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Joseph E. Aldy

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79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Link to CV

Joseph E. Aldy

Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Contact:
Telephone: 617-496-7213
Email: joseph_aldy@hks.harvard.edu

 

Experience

Joe Aldy is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Nonresident Fellow at Resources for the Future, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on climate change policy, energy policy, and mortality risk valuation. In 2009–2010, he served as the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment, reporting through both the National Economic Council and the Office of Energy and Climate Change at the White House. Aldy was a Fellow at Resources for the Future from 2005–2008 and served on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1997–2000. He also served as the Co-Director of the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements, Co-Director of the International Energy Workshop, and Treasurer for the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists before joining the Barack Obama Administration. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment, and a B.A. from Duke University.

 

 

By Date

 

2015

June 18, 2015

"A Blessing to Slow Climate Change"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Harvard Gazette

By Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Naomi Oreskes

"Last year at the United Nations General Assembly, heads of state came together to talk about climate change. We had an announcement on carbon pricing signed on by more than 70 countries, more than 1,000 businesses — reflecting this emerging view of both those in public policy and those using the technologies in the business world — that pricing carbon is the way to get us off of fossil fuels, to create that incentive for the technologies that will allow us to still enjoy the level of economic development that we aspire to, without having an adverse impact on the climate."

 

 

June 2015

"Policy Surveillance in the G-20 Fossil Fuel Subsidies Agreement: Lessons for Climate Policy"

Discussion Paper

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Inadequate policy surveillance has undermined the effectiveness of multilateral climate agreements. To illustrate an alternative approach to transparency, the author evaluated policy surveillance under the 2009 G-20 fossil fuel subsidies agreement. The Leaders of the Group of 20 nations tasked their energy and finance ministers to identify and phase-out fossil fuel subsidies. The G-20 leaders agreed to submit their subsidy reform strategies to peer review and to independent expert review conducted by international organizations.

 

2014

January 2014

"Comparability of Effort in International Climate Policy Architecture"

Discussion Paper

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and William A. Pizer

The comparability of domestic actions to mitigate global climate change has important implications for the stability, equity, and efficiency of international climate agreements. the authors examine a variety of metrics that could be used to evaluate countries' climate change mitigation effort and illustrate their potential application for large developed and developing countries.

 

2013

WTO Photo

October 2013

"The Crucial Role of Policy Surveillance in International Climate Policy"

Policy Brief

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Joseph Aldy's Viewpoint makes a case for how transparency through policy surveillance can facilitate more effective international climate change policy architecture.

 

2012

September 2012

"Climate Negotiations Open a Window: Key Implications of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action"

Policy Brief

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action represents an important milestone in the history of climate negotiations.  The challenge is to find a way to include all key countries in a structure that brings about meaningful emission reduction on an appropriate timetable at acceptable cost, while recognizing the different circumstances of countries in a way that is more subtle, more sophisticated, and more effective than the dichotomous distinction of years past. This policy brief expands upon the authors' Science article, "Climate Negotiators Create an Opportunity for Scholars."

 

 

AP Photo

August 31, 2012

"Climate Negotiators Create an Opportunity for Scholars"

Journal Article, Science, issue 6098, volume 337

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched a process to confront risks posed by global climate change. It has led to a dichotomy between countries with serious emission-reduction responsibilities and others with no responsibilities whatsoever. This has prevented progress, but the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action suggests the prospect for a better way forward and an openness to outside-the-box thinking. Scholars and practitioners have a new opportunity to contribute innovative proposals for a future international climate policy architecture.

 

2011

AP Photo

November 2011

The Promise and Problems of Pricing Carbon: Theory and Experience

Discussion Paper

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Because of the global commons nature of climate change, international cooperation among nations will likely be necessary for meaningful action at the global level.  At the same time, it will inevitably be up to the actions of sovereign nations to put in place policies that bring about meaningful reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases.  Due to the ubiquity and diversity of emissions of greenhouse gases in most economies, as well as the variation in abatement costs among individual sources, conventional environmental policy approaches, such as uniform technology and performance standards, are unlikely to be sufficient to the task.  Therefore, attention has increasingly turned to market-based instruments in the form of carbon-pricing mechanisms.  We examine the opportunities and challenges associated with the major options for carbon pricing:  carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, emission reduction credits, clean energy standards, and fossil fuel subsidy reductions.

 

 

October 2011

"The Promise and Problems of Pricing Carbon: Theory and Experience"

Discussion Paper

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Market-approaches to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases lie at the heart of any cost-effective set of policies put forward in an international agreement—and will be considered at COP 17 in Durban in both the Kyoto and Long-term Cooperative Action discussions. Joseph Aldy and Robert Stavins "examine the opportunities and challenges associated with the major options for carbon pricing: carbon taxes, cap‐and‐trade, emission reduction credits, clean energy standards, and fossil fuel subsidy reductions."

 

 

AP Photo

Summer 2011

"What Next on Climate?"

Journal Article, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, issue 21

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Vicki Arroyo, Alex Laskey, Manik Roy, Lexi Schultz and Bryan Walsh

The effort to address climate change stumbled with the failure to pass cap-and-trade. What should happen now? Five experts, including the Harvard Project's Joe Aldy, discuss the future of U.S. climate and energy policy.

 

2009

December 2009

Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy: Implementing Architectures for Agreement

Book

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

The Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements has commissioned leading scholars to examine a uniquely wide range of core issues that must be addressed if the world is to reach an effective agreement on a successor regime to the Kyoto Protocol. The purpose of the project is not to become an advocate for any single policy but to present the best possible information and analysis on the full range of options concerning mitigation, adaptation, technology, and finance. The detailed findings of the Harvard Project are reported in this volume, which contains twenty-seven specially commissioned chapters.

 

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Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.