Varun Sivaram

Energy, Security, and Climate

CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.

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Showing posts for "Europe"

Lessons in Cleantech Success from Scandinavia (Pt. 2): The Importance of the Danish Manufacturing Revival

by Varun Sivaram
A eletricity pole transporting wind energy to Danish cities and industries in Valsgaard, northern Jutland (Reuters/Henning Bagger)

This post is co-written by Ben Armstrong and Varun Sivaram. Ben is a Ph.D. Candidate at MIT focused on Political Economy and a researcher at the MIT Governance Lab.

In Part 1 of this series, we posed a puzzle: why has Denmark had more success at clean tech innovation than its neighbor, Sweden? Neither demand-pull conditions, which provide a sales environment that invites innovation, nor technology-push factors, which directly support technology research, development, and demonstration, appears to favor Denmark over Sweden. Both countries have similar environmental policies and environmentally conscious populaces, and Sweden has actually been more successful than Denmark in inducing other forms of innovation, especially in information and communications technology (ICT). But Denmark leads by a substantial margin in patents for climate change mitigation and the commercialization of eco-friendly technology. What explains Denmark’s outperformance in cleantech? Read more »

Cap-and-Trade is Faltering in Europe, But the Problem Isn’t What You Think It Is

by Michael Levi

The last couple weeks have seen a steady stream of news articles heralding the near-death of Europe’s cap-and-trade system. The basic story is straightforward. After the European Parliament declined to effectively tighten the emissions cap in the continent’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), prices for emissions permits plunged. Since high permit prices are required to drive serious energy-system transformation, many people have concluded that the ETS – and by association cap-and-trade more broadly – is bust. Read more »

The Real Reason Energy Traders Are Losing Sleep

by Blake Clayton

What’s roiling the oil market right now? The old familiar source of instability—unrest in the Middle East—is far from the whole story, though it still tends to be the first place Western pundits look when the world’s most important commodity is in turmoil. But this paradigmatic hangover from the 1970s has become less and less adequate. Read more »

Report from London

by Michael Levi

I’ve been in London since Sunday, talking to people about climate policy (and about the Iranian nuclear program). One topic that’s come up repeatedly is the UK’s annual Budget, which was announced today, with a new Green Bank as a centerpiece. The politics of climate policy here are a world apart from those in the United States – I’ve been meeting with senior people from government, the (Conservative) opposition, and NGOs, and I’m struck by the fact that everyone claims that the idea is theirs. Read more »