The world has witnessed a new era of cooperation on climate change between the United States and China. This cooperation between the world’s two largest economies and carbon emitters played a fundamental role in the international negotiations leading up to the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015. This includes, in particular, the joint announcement of their respective post-2020 climate actions in November 2014 and the crafting of common visions on key issues related to the Paris Outcome in September 2015. The world has high expectations that the United States and China will enhance their future collaboration on climate change. These expectations will be the cornerstone of translating the Paris vision into action. Furthermore, the Joint Presidential Statement released in March 2016 also stressed that “joint efforts by the United States and China on climate change will serve as an enduring legacy of the partnership between our two countries”.
Much conventional wisdom suggests that states with nuclear energy programs are more likely to seek or acquire nuclear weapons. In this seminar, the speaker will argue that the link between nuclear energy programs and proliferation is overstated. While energy programs increase the technical capacity of a state to build nuclear weapons, they also (1) increase the costliness of nonproliferation sanctions, (2) increase the odds that a parallel nuclear weapons program is detected, and (3) reduce the incentives to weaponize by providing a hedging alternative. Collectively, these three mechanisms help explain why states with nuclear energy programs have not been significantly more likely to seek or acquire nuclear weapons historically.
Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.