Policy Briefs & Testimonies

13 Items

Two RENFE class 730 "Dual-mode Patito" ("duckling") crossing the Viaducto Martin Gil near Zamora, Spain, October 5, 2016.

Creative Commons

Policy Brief - INOGOV

Governing the EU 2030 Renewables Target: What Role for Regional Governance?

| November 2015

This policy brief informs the debate on the potential of regional governance in the EU2030 framework by drawing on knowledge from the field of interna&onal climate policy, where different forms of polycentric governance have been discussed and researched more intensively.

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Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

The Optimal Energy Mix in Power Generation and the Contribution from Natural Gas in Reducing Carbon Emissions to 2030 and Beyond—Summary

    Authors:
  • Carlo Carraro
  • Massimo Tavoni
  • Thomas Longden
  • Giacomo Marangoni
| June 2015

This paper analyses a set of new scenarios for energy markets in Europe to evaluate the consistency of economic incentives and climate objectives. It focuses in particular on the role of natural gas across a range of climate policy scenarios (including the Copenhagen Pledges and the EU Roadmap) to identify whether current trend and policies are leading to an economically efficient and, at the same time, climate friendly, energy mix.

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Treaty Design and Duration: Effects on R&D, Participation, and Compliance

    Author:
  • Bard Harstad
| January 2013

Climate policy is complicated. For a treaty to be beneficial, one must think through carefully how it will work, once it is implemented. Crucial questions include the following: How should an international treaty be designed? Should one negotiate commitments for a five-year period, or for much longer? Assuming that the treaty specifies aggregate or country-specific emission caps, what should these caps be and how should they change over time? How should the agreement be updated once policymakers, scholars, and the public learn more about the severity of the climate-change problem, or about the effects of the policy? Can the treaty be designed to encourage investments in "green" abatement technology or renewable energy sources? Finally, how can one motivate countries to participate and comply with such an agreement?

Cattle graze in front of wind turbines of the Spanish utility Endesa in the Eolico Park, Spain, Aug. 3, 2006.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Toward a Post-2012 International Climate Agreement

    Author:
  • Fulvio Conti
| March 2010

Negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Copenhagen in December 2009 did not produce a new international treaty with binding emissions commitments, but have defined a roadmap for dealing with global climate change in the post-2012 era. As countries continue to pursue new models for global agreement, it will be important to learn from the weaknesses of past approaches, while building on positive aspects of the experience with the Kyoto Protocol so far.

Service technicians fill a truck with liquid CO2 at Schwarze Pumpe in Spremberg, Germany, 9 Sep 2008. Vattenfall Europe inaugurated a pilot unit for a coal-fired power plant with CO2 capture and storage, the world's first of its kind.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Technology in the UN Climate Change Negotiations: Moving Beyond Abstraction

    Author:
  • Morgan Bazilian
| September 2, 2009

This brief considers the technology negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) within the wider context of low-carbon energy technology. In doing so, it focuses on how technology issues can be effectively embedded within a potential agreement at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen. The paper asserts that the negotiations must be conducted with cognizance of national decision-making processes and competing priorities. It puts forth a series of framing topics in order to more explicitly explore the large technology "ecosystem". It concludes that the most appropriate area for international cooperation on technology under the UNFCCC lies in the direct provision of human and institutional capacity building with a focus on the least developed countries.

Policy Brief - Consortium for Energy Policy Research

Acting in Time on Energy Policy

| May 20, 2009

This policy brief outlines urgent priorities for U.S. energy policy at the dawn of the Obama administration, and recommends specific steps that the U.S. government should take to address the numerous energy-related challenges facing the United States. It is based on the book, Acting in Time on Energy Policy (Brookings 2009), edited by Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center.

We concentrate on six topics: climate change policy, carbon capture and storage policy, oil security policy, energy-technology innovation policy, electricity market structure, and infrastructure policy. The United States cannot afford to wait any longer to enact long-term policies on these topics. In fact, acting early is clearly in the longer-term interest of the United States.

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Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Technology and International Climate Policy—Summary

    Authors:
  • Leon Clarke
  • Kate Calvin
  • James A. Edmonds
  • Page Kyle
  • Marshall Wise
| May 2009

Both the nature of international climate policy architectures and the development and diffusion of new energy technologies could dramatically influence future costs of reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases. This paper explores the implications of interactions between technology availability and performance and international policy architectures for technology choice and the social cost of limiting atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 500 ppm by the year 2095. Key issues explored in the paper include the role of bioenergy production with CO2 capture and storage (CCS), overshoot concentration pathways, and the sensitivity of mitigation costs to policy and technology.

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Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Climate Accession Deals: New Strategies for Taming Growth of Greenhouse Gases in Developing Countries—Summary

    Author:
  • David G. Victor
| December 2008

Managing the dangers of global climate change will require developing countries to participate in a global climate regime. So far, however, those nations have been nearly universal in their refusal to make commitments to reduce growth in their greenhouse gas emissions. This paper describes how a set of international "Climate Accession Deals" could encourage large policy shifts that are in developing countries' interests and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.