April 15, 2016
By Kalman A. Robertson, Former Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, August 2015–June 2016 and John Carlson, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
As India’s civilian nuclear energy program expands with the assistance of international nuclear suppliers, it creates new potential pathways to the acquisition of fissile material that could be diverted for military purposes. A key question is whether and how India’s civilian and military nuclear facilities are separated. In this discussion paper from the Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom, Kalman A. Robertson and John Carlson argue that India has not established a complete and verifiable separation of its civilian and military nuclear programs. The authors recommend steps for India to take under its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide assurances to all states that components of its civilian program are not contributing to the growth of its nuclear arsenal. These steps include renouncing options that would facilitate the use of safeguarded items to produce unsafeguarded nuclear material, and placing the proliferation-sensitive components of its nuclear power industry under continuous safeguards.
By Xiaoqi Xu, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2013–2014, Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program and Henry Lee, Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program
Various policies targeting at building energy efficiency have been promulgated by the Chinese government in the past decade. However, few studies evaluate if China is on the right path to meet its energy goals through these policies by providing an assessment of their effect in reducing energy consumption in residential buildings or the feasibility of such policies to catalyze these reductions. This paper attempts to fill this gap by systematically quantifying (1) the energy savings catalyzed by existing policy instruments; (2) the additional energy savings that could be realized by strengthening these policies; and (3) the relative advantages of each policy.
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
Call it the fall heard round the world.
The dramatic decline in oil prices—from over $100 a barrel in 2014 to below $30 this year—has been one of the most disruptive and least expected developments in global energy markets since the 2008 financial crisis.
With the continuation of high oil production and low prices, the Belfer Center’s Khalid Alsweilem, Calestous Juma, David Keith, Henry Lee, Leonardo Maugeri, Meghan O’Sullivan, and Robert Stavins offer insights, predictions, and recommendations based on their research and varied perspectives.
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
The Paris Climate Conference in December was the point of convergence for a number of current and former Belfer Center climate and environment experts who played significant roles in the planning and presentations at the UN Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris.
April 5, 2016
Leading up to and during the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, Belfer Center experts released reports, published commentary, and provided insight and analysis into global nuclear security. In advance of the Summit, the Project on Managing the Atom set the stage for discussion with the report Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline?
An in-progress compilation of the expert commentary and analysis is available here.
March 30, 2016
By William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP, Pamela Matson and Krister Andersson
Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice, by leading authorities Pamela Matson, William C. Clark, and Krister Andersson, is a concise guide that provides everyone interested in sustainability – students, scholars, and practitioners alike – with a strategic framework and approaches for understanding, analyzing, and effectively engaging in sustainability challenges. While individuals from every realm of society can and need to engage in this, innovations from the research and innovation communities are particularly needed; creating useful knowledge and linking it effectively with decision-making is an urgent need. In educational settings, the book serves as an invaluable primer and companion to research and teaching that deals with sustainability in particular sectors such as energy, food, water, and cities, or in particular regions of the world. In professional settings, it offers a guide to how we all—regardless of profession—can become more effective in the pursuit of sustainability.
March 28, 2016
By Morena Skalamera, Associate, Geopolitics of Energy Project
Putin's third presidential term started in May of 2012. He had already served two consecutive terms in 2000-2008, switching places with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in 2008-2012. Putin's first two terms composed a period of sustained growth, which provided empirical ammunition against criticism of his model. The freshman year of Medvedev's presidency coincided with the onset of a global economic crisis that exposed Putin's model to its first serious test.
March 21, 2016
Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times
By Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander, Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project
On June 23, the United Kingdom will decide whether it should remain part of the European Union. The early polls suggest that not only the Conservative government, but the whole country, is split. Future of Diplomacy Project senior fellow and former MP, Douglas Alexander, explains why a vote for Brexit would leave the whole European project at risk of unraveling at precisely the time new economic and security threats confront the West.
This document contains March 2016 updates to our database on U.S. government investments in energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment (ERD3) through the Department of Energy. The database, in Microsoft Excel format, tracks DOE appropriations from FY 1978–2016 and the 2017 budget request and includes funding for ERD3 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It also includes several charts.
March 8, 2016
Op-Ed, Financial Times
By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
The agreement to freeze production was geopolitical not economic, writes Meghan O’Sullivan in the Financial Times.