Environment & Climate Change

2247 Items

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

An Economic Anatomy of Optimal Climate Policy

| August 2018

The authors introduce geoengineering into an optimal control model of climate economics. Together with mitigation and adaptation, carbon and solar geoengineering span all possible climate policies. Their wildly different characteristics have important implications for policy. They show in the context of their model that: (i) whether emissions are positive or zero the optimal carbon tax always equals the marginal cost of carbon geoengineering; (ii) the introduction of either form of geoengineering leads to higher emissions yet lower temperatures; (iii) in a world with above-optimal cumulative emissions, mitigation alone is insufficient and only a complete set of instruments can minimize climate damages.

This is an updated version of a paper first published in July 2017.

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

Advancing Green Infrastructure Program Wins Harvard's Roy Award for Environmental Partnership

| July 25, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, MA –The Environment and Natural Resources Program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government announced today that the Advancing Green Infrastructure Program - a public-private partnership in New Haven, Connecticut - is the winner of the 2018 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership. The partnership consists of the Urban Resources Initiative at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, EMERGE Connecticut, Inc., the City of New Haven Department of Engineering, the Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority, and Common Ground High School.

rendering of Carbon Engineering’s air capture design

Courtesy of Carbon Engineering

Journal Article - Joule

A Process for Capturing CO2 from the Atmosphere

    Authors:
  • Geoffrey Holmes
  • David St. Angelo
  • Kenton Heidel
| 2018

The authors describe a process for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere in an industrial plant. The design captures ∼1 Mt-CO2/year in a continuous process using an aqueous KOH sorbent coupled to a calcium caustic recovery loop. They describe the design rationale, summarize performance of the major unit operations, and provide a capital cost breakdown developed with an independent consulting engineering firm. They report results from a pilot plant that provides data on performance of the major unit operations.

LNG Carrier

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

Chinese Tariffs on U.S. Energy Would Signal a New Attitude

| July 10, 2018

In placing retaliatory tariffs on certain goods and products, America’s trade partners have signaled how well they understand American politics. By targeting products from areas supportive of President Donald Trump, they clearly hope to generate pressure to lift U.S. tariffs or even create broader political problems for the president. But China is sending much more interesting — and complex — messages with its indication that it may place retaliatory tariffs on U.S. energy exports.

 Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant

United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

US Nuclear Power: The Vanishing Low-carbon Wedge

    Authors:
  • M. Granger Morgan
  • Ahmed Abdulla
  • Michael Rath
| July 10, 2018

Nuclear power holds the potential to make a significant contribution to decarbonizing the US energy system. Whether it could do so in its current form is a critical question: Existing large light water reactors in the United States are under economic pressure from low natural gas prices, and some have already closed. Moreover, because of their great cost and complexity, it appears most unlikely that any new large plants will be built over the next several decades. While advanced reactor designs are sometimes held up as a potential solution to nuclear power's challenges, the authors' assessment of the advanced fission enterprise suggests that no US design will be commercialized before midcentury. That leaves factory-manufactured, light water small modular reactors (SMRs) as the only option that might be deployed at significant scale in the climate-critical period of the next several decades.

Susan Biniaz

HPCA/Casey Billings

News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements Hosts Susan Biniaz

    Authors:
  • Robert C. Stowe
  • Casey Billings
| July 06, 2018

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements hosted Susan Biniaz, former lead attorney for the U.S. climate-change negotiating team (1989 – 2017), for several days in mid-April 2018, meeting with students and faculty focusing on climate-change policy and the Paris Agreement.