Policy Briefs & Testimonies

485 Items

A man fishes near an oil drilling platform

AP/Eric Gay, File

Policy Brief - Harvard Initiative to Reduce Global Methane Emissions

Updating Estimates of Methane Emissions: The Case of China

  • Zichong Chen
  • Daniel Jacob
| May 2023

The Harvard Initiative to Reduce Global Methane Emissions released its first publication in May 2023: a research brief titled “Updating Estimates of Methane Emissions: The Case of China.” The Initiative is one of five interdisciplinary research clusters funded by the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard University. The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements collaborates in the implementation of the Initiative.

Policy Brief

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations and Policy Considerations in the United States

| May 03, 2023

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) can be defined as global, digitally-native organizations which enable people to coordinate and govern shared resources and activities through the use of smart contracts on blockchains. This policy brief aims to serve as an accessible primer for United States policymakers to understand the unique opportunities and challenges DAOs present, and how these organizations may be addressed in the regulatory landscape of the U.S.

a "For Rent" sign is taped to a storefront window in the coal town of Welch, W.Va

AP Photo/David Goldman

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

The Persistent Consequences of the Energy Transition in Appalachia’s Coal Country

  • Eleanor Krause
| Mar. 24, 2023

How have Appalachia’s coal-dependent communities adjusted to historical and contemporary declines in demand for coal, and how do these shocks – and their consequences for the educational composition of affected communities – influence the capacity for future generations to adapt to new challenges? In this policy brief, Eleanor Krause presents estimates of how Appalachia’s coal country has adjusted to recent declines in coal mining employment (“coal shocks”), and demonstrates how this adjustment process is, in part, dictated by the persistent consequences of historical employment shocks in Appalachia.

Sunflowers lay over an image with the Spanish message: "Peace in Ukraine" outside the Russian embassy after demonstrators protested Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Mexico City, March 24, 2022.

AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

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

The Impacts of the Russo-Ukranian War on Latin America in the Age of Strategic Competition

| March 2023

Despite the distance between Latin America and Ukraine, the conflict has disrupted the region and exacerbated the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 disproportionately affected Latin America’s fragile socioeconomic, fiscal, and political situation. 

Displaced Ethiopians from different towns in the Amhara region wait for food to be distributed at lunchtime at a center for the internally-displaced in Debark, in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia

AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Women in Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

SVAC Explainer: Wartime Sexual Violence in Tigray, Ethiopia, 2020–2021

| March 2023

The Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC)dataset measures reports of the conflict-related sexual violence committed by armed actors during the years 1989–2021. The dataset includes information about the prevalence, perpetrators, and forms of the reported sexual violence by each armed actor in each conflict-year. The information used to compile these data comes from three sources: the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. 

steel mill blast furnace

AP Photo/Martin Meissner

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

Green Hydrogen Industrial Value Chains: Geopolitical and Market Implications

| Feb. 09, 2023

Green hydrogen is likely to play a pivotal role in a carbon-free future, as its adoption will enable the decarbonization of energy-intensive industrial processes whose emissions are hard to abate through simple electrification—such as steel and cement production. However, to take advantage of the economic opportunities created by its adoption at scale, countries will need to rethink the roles they could play in a new energy landscape and define strategic industrial policies accordingly.

An oil tanker is moored at the Sheskharis complex, part of Chernomortransneft JSC, a subsidiary of Transneft PJSC, in Novorossiysk, Russia

AP Photo, File

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

The Price Cap on Russian Oil Exports, Explained

| Dec. 05, 2022

The price cap on Russian oil implemented today by the G7 countries plus Australia represents a novel approach to sanctions. The policy is designed to reduce Russian fossil fuel revenues while keeping Russian oil on the market. In this brief, Catherine Wolfram, Simon Johnson, and Łukasz Rachel explain the basic economic principles at work and discuss some of the critiques of the price cap. 

two reindeer graze on the tundra in Inari, Finland

Unsplash/Tania Malrechauffe

Policy Brief - The Gordon Foundation

Arctic Policy Hackathon: Policy Recommendations for Food Sovereignty in the Arctic

| October 2022

Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow Jennifer Spence facilitated the first Arctic Policy Hackathon in Reykjavik, Iceland - a joint initiative of the Gordon Foundation, the Canadian International Arctic Centre, and the Arctic Mayors’ Forum. The final policy recommendations shift the power to Arctic communities to dictate their own well-being through food sovereignty and should be a priority in Arctic policy discussions.

Man in hardhat walks between floating solar panels on a lake

AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File

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

Combining Technology-Push and Demand-Pull Policies to Create More and Better Energy Jobs

| Sep. 15, 2022

Policymakers guiding their economies to a low-carbon, prosperous future must strike the right balance between technology-push and demand-pull. The rapid build-out of solar photovoltaics in recent years has revealed the benefits of generous demand-pull policies, but also their limits. In this policy brief, the authors show why combining robust demand-pull and technology-push policies results in more effective policy mixes that go beyond innovation and deployment to help competitive domestic industries create more and better jobs.

Three tall smokestacks emit plumes of steam and emissions

Public Domain/National Park Service

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Comparative State Economic Interventions in the Carbon Capture and Storage Market

  • Dillon W. Smith
  • Umang Bhattarai
  • Wake Smith
| September 2022

The authors explore an essential element in the portfolio of climate solutions required to rapidly achieve net zero emissions — flue gas carbon capture and storage, whereby carbon can be sifted from emission streams before it enters the atmosphere and safely sequestered in geologic storage systems.