Environment & Climate Change

507 Items

Earth at night, 2012. People around the world depend upon electric lighting. Generating electricity using increased amounts of non-fossil fuels is critical to slowing climate change.

USA.gov

Journal Article - Ecological Economics

Using Inclusive Wealth for Policy Evaluation: Application to Electricity Infrastructure Planning in Oil-Exporting Countries

| 2017

Decision-makers often seek to design policies that support sustainable development. Prospective evaluations of how effectively such policies are likely to meet sustainability goals have nonetheless remained relatively challenging. Evaluating policies against sustainability goals can be facilitated through the inclusive wealth framework, which characterizes development in terms of the value to society of its underlying capital assets, and defines development to be potentially sustainable if that value does not decline over time.

President Barack Obama gets direction from his science advisor John P. Holdren during an event on the South Lawn of the White House to explore the stars with middle school students.

Reuters

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Spotlight on John P. Holdren

| Fall/Winter 2016-2017

As assistant to the president for science and technology, director of the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy, and co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Holdren has worked closely with Obama to reinvigorate America’s scientific capabilities on a range of policy fronts, from climate change and renewable energy to health care and nanotechnology.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

American Nuclear Diplomacy

| August 4, 2016

In this report, American Nuclear Diplomacy: Forging a New Consensus to Fight Climate Change and Weapons Proliferation, Former Deputy Secretary of Energy and Belfer Center Senior Fellow Daniel Poneman writes that we face two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Each, he says, stems from human origins. Both must be fought aggressively.

"Multiple studies confirm the grim truth that, even if all nations fulfill their Paris Climate Agreement emissions pledges, the world will still far overshoot the 2°C warming limit scientists say we must not exceed to prevent devastating climate impacts. Carbon-free nuclear energy can help close the gap. But can we expand its environmental benefits without increasing the risks of nuclear terror?"

Poneman outlines a diplomatic strategy and tough-minded, bipartisan policies to get us there.

Nomads near Lake Namtso, Tibet, 2005

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Global Environmental Change

Promise and Reality of Market-based Environmental Policy in China: Empirical Analyses of the Ecological Restoration Program on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Authors:
  • Steven A. Wolf
  • James P. Lassoie
  • Gregory L. Poe
  • Stephen J. Morreale
  • Xukun Su
  • Shikui Dong
| 2016

Environmental conservation programs in China have increasingly emphasized integration of marketbased logic into regulatory programs. But the realization of market logic and the effectiveness of such efforts are widely questioned by scientists and policy analysts. The authors empirically analyze the design, implementation, and outcomes of the ecological restoration program in the Three-Rivers Headwater Region in China, a large-scale conservation scheme aimed at restoring degraded grasslands and improving local livelihoods.

Syrian Desert, Eastern Jordan, November 12, 2012.

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Systems Engineering

Formulating Expectations for Future Water Availability through Infrastructure Development Decisions in Arid Regions

| May 24, 2016

In this research paper, the authors propose that future human mediated water availability in arid regions may be assessed by considering key projects that have been identified or proposed by regional experts and organizations. Using Multicriteria Decision Methods as a framework to organize a set of decision criteria and their relative salience, the likelihood of selection (and development) of a project can be determined and used to form expectations of future regional water availability. The authors apply this approach in a case study of Jordan.

A rural stove using biomass cakes, fuelwood and trash as cooking fuel... It is a major source of air pollution in India, and produces smoke and numerous indoor air pollutants at concentrations 5 times higher than coal.

Wikipedia

Journal Article - Nature Energy

Energy decisions reframed as justice and ethical concerns

| 6 May 2016

Many energy consumers, and even analysts and policymakers, confront and frame energy and climate risks in a moral vacuum, rarely incorporating broader social justice concerns. Here, to remedy this gap, we investigate how concepts from justice and ethics can inform energy decision-making by reframing five energy problems — nuclear waste, involuntary resettlement, energy pollution, energy poverty and climate change — as pressing justice concerns.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Oil, Prices, and Global Impact

Spring 2016

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.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Out of Katrina’s Devastation: A Model for Disaster Recovery

| Spring 2016

In January, community leaders and officials from around the world gathered at Harvard to share experiences and best practices in “Accelerating Disaster Recovery: Strategies, Tensions, and Obstacles.” The conference was organized by Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Crisis Leadership (PCL), which is jointly affiliated with the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and the Belfer Center’s Broadmoor Project: New Orleans Recovery.

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Paper

Crafting Usable Knowledge for Sustainable Development

| 2016

This paper distills core lessons about how researchers (scientists, engineers, planners, etc.) interested in promoting sustainable development can increase the likelihood of producing usable knowledge. We draw the lessons from both practical experience in diverse contexts around the world, and from scholarly advances in understanding the relationships between science and society.

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News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Study Examines Water Used for Fuel Extraction, Power Generation

January 26, 2016

A new study co-authored by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the University of Calgary provides the first comprehensive representation of changing water consumption patterns associated with fuel extraction and power generation.