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The nuclear, biological and climate threat - 2011 reviewed
Date:1/6/2012

iller, director of the International Security Program at Harvard University, writes in his paper, Nuclear Weapons 2011: Momentum slows, reality returns that 2011 was short on breakthroughs in the arms control arena, following something of a landmark year in 2010. Miller highlights five events that unfolded during 2011 that he suggests "seem certain to cast a powerful shadow in months and years to come." The current tension with Iran over weapons, the spread of nuclear technology in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and difficulties in the US relationship with Russia are among them.

The Fukushima incident was a sudden and dramatic shock in 2011, writes Mark Hibbs, a senior associate in Carnegie's Nuclear Policy Program, but what continued to be a concern throughout the year was the incremental escalation of continuing crises in Iran, North Korea, and South Asia. In his paper, Nuclear Energy 2011: A watershed year, Hibbs reviews reassessments undertaken around the world after Fukushima, and underlines Europe's critical role in nuclear energy's global future.

In Climate change 2011: A status report on US policy, Steven Cohen and Alison Miller highlight a growing partisan divide in US Congress. This divide has stalled the country's federal climate policy, frustrated efforts to pass a cap-and-trade carbon permitting system, and spawned a battle between the US Environmental Protection Agency and Congress. Climate change policy has been pushed down to the municipal level, and the divide has also hindered US ability to effectively negotiate an international climate agreement. Meanwhile, US cities have enacted far-sighted climate policy initiatives, and growing fossil fuels costs have stimulated renewable energy investment, bringing commercially viable fossil fuel alternatives closer.

"The inevitable shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources would be greatly hastened by federal action to tax carbon dioxide emissions and use the reve
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Contact: Jayne Fairley
jayne.fairley@sagepub.co.uk
020-732-48719
SAGE Publications
Source:Eurekalert

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