Reports & Papers

17 Items

Tractors on Westminster bridge

AP/Matt Dunham

Paper - Institut für Sicherheitspolitik

The Global Order After COVID-19

| 2020

Despite the far-reaching effects of the current pandemic,  the essential nature of world politics will not be transformed. The territorial state will remain the basic building-block of international affairs, nationalism will remain a powerful political force, and the major powers will continue to compete for influence in myriad ways. Global institutions, transnational networks, and assorted non-state actors will still play important roles, of course, but the present crisis will not produce a dramatic and enduring increase in global governance or significantly higher levels of international cooperation. In short, the post-COVID-19 world will be less open, less free, less prosperous, and more competitive than the world many people expected to emerge only a few years ago.

A prototype Tesla Semi truck at Tesla HQ in California, April 22, 2019.

Flickr/Steve Jurveston

Paper - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Environmental Implications and Policy Challenges for Bringing Long-Haul Electric Trucks into China: The Case of the Tesla Semi

    Author:
  • Jonathan M. Moch
| July 2019

The Tesla Semi is a battery powered electric long haul truck currently in the prototype phase. Since cost and technological barriers have prevented electric vehicles from making significant inroads into the market for long haul trucks, the announcement of the Tesla Semi marks one of the first major attempts to bring electrification to on-road long haul freight transport. China, as the world’s largest carbon emitter, is an important market for truck electrification. China has a bourgeoning passenger electric vehicle market but, like the rest of the world, is reliant on heavily polluting diesel trucks for on-road freight transport. 

This paper addresses two main questions:

  1. What are the potential impacts on carbon emissions of electric long haul trucks in China? 
  2. What are the barriers to the adoption of electric long haul trucks in China? 

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.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

US Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement: Economic Implications of Carbon-Tariff Conflicts

    Authors:
  • Christoph Böhringer
  • Thomas F. Rutherford
| August 2017

Authors Christoph Böhringer and Thomas Rutherford evaluate the efficacy of imposing carbon tariffs on U.S. imports as an alternative to U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement. The authors warn that carbon tariffs on the United States could lead to a tariff war that ultimately hurts China, in particular, and the European Union more than the United States.

Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Bilateral Cooperation between China and the United States: Facilitating Progress on Climate-Change Policy

| February 2016

The Harvard Project has released a paper on China-U.S. cooperation on climate-change policy—jointly authored with researchers at China's National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.

Drax Power Station in the Vale of York, where the Government devised plans for the future of coal-fired power stations and the technology which could be used to massively cut their emissions.

AP Photo/John Giles

Discussion Paper

"Post-Durban Climate Policy Architecture Based on Linkage of Cap-and-Trade Systems"

| July 2012

The outcome of the December 2011 United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, provides an important new opportunity to move toward an international climate policy architecture that is capable of delivering broad international participation and significant global CO2 emissions reductions at reasonable cost. This paper addresses an important component of potential climate policy architecture for the post-Durban era: links among independent tradable permit systems for greenhouse gases.

Report

International Workshop on Research, Development, and Demonstration to Enhance the Role of Nuclear Energy in Meeting Climate and Energy Challenges

| April 2011

Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century, or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Beyond Copenhagen: Reconciling International Fairness, Economic Development, and Climate Protection

| October 2010

This paper proposes a new architecture for international climate policy that might usefully be considered by delegates at COP 17 in Durban. It highlights a top-down approach that is designed to produce a fair distribution of burdens across countries, while achieving objectives of: (a) economic development; (b) decreasing wealth inequality; and (c) emission reductions consistent with holding the expected increase in global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. In addition, this discussion paper discusses several key design elements that will be important, especially from the perspective of developing countries, to the success of COP 17 and subsequent international climate negotiations. These design elements include agreements on burden sharing, choice of policy instruments, financial mechanisms and technology transfer, penalties for noncompliance, and linkages between trade and climate change.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

The Regime Complex for Climate Change

    Authors:
  • Robert O. Keohane
  • David G. Victor
| January 2010

There is no integrated, comprehensive regime governing efforts to limit the extent of climate change. Instead, there is a regime complex: a loosely coupled set of specific regimes. We describe the regime complex for climate change and seek to explain it, using functional, strategic, and organizational arguments. It is likely that such a regime complex will persist: efforts to build an effective, legitimate, and adaptable comprehensive regime are unlikely to succeed. Building on this analysis, we argue that a climate change regime complex, if it meets specified criteria, has advantages over any politically feasible comprehensive regime, particularly with respect to adaptability and flexibility. These characteristics are particularly important in an environment of high uncertainty, such as in the case of climate change where the most demanding international commitments are interdependent yet governments vary widely in their interest and ability to implement such commitments.

Report - United Nations

The Biofuels Market: Current Situation and Alternative Scenarios

    Author:
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
| 2009

The purpose of this volume is to present possible scenarios for the biofuels industry. Each chapter describes how the sector could evolve depending on the policy and strategies that individual countries may select. However, the assumption is that individual choices may have global impacts. Each scenario therefore tries to provide insights on the global economic, energetic, environmental and trade repercussions of specific policy developments.