Economics & Global Affairs

30 Items

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.

Journal Article - Nature Climate Change

Targeted Opportunities to Address the Climate–trade Dilemma in China

    Authors:
  • Steven J Davis
  • Kuishuang Feng
  • Klaus Hubacek
  • Sai Liang
  • Bin Chen
  • Jingru Liu
  • Jinyue Yan
  • Dabo Guan
| 2015

International trade has become the fastest growing driver of global carbon emissions, with large quantities of emissions embodied in exports from emerging economies. International trade with emerging economies poses a dilemma for climate and trade policy: to the extent emerging markets have comparative advantages in manufacturing, such trade is economically efficient and desirable. However, if carbon-intensive manufacturing in emerging countries such as China entails drastically more CO2 emissions than making the same product elsewhere, then trade increases global CO2 emissions.

Journal Article - Nature

Steps to China's Carbon Peak

| June 18, 2015

China is the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for one-quarter of the global total in 2013. Although the country has successfully lowered the rate of emissions from industry in some cities through improved technology and energy-efficiency measures, rapid economic growth means that more emissions are being added than removed. Without mitigation, China's CO2 emissions will rise by more than 50% in the next 15 years.

Report

China's Carbon Emissions Report 2015

| May 2015

The magnitude and growing annual rate of growth of China's carbon emissions make this country the major driver of global carbon emissions and thus a key focus for efforts in emissions mitigations. This report presents independent data on China's carbon emissions from 1950–2012, and provides a basis to support mitigation efforts and China's low-carbon development plan.

Discussion Paper

Water Markets in China

| October 2014

This discussion paper examines the development of water markets as a solution to water scarcity in China, with particular focus on Water Rights Trading (WRT). Water scarcity is an issue of growing concern for China, particularly in the north, where a combination of limited water supplies, economic growth, and population increases are increasingly straining water resources. The Chinese government has moved enthusiastically toward an embrace of market mechanisms to address water scarcity, with WRT being the preferred policy instrument in the agricultural sector, which accounts for the majority of water use in China. This discussion paper proposes several policy recommendations to improve the development of water markets in China, in particular by lowering the transaction costs to establishing markets and improving policy coordination.

A coal-fired power plant a few miles norh of Xuzhou, seen from the Beijing-Shanghai railway, January 26, 2011. Since 2000, large-scale investments have been made in energy-intensive industries such as coal-fired electricity generation.

Wikimedia CC 3.0

Journal Article - Nature Climate Change

Determinants of Stagnating Carbon Intensity in China

    Authors:
  • Dabo Guan
  • Stephan Klasen
  • Klaus Hubacek
  • Kuishuang Feng
  • Kebin He
  • Yong Geng
  • Qiang Zhang
| 2014

China committed itself to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy (the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP) by 40–45% during 2005–2020. Yet, between 2002 and 2009, China experienced a 3% increase in carbon intensity, though trends differed greatly among its 30 provinces. Decomposition analysis shows that sectoral efficiency gains in nearly all provinces were offset by movement towards a more carbon-intensive economic structure.

Hundreds of wind turbines in Guazhou County, Gansu province, China, 13 May 2013.

Wikimedia CC

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Could a Climate Change Deal Fit China's Economic Reform Agenda?

| August 22, 2014

"An ambitious deal might also stimulate more demand for innovations in clean technologies, in which China is emerging as a global leader. But because of the UN's decision-making process, in which all its members have to agree on a new deal, Xi Jinping is in the powerful position of being able to commit to only as much emission reductions as fit his domestic policy agenda."

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.

A coal mine near Hailar, northeastern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 13 August 2005.

Herry Lawford Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The South China Morning Post

China's Coal Addiction a Threat to Its Energy Security

| May 14, 2014

"...[U]ntil now, Beijing's response to unmet energy demand has focused primarily on securing resources overseas, and building infrastructure for imports. China now generates more electricity from imported coal than from nuclear, wind and solar combined. Without a strong, coordinated policy shift, the country will depend on fuel imports for most of its energy consumption by the time it becomes a developed country."