Environment & Climate Change

382 Items

New Haven City Engineer Giovanni Zinn describes the need for bioswales which reduce intense flooding in the city.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

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

Winning Partnership Works to Prevent City Flooding

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

New Haven, Connecticut is a city of about130,000 people—a typical American city in terms of size and challenges. One of the major and growing challenges facing New Haven and other cities is flooding. Increasingly extreme rainstorms and rising sea levels, both caused by climate change, are taxing local drainage systems and destroying vulnerable neighborhoods. An innovative partnership in New Haven is responding by building bioswales, a cost-effective green infrastructure that reduces pollution and urban flooding in a major rainstorm.

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.

Nomads near Lake Namtso, Tibet, 2005

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Global Environmental Change

Promise and Reality of Market-based Environmental Policy in China: Empirical Analyses of the Ecological Restoration Program on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Authors:
  • Steven A. Wolf
  • James P. Lassoie
  • Gregory L. Poe
  • Stephen J. Morreale
  • Xukun Su
  • Shikui Dong
| 2016

Environmental conservation programs in China have increasingly emphasized integration of marketbased logic into regulatory programs. But the realization of market logic and the effectiveness of such efforts are widely questioned by scientists and policy analysts. The authors empirically analyze the design, implementation, and outcomes of the ecological restoration program in the Three-Rivers Headwater Region in China, a large-scale conservation scheme aimed at restoring degraded grasslands and improving local livelihoods.

Syrian Desert, Eastern Jordan, November 12, 2012.

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Systems Engineering

Formulating Expectations for Future Water Availability through Infrastructure Development Decisions in Arid Regions

| May 24, 2016

In this research paper, the authors propose that future human mediated water availability in arid regions may be assessed by considering key projects that have been identified or proposed by regional experts and organizations. Using Multicriteria Decision Methods as a framework to organize a set of decision criteria and their relative salience, the likelihood of selection (and development) of a project can be determined and used to form expectations of future regional water availability. The authors apply this approach in a case study of Jordan.

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Journal Article - Climatic Change

Expert Views — and Disagreements — About the Potential of Energy Technology R&D

| June 2016

In order to make R&D funding decisions to meet particular goals, such as mitigating climate change or improving energy security, or to estimate the social returns to R&D, policy makers need to combine the information provided in this study on cost reduction potentials with an analysis of the macroeconomic implications of these technological changes. The authors conclude with recommendations for future directions on energy expert elicitations.

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

Study Examines Water Used for Fuel Extraction, Power Generation

January 26, 2016

A new study co-authored by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the University of Calgary provides the first comprehensive representation of changing water consumption patterns associated with fuel extraction and power generation.

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.

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

Anna Goldstein: Bridging the Gap Between Scientists and Policymakers

    Author:
  • Stephanie Wheeler
| Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Anna Goldstein is, at the moment, a scientist standing at a crossroad. Since her PhD from University of California, Berkeley is in chemistry, one might imagine Goldstein working in the lab. Instead, she’s at the Belfer Center researching the policy side of technology.

Carbon Carpet: John P. Holdren (3rd from left), science advisor to President Barack Obama, tours a permafrost tunnel in Fairbanks, Alaska during his September visit to Alaska with the President.

(White House/OSTP)

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

Seeking Global Climate Answers

| Fall/Winter 2015-2016

When President Barack Obama toured Alaska in September to experience firsthand how climate change is affecting Alaska and the greater Arctic, he was accompanied by his science advisor John P. Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House and chair of the Arctic Executive Steering Committee. Holdren, former director of the Belfer Center’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy program, wanted to better understand the direct impact of climate change on local Alaskan communities and ecosystems.

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.