ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Journal Article, Energy Strategy Reviews
By Afreen Siddiqi, Visting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Arani Kajenthira, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Director, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Integrated policy and planning is needed to effectively meet the challenges of growing water and energy inter-dependencies in many regions. Joint consideration of both water and energy domains can identify new options for increasing overall resource use efficiencies. In order to identify and realize such opportunities, however, detailed knowledge of current and emerging water–energy couplings is needed along with a nuanced understanding of key actors and agencies engaged in decision-making. In this paper we develop a systematic, analytical approach based on quantitative analysis of water and energy couplings, identification and characterization of key actors and groups using concepts from stakeholders theory, and employing notions from organization theory of boundary-spanning agents that can serve to bridge inter-organizational networks for water and energy planning. We apply this approach to conduct an in-depth investigation of water and energy resources in Jordan.
March 25, 2013
Op-Ed, Boston Globe
By Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy
"Our infrastructure investments — whether they come through taxes, loans, or a promising infrastructure bank proposal that would invest private funds into public works — utilize local ingenuity to reduce our vulnerabilities. The decline of American infrastructure is a fixable national security problem, much more so than the religious, political, and ethnic divisions that pit so much of the world against each other."
March 20, 2013
Op-Ed, World Politics Review
By Scott Moore, Giorgio Ruffolo Doctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
"China's major cities have long been notorious for their high levels of air and water pollution, but such visible signs of threats to human health are thrusting environmental hazards into the public eye like never before. The Chinese government has taken some steps to address public concern at these hazards, but if either history or the experience of other countries is any guide, Beijing needs to take public opinion seriously to avoid future environmental crises."
The United States has considerable tax administration and cap-and-trade expertise that could highlight potentially successful carbon pricing approaches. Although this experience is not climate-related, the United States deploys an efficient and highly compliant excise tax system, and it could assist developing country efforts to build their own capacity to tax carbon. The United States also has long experience with cap-and-trade systems for criteria air pollutants, much of which is transferable to greenhouse-gas emissions trading.
March 7, 2013
"The Sordid History of Congressional Acceptance and Rejection of Cap-and-Trade: Implications for Climate Policy"
Not so long ago, cap-and-trade mechanisms for environmental protection were popular in Congress. Now, such mechanisms are denigrated. What happened? This column tells the sordid tale of how conservatives in Congress who once supported cap and trade now lambast climate change legislation as 'cap-and-tax'. Ironically, conservatives are choosing to demonise their own market-based creation. The successful conservative campaign that disparaged cap-and-trade means it may now be politically impossible to promote it in the US. The good news? Elsewhere, cap and trade is now a proven, viable option for tackling large-scale environmental problems.
March 1, 2013
Op-Ed, PBS NEWSHOUR
By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
"...[T]here will be actions having significant implications for U.S. CO2 emissions. The big difference is that most will not be called 'climate policy' and virtually all will be within the regulatory and executive-order domain, not new legislation. Will this set of actions and developments put the U.S. on a path to the long-term Waxman-Markey target of an 83 percent reduction below 2005 by 2050? Of course not. For that, a meaningful legislated, economy-wide, national carbon pricing regime will be necessary."
February 21, 2013
By Andrew Facini, Communications Assistant
Washington Post national environment reporter Juliet Eilperin spoke on the political difficulties of pursuing environmental policy in a seminar titled "Covering Environmental Controversies in a Political Environment" at the Harvard Kennedy School.
February 14, 2013
Op-Ed, Boston Globe
By Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy
"Across the Eastern Seaboard, from New Jersey's damaged shoreline to the parts of New England ravaged by the blizzard last week, the government is considering whether to allow people to use federal funds to rebuild homes in areas that will, inevitably, be at risk once again. No one doubts the emotional and political consequences of moving people. That's why the federal relief fund for victims of Hurricane Sandy sets aside about $18 billion to rebuild homes and businesses in safer places. There will be another hurricane."
By Bard Harstad
Climate policy is complicated. For a treaty to be beneficial, one must think through carefully how it will work, once it is implemented. Crucial questions include the following: How should an international treaty be designed? Should one negotiate commitments for a five-year period, or for much longer? Assuming that the treaty specifies aggregate or country-specific emission caps, what should these caps be and how should they change over time? How should the agreement be updated once policymakers, scholars, and the public learn more about the severity of the climate-change problem, or about the effects of the policy? Can the treaty be designed to encourage investments in "green" abatement technology or renewable energy sources? Finally, how can one motivate countries to participate and comply with such an agreement?
February 4, 2013
By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
"We the undersigned will be among more than 400 engineers, scientists, industrialists and thought-leaders from around the world who will meet for this summit in March, with the goal of realising our technological dreams and using what we learn to improve global sustainability, resilience, health, education, economic growth and overall quality of life. The summit will be disruptive, forward-looking and internationally collaborative. It starts with the premise that the most valuable global commodity today is not oil, gold or grain: it is ideas."