Reports & Papers

121 Items

A Tajik conscript looks out over remote stretches of northern Afghanistan from a border outpost near Khorog, Tajikistan.

Photo by David Trilling (c)

Report - Russia Matters

Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?

| Fall 2018

Thousands of radicals from formerly Soviet Central Asia have traveled to fight alongside IS in Syria and Iraq; hundreds more are in Afghanistan. Not counting the fighting in those three war-torn countries, nationals of Central Asia have been responsible for nearly 100 deaths in terrorist attacks outside their home region in the past five years. But many important aspects of the phenomenon need more in-depth study.

This research paper attempts to answer four basic sets of questions: (1) Is Central Asia becoming a new source of violent extremism that transcends borders, and possibly continents? (2) If so, why? What causes nationals of Central Asia to take up arms and participate in political violence? (3) As IS has been all but defeated in Iraq and Syria, what will Central Asian extremists who have thrown in their lot with the terrorist group do next? And (4) do jihadists from Central Asia aspire to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction? If so, how significant a threat do they pose and who would be its likeliest targets?

    Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

    Increasing Residential Building Energy Efficiency In China: An Evaluation of Policy Instruments

    | April 2016

    Various policies targeting at building energy efficiency have been promulgated by the Chinese government in the past decade. However, few studies evaluate if China is on the right path to meet its energy goals through these policies by providing an assessment of their effect in reducing energy consumption in residential buildings or the feasibility of such policies to catalyze these reductions. This paper attempts to fill this gap by systematically quantifying (1) the energy savings catalyzed by existing policy instruments; (2) the additional energy savings that could be realized by strengthening these policies; and (3) the relative advantages of each policy.

    Representatives of participating companies sign containers with uranium to be used as fuel for nuclear reactors, prior to loading them aboard Atlantic Navigator ship, in St. Petersburg, Russia, November 14, 2013.

    AP

    Report - National Academies Press

    Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors

    | January 28, 2016

    Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors is a report of the Committee on the Current Status of and Progress Toward Eliminating Highly Enriched Uranium Use in Fuel for Civilian Research and Test Reactors. The committee was established by the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, Division on Earth and Life Studies and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report is the result of a congressionally mandated study (P.L. 112-239, Section 31781) to assess improvement in reducing highly enriched uranium use in fuel for civilian research and test reactors.

     

    Belfer Center Senior Fellow William Tobey is a member of the Committee that produced the report.

    Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

    Creative Commons

    Paper - Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

    A Spatiotemporal Exploration of Water Consumption Changes Resulting from the Coal-to-Gas Transition in Pennsylvania

    | January 2016

    During the early stages of Pennsylvania's coal-to-gas transition, extraction and generation of coal and natural gas contributed to a yearly 2.6–8.4% increase in the state's water consumption. Although some areas experienced no change in water consumption, others experienced large decreases or increases. Consumption variations depended on available natural gas resources and pre-existing power-generating infrastructure. This analysis estimates monthly water consumption associated with fuel extraction and power generation within Pennsylvania watersheds between 2009 and 2012. It also provides the first comprehensive representation of changing water consumption patterns associated with the state's coal-to-gas transition at the sub-basin level.

    Paper - Harvard Kennedy School

    Making Technological Innovation Work for Sustainable Development

    | December 2015

    Sustainable development requires harnessing technological innovation to improve human well-being in current and future generations. However, poor, marginalized, and unborn populations too often lack the economic or political power to shape innovation processes to meet their needs. Issues arise at all stages of innovation, from invention of a technology through its selection, production, adaptation, adoption, and retirement.

    Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

    Energy Technology Innovation Policy in the Backdrop of the U.S.-China Emissions Agreement

    The Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Tsinghua School of Public Policy and Management convened a workshop at Tsinghua University in Beijing on June 18–19, 2015 to build on the momentum created by the U.S.-China joint emissions agreement and the upcoming Paris negotiations. The objective of the Workshop was to discuss the current state of affairs in China, in the United States, and in selected other countries as well as academic research on: (1) the funding and allocation of government investments in R&D, with a particular focus in energy; (2) the impact of policy on private sector innovation in energy; and (3) the management of publicly funded R&D organizations.

    Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

    The Future of Low-Carbon Road Transport: What Role for Second-Generation Biofuels?

    | June 2015

    The promise, prospects, and public policy trade-offs related to second-generation biofuels in road transport were addressed in an executive session convened at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, on April 7 and 8, 2015. The workshop brought together twenty-eight of the world's leading experts from the fields of policy, science, and business for an intensive two-day session. This report is a summary of the main points and issues raised over the two days. It has been reviewed by all the participants. The summary is intended to reflect the breadth of the discussion, rather than to suggest any form of overall consensus among the participants.

    Report

    China's Carbon Emissions Report 2015

    | May 2015

    The magnitude and growing annual rate of growth of China's carbon emissions make this country the major driver of global carbon emissions and thus a key focus for efforts in emissions mitigations. This report presents independent data on China's carbon emissions from 1950–2012, and provides a basis to support mitigation efforts and China's low-carbon development plan.

    Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Mar. 2015.

    AP

    Report

    Inspections in Iran: What Would Inspectors Need? What Are the Lessons Learned from Iraq?

    | June 3, 2015

    As nuclear negotiations with Iran near their final stage, the question of inspections has come to the fore. If a final agreement is reached, inspections will be a principal means of assuring that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, either by “breakout” at declared facilities, or by “sneakout” using secret sites. Given the importance being placed on inspections, what type will be necessary?  What inspection and verification regime will be needed to facilitate compliance, detect violations, and ensure effective enforcement?

    Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

    Commercializing Second-Generation Biofuels: Scaling Up Sustainable Supply Chains and the Role of Public Policy

    The promise, prospects, and public policy trade-offs related to the greater use and production of second-generation biofuels were addressed in an executive session convened by the Harvard Kennedy School on November 13 and 14, 2014. The session attracted more than 25 of the world's leading experts from the fields of policy, science, and business for an intensive two day session. The agenda consisted of three sessions focused on (i) the sustainability of cellulosic supply chains, (ii) government policy options to attract investment and (iii) government policy options to ensure that environmental objectives are met.