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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

 

2016

November 2016

"Long-term Carbon Policy: The Great Swap"

Paper

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

A "Great Swap" — a carbon tax and regulatory streamlining as a part of tax reform — can navigate the political challenges facing more effective climate-change policy and serve as a credible way forward for the United States on climate policy.

 

 

October 2016

"Political Economy of Clinton's Ambitious Energy Program"

Journal Article, Nature Energy, issue 10, volume 1

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

"Hillary Clinton's campaign has stressed her continuity with Obama's energy policy on key aspects such as decarbonization of the US economy, technological innovation and global cooperation. However, policy reforms to deliver long-term climate goals might be out of reach in a highly divided Congress."

 

 

October 25, 2016

"Living Mitigation Plans: The Co-Evolution of Mitigation Pledge and Review"

Discussion Paper

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

The 2015 Paris Agreement completed the transition to pledge-and-review as the core of the multilateral climate policy architecture. With ambitious long-term temperature goals and country-specific emission mitigation pledges set through 2030, the unfinished business coming out of the Paris talks is the design and implementation of the climate transparency mechanism. This paper reviews the poor transparency track record under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and uses this performance to motivate engagement of non-stakeholders to enhance the rigor of the information and analysis of countries' emission mitigation efforts.

 

 

July 2016

"Frameworks for Evaluating Policy Approaches to Address the Competitiveness Concerns of Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions"

Discussion Paper

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

Joseph Aldy examines competitiveness risks from domestic carbon pricing policies, as well as the risks posed by competitiveness policies (for example, border tax adjustments) intended to alleviate adverse impacts of carbon pricing. The paper presents two alternative frameworks for evaluating competitiveness policy options.

 

 

Creative Commons

May 3, 2016

"Subsidies in the Wrong Places Skew Renewable Energy's Power"

Op-Ed, The New York Times

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

"Given the existing low-cost competition in a no-growth market, renewable developers face tough investment challenges absent new policies. A carbon tax could substantially increase market demand for renewable power and encourage the retirement of pollution-intensive coal-fired power plants."

 

 

February 2016

"Bilateral Cooperation between China and the United States: Facilitating Progress on Climate-Change Policy"

Paper

By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Thomas Brewer, Ji Chen, Sha Fu, Yue Qi, Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Robert C. Stowe, Co-Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Pu Wang, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Sustainability Science, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Xiaohua Zhang, Shuang Zheng and Ji Zou

The Harvard Project has released a paper on China-U.S. cooperation on climate-change policy—jointly authored with researchers at China's National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.

 

2015

November 30, 2015

"'Trust But Verify' Should Be a Motto of Paris Climate Talks"

Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor

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

The success of the COP21 talks will hinge on the creation of a transparency-and-review mechanism to ensure that countries are meeting their voluntary emissions-reduction targets.

 

 

Creative Commons

November/December 2015

"Need Transparency and Review Mechanisms"

Op-Ed, The Environmental Forum

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

"Given the interest in climate finance by many developing countries, the United States and other donors could condition financial transfers on developing country participation in the transparency mechanism."

 

 

November 2015

"Evaluating Mitigation Effort: Tools and Institutions for Assessing Nationally Determined Contributions"

Policy Brief

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

The emerging pledge and review approach to international climate policy provides countries with substantial discretion in how they craft their intended emission mitigation contributions. The resulting heterogeneity in mitigation pledges places significant demands for a well-functioning transparency and review mechanism. In particular, the specific forms of intended contributions necessitate economic analysis in order to estimate the aggregate effects of these contributions as well as to permit "apples-to-apples" comparisons of mitigation efforts. This paper discusses the tools that can inform such analyses as well as the institutional needs of climate transparency.

 

 

November 2015

"Evaluating Mitigation Effort: Tools and Institutions for Assessing Nationally Determined Contributions"

Discussion Paper

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

The emerging pledge and review approach to international climate policy provides countries with substantial discretion in how they craft their intended emission mitigation contributions. The resulting heterogeneity in mitigation pledges places significant demands for a well-functioning transparency and review mechanism. In particular, the specific forms of intended contributions necessitate economic analysis in order to estimate the aggregate effects of these contributions as well as to permit "apples-to-apples" comparisons of mitigation efforts. This paper discusses the tools that can inform such analyses as well as the institutional needs of climate transparency.

 
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.