In theory, it's terrific: A rich country shares its technology with a poor country to help combat global climate change. In practice, it's maddeningly hard. Technology-transfer plans that sound great in concept often are failing to catch on because of cultural, economic, and political realities on the ground. In Indonesia, attempts to expand the use of solar panels were thwarted by the state-owned electricity company, which feared a loss of customers. In India, domestic climate policies clashed with international climate change law, potentially slowing India's adoption of solar technology. Translating lofty international climate change ideals into action is exceedingly complex. Which policies work?

Hard Earth are talks by Stanford graduate students exploring through environmental dilemmas. A program of the Roble Living Laboratory for Sustainability at Stanford (ROLLSS).