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You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publishing Institution Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Topic Energy Policy Remove constraint Topic: Energy Policy
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  • Author: Scott Moore
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Few places in the world are facing such acute scarcity of water as is northern China, the region surrounding the nation's capital in Beijing. Over the past three decades, rapid economic development and population growth have caused a dramatic water shortage in the region. Groundwater tables have dropped so precipitously that in some places wells cannot be dug deep enough to reach water. Climate change is making rainfall more unpredictable, further darkening the picture for a region that is vital to both the Chinese and world economies. This brief looks at the so-far inadequate responses of the Chinese government and makes the case that new institutions are needed to allow China to meet this growing challenge.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Water
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey Frankel, Valentina Bosetti, James W. Harpel
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Those worried about the future of the earth's climate are hoping that the climate change convention in Lima, Peru, in December 2014, will yield progress toward specific national commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. The Lima conference will be hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is a prelude to the make-or-break Paris meeting of the UNFCCC, in December 2015, where a new international agreement is scheduled to be concluded.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Governance
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Peru
  • Author: David Nusbaum
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Nuclear research reactors are used in many countries for many different purposes. Most of the reactors are used for research (mainly in physics), training for nuclear operators and engineers, materials testing in radiation conditions, or the production of radioiso¬topes for medicine and industry. Some countries, like Iran, are building new reactors ostensibly to fill these needs. Many of these reactors operate with highly enriched uranium (HEU) nuclear fuel — in most cases, enriched to around 90 percent, the same as fuel for nuclear weapons. The production and fabrication of HEU fuel, and the handling, transport, and storage of both fresh and spent fuel containing HEU entails considerable proliferation, security, and safety risks as well as very high costs. The global stockpile of highly enriched uranium was about 1500 tons in 2012, which was enough for more than 60,000 simple, first gen¬eration implosion weapons. About 98 percent of this material is held by the nuclear weapon states, with the largest HEU stockpiles in Russia and the United States.
  • Topic: Security, Education, Energy Policy, Health, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran
  • Author: Robert N. Stavins, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The goal of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements is to help identify and advance scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically pragmatic public policy options for addressing global climate change. Drawing upon leading thinkers in Argentina, Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan, and the United States, the Project conducts research on policy architecture, key design elements, and institutional dimensions of domestic climate policy and a post-2015 international climate policy regime. The Project is directed by Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Daniel Bodansky
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In December 2011, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, which launched a new round of negotiations aimed at developing "a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force" for the post-2020 period. The Durban Platform negotiations got underway this year and are scheduled to conclude in 2015. This Viewpoint analyzes the elements of the Durban Platform and the possible role that a new instrument might play.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Author: Robert N. Stavins, Joseph E. Aldy
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A key outcome of the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP-17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Durban, South Africa, late in 2011 — the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action — represents an important milestone in the history of climate negotiations. This is because it departs from the long-standing and problematic dichotomous division of the world's countries into those with serious emissions-reduction responsibilities and the others — with no such responsibilities whatsoever. That distinction, now apparently abandoned, has prevented meaningful progress for decades. The Durban Platform — by replacing the Berlin Mandate's (1995) division of the world into a set of countries with ambitious responsibilities and another set of countries with no responsibilities — has opened an important window. National delegations from around the world now have a challenging task before them: to identify a new international climate policy architecture that is consistent with the process, pathway, and principles laid out in the Durban Platform, while still being consistent with the UNFCCC. The challenge is to find a way to include all key countries in a structure that brings about meaningful emission reduction on an appropriate timetable at acceptable cost, while recognizing the different circumstances of countries in a way that is more subtle, more sophisticated, and — most important — more effective than the dichotomous distinction of years past.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: South Africa, United Nations, Durban
  • Author: Valentina Bosetti, Matthew Bunn, Michela Catenacci, Audrey Lee, Laura Diaz Anadon
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Nuclear Power
  • Author: Fred McGoldrick
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This policy brief is based on Limiting Transfers of Enrichment and Reprocessing Technology: Issues, Constraints, Options , a report of the Project on Managing the Atom.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Foreign Aid, Nuclear Power, Developing World
  • Author: Arani Kajenthira, Laura Diaz Anadon, Afreen Sidiqqi
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Industrial and urban water reuse should be considered along with desalination as options for water supply in Saudi Arabia. Although the Saudi Ministry for Water and Electricity (MoWE) has estimated that an investment of $53 billion will be required for water desalination projects over the next 15 years [1], the evolving necessity to conserve fossil resources and mitigate GHG emissions requires Saudi policy makers to weigh in much more heavily the energy and environmental costs of desalination. Increasing water tariffs for groundwater and desalinated water to more adequately represent the costs of water supply could encourage conservation, but also reuse, which may be more appropriate for many inland and high-altitude cities. The Saudi government should expand its support for water conservation and reuse within industry through financial incentives or through the implementation of cleaner production standards that encourage energy and water conservation and reuse. The case studies discussed in this work suggest that the implementation of water conservation, reuse and recovery measures in the natural gas [2] and crude oil [3] sectors alone have the potential to conserve up to 222 million m3 of water annually [2-4], or 29% of the total industrial water demand in 2009 [5]. In the municipal sector, increasing secondary wastewater treatment and reuse resulted in substantial cost and energy savings for six inland cities, while an estimated 26% of urban water needs could be met by treated wastewater. Therefore, industrial and domestic water reuse have the potential to appreciably reduce water withdrawals, conserve non-renewable aquifer water, and reduce reliance on desalination, which is primarily driven by non-renewable natural gas. Anticipated investments in desalination projects could also be deferred by prioritizing investment in sewage and water distribution networks that would ensure more effective water reclamation and reuse while simultaneously conserving non-renewable groundwater and natural gas resources and preventing the lock-in of potentially unnecessary desalination infrastructure that is likely to become more efficient in future.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Daniel Bodansky
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On December 31, 2012, the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period will expire. Unless states agree to a second commitment period, requiring a further round of emissions cuts, the Protocol will no longer impose any quantitative limits on states' greenhouse gas emissions. Although, as a legal matter, the Protocol will continue in force, it will be a largely empty shell, doing little if anything to curb global warming.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Author: Jacques E.C. Hymans
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Prior to the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011, international observers frequently posed the question of whether Japan might convert its large stockpile of plutonium into nuclear weapons. Since March 11, their main question has shifted to whether Japan will decide to exit from the nuclear energy field altogether.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Matthew Bunn, Charles Jones, Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Ruud Kempener, Laura Diaz Anadon, Gabriel Chan, Melissa Chan, Audrey Lee, Nathaniel Logar
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United States needs a revolution in energy technology innovation to meet the profound economic, environmental, and national security challenges that energy poses in the 21st century. If the U.S. government does not act now to improve the conditions for innovation in energy, even in times of budget stringency, it risks losing leadership in one of the key global industries of the future, and the world risks being unable to safely mitigate climate change and to reduce vulnerability to disruptions and conflicts—both domestic and international. Waiting is not an option.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthew Bunn, Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Laura Diaz Anadon, Charles Jones
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United States needs to transform the way it produces and uses energy. This will require the improvement of current technologies and the development of new ones. To achieve the maximum payoff for public investments in energy technology innovation, the United States will need to improve and better align the management and structure of existing and new energy innovation institutions, and better connect R to demonstration and deployment. In what follows, we highlight three general and important recommendations for thinking about different initiatives, and we discuss the merits and challenges of current and new institutions, and the remaining gaps in the U.S. energy innovation system.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ruud Kempener
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the six BRIMCS countries— Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa—have become important global players in political and economic domains. In 2007, they were collectively responsible for a third of the world's energy consumption, driven by China's growing energy use. Despite their increasing significance in the world's energy sector, very little systematic analysis of their energy investments, innovation institutions, and energy innovation policies has taken place. The International Energy Agency (IEA) is one of the few agencies that have been collecting data on ERD investments, but none of the BRIMCS countries are members.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Daniel Bodansky
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The failure of the Copenhagen conference to adopt a new legal agreement on climate change is blamed by some on poor chairing or other transitory factors. But the problems with the UN climate-change negotiations are more fundamental and are unlikely to go away anytime soon. Rather than putting all of our eggs in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) basket or listening to the siren song of a new legal agreement, states should seek to address climate change in additional forums and through additional means.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Author: Justin Dargin
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Although it seems inconceivable, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is facing an enormous energy shortage. Much of the world views the UAE – and the rest of the Gulf countries by extension – as an inexhaustible reserve of hydrocarbons. However, as with many of the other Gulf countries, the UAE confronts a potentially far reaching energy crisis. Despite increased energy production and imported Qatari gas through the Dolphin natural gas pipeline, UAE domestic gas demand substantially exceeds available supply. This disparity created a shortfall met by an increasing use of fuel oil, natural gas liquids, and in certain circumstances, coal. But it is natural gas that continues to be the UAE's most important domestic energy source.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)-established by the Kyoto Protocol of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change-is an emissions offset program that allows industrialized countries to receive credits for funding emissions reduction projects in developing countries. The program is intended to provide a cost-effective way for industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time supporting sustainable development in developing countries. However, the CDM has been criticized for its lengthy and expensive project approval procedures, its exclusion of many categories of potentially important mitigation activities, and its methodologies for calculating whether projects actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In response to these problems, this Issue Brief presents a variety of options for reforming the CDM.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Akinobu Yasumoto, Mutsuyoshi Nishimura
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: An effective policy approach to climate change would be a global emission trading system. Opinions differ, however, as to what approach should be pursued when fostering a global emissions trading system. Many argue in favor of linking various national and regional emission trading systems as a possible way forward. However, an alternative method, which involves developing a new system from the ground up, could prove more advantageous. Under an Upstream Global Emission Trading System (UGETS), all nations would use an upstream emissions trading system that would result in far fewer monitoring points than a downstream system. A nation would only need to keep track of domestic shipments and imports of fossil fuels.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin, Peter Wilcoxen, Adele Morris
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s 2007 Bali Plan of Action calls for the next agreement to ensure the "comparability of efforts" across developed countries while "taking into account differences in their national circumstances." Trends in national emissions and economic growth vary widely between countries, as do yearto-year fluctuations around those trends. This means that achieving similar reductions relative to historical base years can require very different levels of efforts in different countries. These differences have greatly hampered climate cooperation because it means that commitments that are similar in effort look inequitable. Further, divergent underlying trends make it difficult to know the effort that any particular commitment will require. The failure of the G-8 to set a base year for its agreed 80 percent reduction of emissions by 2050 illustrates the contention in formulating even collective targets.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Benedict Kingsbury, Richard B. Stewart, Bryce Rudyk
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Climate finance is fundamental to curbing anthropogenic climate change. Compared, however, to the negotiations over emissions reduction timetables, commitments, and architectures, climate finance issues have received only limited and belated attention. Assuring delivery and appropriate use of the financial resources needed to achieve emissions reductions and secure adaptation to climate change, particularly in developing countries, is as vital as agreement on emission caps. Yet, a comprehensive framework on financing for mitigation and adaptation is not in sight. Developed and developing countries cannot agree on even the fundamentals of what should be included (e.g. should private finance through carbon markets be included?), let alone the level and terms of financing commitments, regulatory and other mechanisms, or governance structures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements