Environment & Climate Change

1388 Items

Aiming for Zero Carbon Emissions in China

AP Photo

Decarbonization Initiatives in China

    Authors:
  • Jonathan Edel-Hänni
  • Christian Gibbons
  • Celia Carbone
| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

As the single largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world and the source of almost 30 percent of the CO2 released into our atmosphere, China faces an enormous challenge in reaching its goal of zero or negative emissions—known as deep decarbonization.

Henry Lee, Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP), and Dan Schrag, Co-Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, head a team of researchers from the U.S. and China who have been examining China’s work in achieving deep decarbonization in the People’s Republic. The team plans to publish its findings in a book to be released in 2019. 

Arctic Innovation Lab participants meet with Kennedy School students following their presentations on climate-related ideas and solutions.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

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

Arctic Initiative Takes Innovation and Expertise to Reykjavík

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

Twenty-four Harvard Kennedy School students recently returned from the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík—the world’s largest annual gathering on Arctic issues—where each presented her or his innovative and interdisciplinary solution to an Arctic challenge. These “Arctic Innovators” are part of Harvard Kennedy School’s Arctic Initiative, which is co-led at the Belfer Center by John P. Holdren, Henry Lee, and Halla Logadóttir. Focused on policy responses to the challenges posed by rapid climate change in the Arctic, the Initiative has recently secured new outside funding totaling $3 million to cover programs over the next three years.

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.

View of the crescent moon through the top of the earth's atmosphere. Photographed above 21.5°N, 113.3°E by International Space Station crew Expedition 13 over the South China Sea, just south of Macau (NASA image ID: ISS013-E-54329).

NASA

Discussion Paper

Governance of Highly Decentralized Nonstate Actors: the Case of Solar Geoengineering

| November 2018

We here introduce the idea of highly decentralized solar geoengineering, plausibly done in form of small high-altitude balloons. While solar geoengineering has the potential to greatly reduce climate change, it has generally been conceived as centralized and state deployed. Potential highly decentralized deployment moves the activity from the already contested arena of state action to that of environmentally motivated nongovernmental organizations and individuals, which could disrupt international relations and pose novel challenges for technology and environmental policy. We explore its feasibility, political implications, and governance.

coal-fired power plant in Shuozhou, Shanxi, China

Wikimedia CC/Kleineolive

Journal Article - Nature Sustainability

Managing China's Coal Power Plants to Address Multiple Environmental Objectives

    Authors:
  • Fabian Wagner
  • M.V. Ramana
  • Haibo Zhai
  • Mitchell J. Small
  • Carole Dalin
  • Xin Zhang
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| November 2018

China needs to manage its coal-dominated power system to curb carbon emissions, as well as to address local environmental priorities such as air pollution and water stress. In this article, the authors examine three province-level scenarios for 2030 that represent various electricity demand and low-carbon infrastructure development pathways.

Uncovering the Domestic Factor in the Sino-Russian Energy Partnership

World Bank Photo Collection/Flikr

Journal Article - Geopolitics

Uncovering the Domestic Factor in the Sino-Russian Energy Partnership

| Oct. 15, 2018

The article outlines the role of national narratives in driving both Russia and China’s energy foreign policy and goes on to argue that the Sino-Russian gas breakthrough in 2014 was due to the peculiar way in which domestic factors paired with international circumstances to produce the outcome at that particular moment.

The Silk Road between a Rock and a Hard Place: Russian and Chinese Competition for Central Asia's Energy

kremlin.ru/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Insight Turkey

The Silk Road between a Rock and a Hard Place: Russian and Chinese Competition for Central Asia's Energy

| Oct. 01, 2018

China’s displacement of Russian economic influence in Central Asia is generating great interest in Western academic and policy circles, but this research has, as yet, yielded few analytical nuances. This article attempts to shed light on the under-researched question of what explains Central Asian governments’ failure to more effectively capitalize on the growing Central Asian rivalry between Russia, China, the United States, Turkey, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and other regional powers that, since the early 1990s, has been overwhelmingly directed towards strategic energy considerations and hydrocarbon interests.

a man looks up near smoke spewing from a chimney near the Jiujiang steel and rolling mills in Qianan

AP/Ng Han Guan, File

Journal Article - Nature Sustainability

Air Quality–Carbon–Water Synergies and Trade-offs in China's Natural Gas Industry

    Authors:
  • Yue Qin
  • Lena Höglund-Isaksson
  • Edward Byers
  • Kuishuang Feng
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| Sep. 14, 2018

Both energy production and consumption can simultaneously affect regional air quality, local water stress and the global climate. Identifying the air quality–carbon–water interactions due to both energy sources and end-uses is important for capturing potential co-benefits while avoiding unintended consequences when designing sustainable energy transition pathways. The authors examine the air quality–carbon–water interdependencies of China's six major natural gas sources and three end-use gas-for-coal substitution strategies in 2020.

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.