Reports & Papers

71 Items

A MEP walks in the mostly-vacant Plenary chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

AP Photo/Virginia Mayo


Transatlantic Dialogue: The Missing Link in Europe’s Post-Covid-19 Green Deal?

| April 2020

This policy brief emphasizes that the European Green Deal's effectiveness in a post Covid-19 world will require the involvement of strategic partners, especially the US. In the context of a potential US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the consequential vacuum, it will be even more important to engage the US in implementing the GD. In light of divergence between the US and the EU during past climate negotiations (e.g. Kyoto, Copenhagen, and Paris), we suggest a gradual approach to US engagement with GD initiatives and objectives.

One of the parabolic mirrors arrays at the Shams-1 concentrated solar power plant in the UAE, January 2015.

IRENA photo, CC by-nc-sa 2.0


Green Ambitions, Brown Realities: Making Sense of Renewable Investment Strategies in the Gulf

| March 2020

Gulf countries have hailed their investments in renewable energy, but some basic questions remain about the extent to which it makes sense for GCC states to invest aggressively in renewables. The sheer magnitude of such investments will require these countries to mobilize significant public resources.  Therefore, such an assessment requires these countries to focus on national interests, not just a desire to be perceived as constructive participants in the global transition away from carbon energy. 

This report starts by identifying four common strategic justifications for investing in renewable energy in GCC countries. Each of these rationales highlights a different aspect of renewable energy investments. In addition, each rationale is based on different assumptions about the underlying drivers of such investments, and each rationale is based on different assumptions about the future of energy. 

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

kees torn/Flickr

Paper - National Bureau of Asian Research

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

This essay examines Russia’s growing role in Asia’s energy markets, assesses the implications for the U.S., and examines the claim that closer Sino-Russian energy ties are adding new incentives for a broader strategic alignment.

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?

    Report: More Climate Change Recognition, Action Among Major Investors


    Report - Axios

    More Climate Change Recognition, Action Among Major Investors

    | May 10, 2018

    Since the Paris Agreement's adoption in 2015, a majority of the world's largest investors have begun to take action on climate change. According to a new report, the 2016–2017 year showed an average improvement in decarbonization within all major investor categories except pension funds.

    Tokyo at night

    Flickr / Agustin Rafael Reyes

    Paper - London School of Economics

    Global Review of Finance For Sustainable Urban Infrastructure

    • Graham Floater
    • Dan Dowling
    • Denise Chan
    • Matthew Ulterino
    • Tim McMinn
    • Ehtisham Ahmad
    | December 2017

    This paper is a background review representing part of the initial phase of the Financing the Urban Transition work program. The review builds on a growing body of research that highlights both the importance of national sustainable infrastructure and the need to develop more effective and efficient financing mechanisms for delivering compact, connected cities that meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. While progress has been made in both these areas over the last five years, there remains a policy gap between the international/national level and the municipal level.

    Solar panels at sunrise.

    Karsten Würth

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

    The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy

    | June 28, 2017

    For a century, the geopolitics of energy has been synonymous with the
    geopolitics of oil and gas. However, geopolitics and the global energy economy
    are both changing. The international order predominant since the
    end of World War II faces mounting challenges. At the same time, renewable
    energy is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, the geopolitics of renewable
    energy has received relatively little attention, especially when considering
    the far-reaching consequences of a global shift to renewable energy.

    The paper starts with a discussion of seven renewable energy scenarios
    for the coming decades: the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2016, the EIA’s
    International Energy Outlook 2016, IRENA’s REmap 2016, Bloomberg’s
    New Energy Outlook 2016, BP’s Energy Outlook 2016, Exxon-Mobil’s Outlook
    for Energy 2016 and the joint IEA and IRENA G20 de-carbonization

    Steel pipes originally bound for Russia’s cancelled South Stream gas pipeline project are transported at the Mannesmann steel mill in Muelheim, Germany, 04 December 2014.

    AP Images

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

    Russia: Playing Hardball or Bidding Farewell to Europe?

    | June 2016

    One of the great questions of energy geopolitics over the last few years has been the nature and extent of Russia’s shift in export strategy away from Europe. This question necessitates a thorough investigation of Gazprom’s reaction to a set of factors that threaten its position in the European gas market and, in turn, an assessment of key factors driving future European supply structures. This paper aims to do just that; it explores the extent to which this new Russian export strategy is real, and to the extent that it is, it investigates the drivers of the new approach in terms of timing, substance, and the prospects for this new approach to succeed. To this end, this discussion paper relies on a set of background interviews with policy makers, industry representatives, and analysts in Russia and Brussels.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on as he delivers his annual New Year address to the nation in Moscow, Russia, December 31, 2015.


    Paper - Harvard Business School

    Russia: Tribulations and Toska

    | March 28, 2016

    Putin's third presidential term started in May of 2012. He had already served two consecutive terms in 2000-2008, switching places with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in 2008-2012. Putin's first two terms composed a period of sustained growth, which provided empirical ammunition against criticism of his model. The freshman year of Medvedev's presidency coincided with the onset of a global economic crisis that exposed Putin's model to its first serious test.


    The Global Oil Market: No Safe Haven for Prices

    | Feb. 23, 2016

    Leonardo Maugeri explains why oil production continued to grow despite the collapse of oil prices since November 2014. Investment in production capacity did not abate. In point of fact, oil producers are just beginning to see results from recently completed or soon-to-be-completed investments – as he suggested in 2012. This momentum means today’s oil surpluses will grow, putting further downward pressure on prices.

    Will global demand catch up to absorb this glut? It seems unlikely.