247 Items

A worker in the foreground adjusts some large straps as he looks up. In the background there is a flat horizon scattered with wind turbines against a blue sky.

AP Photo/Andy Wong

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

Climate Action in an Era of Great Power Competition

| July 18, 2023

At the foot of the Eqi Glacier in Greenland in June, I watched ice formed thousands of years ago drop into the warming ocean. With this vivid depiction of climate change in my mind, I was disappointed that neither of the conferences held last month to prepare for the UN’s upcoming COP28 summit had produced any real breakthroughs.

However, while the need for climate action is rising, the stakes for COP, perhaps counter-intuitively, look to be diminishing. An underwhelming COP28 would be a missed opportunity but it may not be a tragedy. Twenty or even 10 years ago, it was reasonable to hope a co-operative approach could address climate. But it is no longer a realistic expectation — nor the most promising route for progress.

Meghan O'Sullivan speaking in front of a green background.

World Economic Forum

Q&A with Meghan O'Sullivan

| Spring 2023

Meghan O’Sullivan, the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and Director of the Center’s Geopolitics of Energy project, will become Belfer Center Director on July 1, 2023. As she prepares for this transition, Communications Associate Director Sharon Wilke asked her to share her thoughts on the Belfer Center and what she sees as its greatest strengths, why she decided to take on the leadership role, and how she hopes to build on the Center’s strengths and impact in the near and distant future. 

Meghan O'Sullivan against a blue background.

Martha Stewart

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

Harvard Kennedy School Names Meghan L. O’Sullivan Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Feb. 21, 2023

Harvard Kennedy School has named Meghan L. O’Sullivan Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, effective July 2023.

Book - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Hand-Off: The Foreign Policy George W. Bush Passed to Barack Obama

| Feb. 15, 2023

Hand-Off details the Bush administration’s national security and foreign policy as described at the time in then-classified Transition Memoranda prepared by the National Security Council experts who advised President Bush. Thirty of these Transition Memoranda, newly declassified and here made public for the first time, provide a detailed, comprehensive, and first-hand look at the foreign policy the Bush administration turned over to President Obama.

Photo of test engineer Jacob Wilcox pulling his arm out of a glove box used for processing sodium at TerraPower, a company developing and building small nuclear reactors on Jan.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

By Not Acting on Climate, Congress Endangers U.S. National Security

| July 21, 2022

Last week, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin seemingly dashed Democrats’ hopes for congressional action to slow climate change. Sen. Bernie Sanders accused Manchin of “sabotag[ing] the president’s agenda”; Rep. John Yarmuth, when asked about the consequences of Congress not acting on climate change, said, “We’re all going to die”; and climate activists, as well as some Democrats in Congress, wondered if Manchin should be removed as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

A pipeline construction worker welding inside of a pipe

Evgeny Stetsko

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The New Energy Order

| June 07, 2022

The Russia-Ukraine crisis has led to a significant transformation in the global energy system, with energy security becoming a top concern for policymakers alongside climate change. This dual focus is expected to reshape national energy planning, energy trade flows, and the global economy. Countries are likely to prioritize domestic energy production and regional cooperation while transitioning to net-zero carbon emissions. The new energy order will also be characterized by increased government intervention in the energy sector, unseen in recent history. This intervention, if managed correctly, can mitigate climate change effects, energy security risks, and manage geopolitical challenges of the energy transition. However, the government's role should be carefully tailored to address specific market failures and avoid overreach.

Book - University of Michigan Press

Capital Choices: Sectoral Politics and the Variation of Sovereign Wealth

| Mar. 07, 2022

Capital Choices analyzes the creation of different SWFs from a comparative political economy perspective, arguing that different state-society structures at the sectoral level are the drivers for SWF variation. Juergen Braunstein focuses on the early formation period of SWFs, a critical but little understood area given the high levels of political sensitivity and lack of transparency that surround SWF creation. Braunstein’s novel analytical framework provides practical lessons for the business and finance organizations and policymakers of countries that have created, or are planning to create, SWFs.

Electricians install solar panels.

AP/Mary Altaffer

Report Chapter - Brookings Institution

Mexico’s Energy Reforms: A Blow to Realizing the Most Competitive and Dynamic Region in the World

| Feb. 28, 2022

In late 2017, Mexico made headlines as Italian company Enel bid what was then a world-record low price for renewable energy in the country’s third such energy auction. This development was possible due to the historical and sweeping energy reforms passed with broad support in Mexico in 2013. Then-President Enrique Peña Nieto had succeeded where previous Mexican presidents had failed, reversing decades of resource nationalism and overhauling the energy sector through constitutional reforms that gave the private sector a larger role and advantaged renewable energy in Mexico’s economy. The 2017 auction seemed to indicate Mexico’s bright future not only as a conventional oil producer, but also as a clean energy power.