forbes
By Ronak D. Desai, Affiliate, India and South Asia Program
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Washington last week, making his fourth trip to the United States since taking office just two years ago. India and South Asia Program Fellow, Ronak Desai examines the strategic approach to India's relations with the United States.
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
By Zachary Keck, Research Assistant, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Verification is a crucial part of all arms control agreements, from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in the 1980s to the recent Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explained during a recent appearance at Harvard. And it is on verification where scientists can be decisive.