A successful global effort to mitigate global climate change will require substantial cooperation between developed and developing countries. Even as the bulk of the developed world is at some stage of enacting significant domestic regulations to meet global stabilization goals, growth in developing country emissions will easily thwart those goals unless a cooperative solution is found. We argue that there is a wide range of options that should be pursued, including domestic policy reforms in developing countries, expanded financing mechanisms to address incremental costs, and diplomatic efforts in a variety of forums, all aimed at increasing developing country mitgation efforts over time.
December 10, 2007
By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Carlo Carraro and William A. Pizer
Project Co-Directors Joseph Aldy and Robert Stavins, along with Carlo Carraro of the University of Venice and Resources for the Future's William Pizer, spoke at a Project-sponsored side event at the 13th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia.
September 5, 2007
William Pizer has proposed an approach to climate policy architecture that reflects the institutional limitations and current domestic preferences regarding an international climate agreement. He calls for the largest emitters and economies to pledge specific actions and policy commitments, which can take any form (cap-and-trade, taxes, suite of technology standards, etc.), in an initial agreement. These commitments would be non-binding and there would be no “minimum” commitment necessary to participate.
Both China, the nation with the largest emissions of greenhouse gases, and India, the fifth-largest emitter, announced in the week before the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) in Copenhagen that they would offer for the purposes of negotiation "intensity targets" at the COP. (Carbon intensity is the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP.) Neither country had offered any potentially internationally-binding target prior to these. China offered a reduction target of 40–45 percent by 2020, over the 2005 intensity. India, a few days later, announced a "voluntary" target of 20–25 percent over the same period. High on the list of topics discussed in Copenhagen will be the relative value of intensity targets versus absolute emissions-reduction-targets, which most industrialized countries, including, also very recently, the United States (17 percent over 2005—provisionally until Congress enacts domestic climate legislation) have offered.