Environment & Climate Change

2126 Items

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Analysis & Opinions

Science Versus Donald Trump

| Feb. 20, 2017

At the AAAS Science Conference, US researchers are wondering how policy under US President Donald Trump will affect their research - both in content and financial terms. US President Donald Trump wants to invest in military and infrastructure, he wants to build a wall to Mexico. All this costs money and US scientists fear that this money could be taken out of funds currently designated for research and development. Adding to their concern is the appointment of Scott Pruitt, former Oklahoma Attorney General, as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an organization he has consistently criticized in the past. We spoke about the situation with Cathryn Clüver, a political scientist at Harvard University. 

U.S. President Barack Obama gets direction from White House science adviser John Holdren during an event to look at the stars with local middle school students and astronomers from across the country on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington.

Jim Young/Reuters

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

Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren Returns to the Belfer Center

| Feb. 15, 2017

John Holdren, the longest-serving White House science advisor in history, is returning to Harvard Kennedy School and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Effective today, John will again be the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and will join Dan Schrag in co-directing the Center’s Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy.

Journal Article - Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

Sociotechnical Systems and Sustainability: Current and Future Perspectives for Inclusive Development

| February 2017

Sociotechnical systems — for example, telecommunication networks, electric grids, large-scale manufacturing systems — are interacting ensembles of engineered artifacts embedded in society, linked with economies, and connected with ecology. Such systems have been analyzed through the lenses of sustainability (largely along the dimensions of environmental protection and affordability), carrying influence in the literatures of technology innovation, product design, infrastructure planning, and service delivery. Sustainability concerns along the environmental and financial dimensions have motivated focus on waste and emissions reduction, new technology development, and greening of industrial ecosystems. The concept of inclusive development, however, has not yet permeated the research or conceptualization of sociotechnical systems.

In this April 2, 2010, file photo, a Tesoro Corp. refinery, including a gas flare flame that is part of normal plant operations, is shown in Anacortes, Wash. after a fatal overnight fire and explosion. Voters in Washington state will weigh in on Initiative 732 in the 2016 election as they consider whether to approve the nation’s first direct carbon tax on the burning of fossil fuels.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

A Conservative Case for Climate Action

| Feb. 08, 2017

During his eight years in office, President Obama regularly warned of the very real dangers of global warming, but he did not sign any meaningful domestic legislation to address the problem, largely because he and Congress did not see eye to eye. Instead, Mr. Obama left us with a grab bag of regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions, o en established by executive order. 

COP 22 panel

Mike Muzurakis/IISD/ENB

News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements' Participation in COP-22

| Jan. 31, 2017

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements conducted two side-event panels at the Twenty-Second Conference of the Parties (COP-22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Marrakech, Morocco November 7–18, 2016. COP-22 focused on elaborating the Paris Agreement, which was adopted at COP-21 in December 2015 and which entered into force on November 4, 2016. Although the Paris Agreement represents a major step forward in efforts to address global climate change, much remains to be done to specify the rules and guidelines required to fully implement the Agreement, which primarily deals with action after 2020.

Madame Tussauds' designers apply the final touches to the wax figure of US President-elect Donald Trump, as they unveil the figure just days ahead of the American's Presidential Inauguration in Washington in London, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. The figure will now reside in Madame Tussauds' London Oval Office alongside fellow famous politicians and global icons also immortalised in wax.

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

Donald Trump masters the art of the unexpected

| Jan. 17, 2017

As Donald Trump's inauguration approaches, people around the world are struggling to understand the inhabitants of the newest Trump Tower, the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. With freewheeling leadership, uncertainty about the enduring guidance of presidential statements and less ideological coherence than in previous cabinets, the processes by which decisions are reached will be vital. 

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Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

With Growth of Coal Power Plants, Vietnam's Future Is Grim

| January 12, 2017

On January 12, 2017, the academic journal Environmental Science & Technology published a study by researchers from Harvard University, Greenpeace, and the University of Colorado Boulder titled “Burden of Disease from Rising Coal-Fired Power Plant Emissions in Southeast Asia.” Based on official data on the future installation of coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia and atmospheric transport modelling, the research group presented a grim picture of regional air pollution due to emissions from these plants.

Earth at night, 2012. People around the world depend upon electric lighting. Generating electricity using increased amounts of non-fossil fuels is critical to slowing climate change.

USA.gov

Journal Article - Ecological Economics

Using Inclusive Wealth for Policy Evaluation: Application to Electricity Infrastructure Planning in Oil-Exporting Countries

| 2017

Decision-makers often seek to design policies that support sustainable development. Prospective evaluations of how effectively such policies are likely to meet sustainability goals have nonetheless remained relatively challenging. Evaluating policies against sustainability goals can be facilitated through the inclusive wealth framework, which characterizes development in terms of the value to society of its underlying capital assets, and defines development to be potentially sustainable if that value does not decline over time.

Wheat Plantation in northern Sudan, 26 November 2014.

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Breakthrough

Revolution in Africa

| December 16, 2016

"Sustaining African agricultural transformation will require national policy approaches which emphasize the need to transition toward sustainable agriculture. More specifically, they will need to pursue strategies that allow for the integration of precision agriculture in existing farming methods. Such policies could focus on six key elements: biological diversity; ecology and emerging technologies; infrastructure; research and training; entrepreneurship and regional trade; and improved governance of agricultural innovation."