Energy

14 Items

At the 2012 U.N. Climate Change Conference held in Doha, Qatar, Costa Rica's 800-member Coopedota coffee cooperative launched the world's first carbon-neutral certified coffee (Carbon Clear, 2011).

Photo Credit: Coopedota

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Eco-Competitiveness and Eco-Efficiency: Carbon Neutrality in Latin America

    Author:
  • René Castro
| November 2015

Improvements in eco-efficiency—defined as a combination of reducing waste and reducing the use of raw inputs—offer one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering production costs. In addition, changes in culture—at the level of individual businesses, countries, or both—can enhance the eco-competitive position of these businesses and countries. This paper describes three examples from Costa Rica and shows how the goal of achieving carbon neutrality can provide incentives for improving eco-efficiency and eco-competitiveness.

A view of Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station, a four-unit, coal-fired generating facility located in Catawba County, N.C., January 12, 2013.

Cdtew at English Wikipedia

Analysis & Opinions - PBS NEWSHOUR

Why the Benefits of the EPA's New Carbon Rule Outweigh the Costs for the U.S.— Just Not by as Much as You've Heard

| July 31, 2014

"...[I]t is anticipated that less coal will be burned than in the absence of the regulation (and more use of natural gas, nuclear and renewable sources of electricity). This means not only less CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere, but also decreased emissions of correlated local air pollutants that have direct impacts on human health, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and mercury."

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Treaty Design and Duration: Effects on R&D, Participation, and Compliance

    Author:
  • Bard Harstad
| January 2013

Climate policy is complicated. For a treaty to be beneficial, one must think through carefully how it will work, once it is implemented. Crucial questions include the following: How should an international treaty be designed? Should one negotiate commitments for a five-year period, or for much longer? Assuming that the treaty specifies aggregate or country-specific emission caps, what should these caps be and how should they change over time? How should the agreement be updated once policymakers, scholars, and the public learn more about the severity of the climate-change problem, or about the effects of the policy? Can the treaty be designed to encourage investments in "green" abatement technology or renewable energy sources? Finally, how can one motivate countries to participate and comply with such an agreement?

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Can New Market Mechanisms Mobilize Emissions Reductions from the Private Sector?

    Author:
  • Axel Michaelowa
| November 2012

Negotiators, business leaders, and others concerned with climate change are attempting to develop market mechanisms that expand and improve upon those provided by the Kyoto Protocol. These "new market mechanisms" might be incorporated into a new international arrangement called for at COP-17 in Durban, South Africa. Dr. Michaelowa explores the paths forward.

Preserving Past and Future: A Greenpeace balloon next to Chichen Itza ruins in Mexico prior to Canun climate conference.

Photo by AP Photo/Israel Leal

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

Stavins Notes Successes of Cancun Climate Meetings

    Author:
  • Tyler Gumpright
| Spring 2011

The Cancun Agreements are notable in that emissions mitigation targets were set for some 80 countries, including all the major economies, and the world’s largest emitters (among them China, the United States, the Euro­pean Union, India, and Brazil) have signed up for targets and actions to reduce emissions by 2020, according to Robert Stavins.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, center, upon his arrival in Bangalore, India, Dec. 4, 2010. Sarkozy arrived on a 4-day visit to sign agreements to set up nuclear power plants in India and jointly develop satellites to study climate change.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Towards a Breakthrough for Deadlocked Climate Change Negotiations

    Author:
  • Akihiro Sawa
| December 2010

With regard to developing a new international framework, developed countries should acknowledge how grave the consequences would be to easily give in to a Kyoto extension. Merely extending the Kyoto Protocol would surely delay mitigation actions on the part of developing countries and discourage the U.S. from making serious efforts to reduce its large energy consumption. In other words, no country should end up being a "climate-killer" in its attempts to avoid being called a "Kyoto-killer."

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres places a building block in a miniature Mayan pyramid at the site of climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, Nov. 28, 2010. The "Pyramid of Hope" symbolizes the many building blocks needed for a new climate agreement.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - The National Journal

Will We Know Success When We See It?

| December 6, 2010

"It might be relatively easy, but actually quite unfortunate, for countries to achieve what some people might define as 'success' in Cancun:  a signed international agreement, followed by glowing press releases.  I say it would unfortunate, because such an agreement could only be the Kyoto Protocol on steroids: more stringent targets for the original list of industrialized countries (Annex I) and no meaningful commitments by the key rapidly-growing emerging economies, such as China, India, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and South Africa."

Cattle graze in front of wind turbines of the Spanish utility Endesa in the Eolico Park, Spain, Aug. 3, 2006.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Toward a Post-2012 International Climate Agreement

    Author:
  • Fulvio Conti
| March 2010

Negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Copenhagen in December 2009 did not produce a new international treaty with binding emissions commitments, but have defined a roadmap for dealing with global climate change in the post-2012 era. As countries continue to pursue new models for global agreement, it will be important to learn from the weaknesses of past approaches, while building on positive aspects of the experience with the Kyoto Protocol so far.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the signing of a protocol with the EU backing Russia’s WTO accession in Moscow, May 21, 2004. Putin said Moscow in turn would speed up ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

Trade Could Hold the Key to a Climate Deal

    Author:
  • Bard Harstad
| December 3, 2009

"Implementing such a linkage is possible. The Montreal Protocol, successfully protecting the ozone layer, is already restricting trade with non-participants and non-compliers, although only in the substances controlled by the treaty. To repeat this success and overcome the obstacles for a climate agreement, signatories should become favoured trading partners while non-compliance should trigger a temporary denial of this status. Disputes can be solved by expanding the mandate of the WTO's dispute settlement body or another mediator."