Environment & Climate Change

67 Items

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? 

Charging electric Vehicle

Flickr/Sino-German Urbanization Partnership

Journal Article - Elsevier Inc.

Electric Vehicle Recycling in China: Economic and Environmental Benefits

    Authors:
  • Fuquan Zhao
  • Zongwei Liu
  • Han Hao
| January 2019

With the rapid growth of electric vehicles in China, their benefits should be scientifically identified to support the industry development. Although the life cycle benefits of electric vehicles have been analyzed worldwide, the recycling phase has not been fully studied yet, especially in China. Therefore, this study focuses on the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicle recycling in China. Based on the technology adopted by leading enterprises, the gross income and reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are calculated to reveal the benefits.

A satellite view of the Gansu Dunhuang Solar Park, a photovoltaic power station under construction in Gansu Provence, as seen on June 9, 2018.

DigitalGlobe, CNES/Airbus, Google Earth, used with permission

Report - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy

| September 2018

The Belfer Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University held the fifth annual Tsinghua-Harvard Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy. This event brought together leading experts on climate and energy from academic, business, and government communities in both the United States and China. This year’s workshop focused on electricity systems and renewable energy penetration.

Report

Foundations of Decarbonization in China: A Post-2030 Perspective

| July 2017

The Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy is the fourth annual joint workshop between the Harvard Kennedy School’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University. The workshop convened leading experts on climate and energy from the United States and China at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on June 1-2, 2017.

The workshop was divided into five sessions. The first two sessions focused on the scope of the climate problem and the options for addressing it. The following three sessions explored specific options: renewable energy, nuclear power, and air pollution regulation.

In 2011, science advisors to the presidents of China and the United States, Wan Gang and John P. Holdren, hold a photo of the historic 1979 U.S.-China agreement on science and engineering.

USDA

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

Center's Energy Work Wields Impact and Influence Around the World

| Fall/Winter 2016-2017

The Belfer Center began researching energy technology issues in the late 1990s. Its mission was “to determine and promote the adoption of effective strategies for developing and deploying cleaner and more efficient energy technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and stress on water resources, and improve economic development.”

In this issue, we look at the history and influence of the Center’s energy innovation efforts in the past two decades by focusing primarily on ETIP’s work in the U.S. and China.

Report

Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy

The Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy is the third annual joint workshop between the Harvard Kennedy School’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Sustainability Science Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University. The workshop convened prominent members of the academic and policy communities from China and the United States at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on June 2-3, 2016.

The three closed sessions were on: 1) Market Mechanisms to Reduce Carbon Emissions, 2) Role of Local Government in Low-Carbon Development, and 3) Energy Technology Innovation in the Transportation Sector.

Discussion Paper

Leapfrogging or Stalling Out? Electric Vehicles in China

| May 2014

China has ambitious goals for developing and deploying electric vehicles (EV). The stated intention is to “leapfrog” the auto industries of other countries and seize the emerging EV market. Since 2009, policies have included generous subsidies for consumers in certain locations, as well as strong pressure on local governments to purchase EVs. Yet four years into the program, progress has fallen far short of the intended targets. China has only about 40,000 EVs on the road, of which roughly 80% are public fleet vehicles such as buses and sanitation vehicles.

Journal Article - Environmental Science and Technology

Regional Water Implications of Reducing Oil Imports with Liquid Transportation Fuel Alternatives in the United States

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is among the cornerstone policies created to increase U.S. energy independence by using biofuels. Although greenhouse gas emissions have played a role in shaping the RFS, water implications are less understood. We demonstrate a spatial, life cycle approach to estimate water consumption of transportation fuel scenarios, including a comparison to current water withdrawals and drought incidence by state. The water consumption and land footprint of six scenarios are compared to the RFS, including shale oil, coal-to-liquids, shale gas-to-liquids, corn ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass.

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

Putting a Price on Nature

| October 10, 2013

Planting a forest to improve air quality may prove to be as cost-effective as expensive new pollution control equipment, according to preliminary results from a novel experiment at a Freeport, Texas chemical plant. Officials involved in the study say this innovative approach could become a test case before the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which has identified reforestation as a potential air quality improvement strategy.

Leaders of an unusual collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, the world's largest conservation group, and the Dow Chemical Company, a Fortune 100 corporation, told a Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) audience this week that they were encouraged by initial findings validating a dollars-and-cents approach to valuing nature that may help businesses with their bottom line while improving the environment in local communities.