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  • Author: Tim Boersma, Casey Johnson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: Over the preceding decade until November 2016, energy came to occupy a more central position in the United States’ foreign policy apparatus, and the term “energy diplomacy” became frequently used in policy circles and the media. The reasons for this are numerous, but a 2014 headline from the New York Times captures the essence: “Oil’s Comeback Gives U.S. Global Leverage.”[1] Indeed, the unleashing of massive amounts of US unconventional oil and gas transformed the country from a political and economic superpower that was relatively energy poor in relation to its consumption habits into an energy superpower in its own right. The US energy narrative shifted quickly from talk of scarcity and ever-increasing import dependence to one of abundance, in which the nation became a major global exporter. For US diplomats, this occasioned the rethinking of what role energy could play in advancing strategic interests abroad. In October 2012, then secretary of state Hillary Clinton gave a major address at Georgetown University on energy diplomacy in the 21st century, proposing that energy could be used to help solve territorial and maritime disputes, promote competition in Europe, get the Republic of Iraq back on its feet, bring peace in the South Sudan and Sudan conflict, and tackle energy poverty and climate change.[2] Secretary Clinton’s State Department stood up a Bureau of Energy Resources with dozens of diplomats devoted to these topics. At meetings abroad and in Washington, energy was literally on the agenda, assuming a more prominent role than at any time since the Carter administration.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Energy Policy, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Stock
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expanded in both scope and duration in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. The policy goals of the RFS program are threefold: - enhance energy security through additional domestic production of biofuels, - support rural economies by expanding the demand for agricultural products, and - expand the development and production of second-generation low–greenhouse gas transportation fuels. The RFS requires the blending of increasing quantities of biofuels into the US surface vehicle transportation fuel supply. These quantities are specified in the EISA but are subject to modification by the US EPA under certain conditions (“waiver authorities”). The EPA issues annual rules specifying the overall fractions of renewable fuels in the fuel supply. The fractional requirements are specified by fuel category: cellulosic, advanced biomass-based biodiesel, other advanced fuels, and total renewable fuels. Compliance with the blending standards is demonstrated by obligated parties (petroleum refiners and importers) retiring electronic certificates, called renewable identification numbers (RINs), when they sell petroleum fuel into the surface transportation fuel supply. RINs, which become available when a renewable fuel is blended into the fuel supply, are tradable and bankable (with limitations). Thus obligated parties have the choice of either producing RINs themselves through blending operations or purchasing RINs on the open market.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Bordoff, John Larsen
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: While there seem to be no immediate prospects for a national carbon tax in the United States, there is growing interest among some policymakers and thought leaders across the political spectrum. If and when a legislative opening emerges in the coming years, policymakers will need to grapple with a range of important design issues that will determine the effectiveness of a carbon tax in reducing carbon emissions.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Elliot-Meisel, P. Whitney Lackenbauer
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Captain Thomas Charles Pullen (1918-1990), also known as “Pullen of the Arctic,” became a noted authority on and explorer of the Arctic after he took command of the naval icebreaker HMCS Labrador in 1956. After his thirty years of active naval service, Pullen served as an advisor and consultant to government and industry on arctic marine operations for another twenty-four years, earning the reputation as North America’s foremost expert on Arctic navigation and icebreaking. This volume reproduces key diaries and reports on Arctic operations that Pullen wrote in various official capacities over his career. The first part documents his role as the commanding officer of the Labrador during operations in the Canadian Arctic in 1956 and 1957. The second part reproduces his observations as the Government of Canada’s official representative onboard the icebreaking tanker Manhattan during its two transits of the Northwest Passage.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter van Ham
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Europe’s conventional arms control architecture requires a thorough makeover. Today’s arms control and confidence-building arrangements are based on two legally binding pillars: the Conventional Armed Forces Europe (CFE) Treaty of 1990 and the Open Skies Treaty of 1992. The Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBMs), originally adopted in 1990 and most recently updated in 2011, is politically binding and aims to increase the transparency of military postures and activities in Europe. Today, these arrangements are either blocked or in dire need of modernization.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Luuk van Middelaar, Monika Sie Dhian Ho
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Netherlands shouldn’t dramatize Britain’s departure from the European Union. Sure, it’s a downer for the economy and a political blow, but not a catastrophe. Brexit may even help us to break the established patterns of our foreign policy. And that is urgently needed: Brexit and Trump require us to reset our geopolitical compass towards our neighbours and partners on the continent. In this Alert authors Luuk van Middelaar and Monika Sie Dhian Ho give four tips for a new Europe policy.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jérôme Tubiana, Clotilde Warin, Gaffar Mohammud Saeneen
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: This report studies the effects of EU migration policies and the externalisation of EU border control on Saharan migration routes and on practices in the border regions connecting Niger, Chad, Sudan and Libya. The report finds that, in response to the obstacles and opportunities that border externalisation policies present for migrants, migration routes diversify and move to other countries. Beyond the fact that migration is a transnational phenomenon not linked to one particular route or itinerary, this continuous moving of routes is made possible by cross-border Saharan trade and trafficking networks that have put in place the necessary logistics to facilitate migration and which often fall outside government control. Pushed by EU efforts to curtail migration, states such as Niger, Chad and Sudan have shored up border patrols and anti-smuggling operations in the border regions under study here. The report shows that this has been done in a manner that is often not conducive to stability in the region and which contributes to the ‘militia-isation’ – the growing power of militias whose presence undermines the state – of the countries at issue.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Willemijn Tiekstra, Wouter Zweers
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The increased arrival of refugees and migrants in Italy in 2015 revealed that the EU was not prepared to cope with an increased inflow of refugees and migrants into its territory. In 2015, the year that saw an unprecedented number of irregular migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean, a comprehensive approach to migration was adopted in the Valletta Action Plan, acknowledging that the management of irregular migration is a responsibility for both African and EU leaders.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kars de Bruijne(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Global Security Pulse tracks emerging security trends and risks worldwide. This month the Global Security Pulse focuses on the subject of political warfare. It specifically assesses how it plays a role in the foreign relations of Russia
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Pawal Kowal
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: What challenges does East Central Europe face today? Now fully sovereign, the countries of the region seek new partnerships globally, address new and old problems locally, and engage their neighbours to tackle issues of common interest. This, the eighth edition of the Warsaw East European Review (WEER) is the consequence of the 2017 Warsaw East European Conference, entitled “East Central Europe vis-a-vis Global Challenges”. Some ninety scholars met and presented their views over four days of meetings in Warsaw in July 2017. The editors invited those with particularly timely remarks to submit their essays for publication, and have included a discussion of the WEER editorial board
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe