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Robert N. Stavins

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Littauer 306
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA, 02138

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Robert N. Stavins

Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program

Chair, Environment and Natural Resources Faculty Group

Chairman, Ph.D. Programs in Public Policy and Political Economy & Government

Co-Chair, Kennedy School-Harvard Business School Joint Degree Programs

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 495-1820
Fax: (617) 496-3783
Email: robert_stavins@hks.harvard.edu
Website: http://www.stavins.com
Publications: http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~rstavins/cvweb.html

 

Experience

Robert N. Stavins is the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Faculty Group at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Director of Graduate Studies for the Doctoral Program in Public Policy and the Doctoral Program in Political Economy and Government, and Co-Chair of the  Harvard Business School-Kennedy School Joint Degree Programs, and Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. He is a University Fellow of Resources for the Future, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Co-Editor of the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, and a Member of: the Board of Academic Advisors of the Regulatory Markets Center, the Board of Directors of the Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Editorial Boards of Resource and Energy Economics, Climate Change Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Environmental Economics Abstracts, Environmental Law and Policy Abstracts, B.E. Journals of Economic Analysis & Policy, and Economic Issues. He is also a Vice-President of the American Association of Wine Economists, an editor of the Journal of Wine Economics, and the Chair of the Expert Advisory Board of the Harvard Alumni Alliance for the Environment.

He was elected a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in 2009.  He was formerly Editor of the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, a member of the Board of Directors of Resources for the Future, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, the Editorial Board of Land Economics, The Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Board of Directors of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, a member and Chair of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Science Advisory Board, a member of the Executive Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board, the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, a Lead Author of the Second and Third Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and a contributing editor of Environment.  He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Northwestern University, an M.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard.

Professor Stavins research has focused on diverse areas of environmental economics and policy, including examinations of: market-based policy instruments; regulatory impact analysis; innovation and diffusion of pollution-control technologies; environmental benefit valuation; policy instrument choice under uncertainty; competitiveness effects of regulation; depletion of forested wetlands; political economy of policy instrument choice; and costs of carbon sequestration. His research has appeared in the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Literature, Science, Nature, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Ecology Law Quarterly, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Resource and Energy Economics, The Energy Journal, Energy Policy, Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, Explorations in Economic History, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, other scholarly and popular periodicals, and several books. He is the co-editor of Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Architectures for Agreement: Addressing Global Climate Change in the Post-Kyoto World (Cambridge University Press, 2007), editor of the fourth, fifth, and sixth editions of Economics of the Environment (W. W. Norton, 2000, 2005, 2012), co-editor of Environmental Protection and the Social Responsibility of Firms (Resources for the Future, 2005), editor of The Political Economy of Environmental Regulation (Edward Elgar, 2004), co-editor of the second edition of Public Policies for Environmental Protection (Resources for the Future, 2000), and the author of Environmental Economics and Public Policy: Selected Papers of Robert N. Stavins, 1988-1999 (Edward Elgar, 2000) and Economics of Climate Change and Environmental Policy: Selected Papers for Robert N. Stavins, 2000-2011 (Edward Elgar, 2013).

Professor Stavins directed Project 88, a bi-partisan effort co-chaired by former Senator Timothy Wirth and the late Senator John Heinz, to develop innovative approaches to environmental and resource problems. He continues to work closely with public officials on matters of national and international environmental policy. He has been a consultant to the National Academy of Sciences, the Presidents Council on Sustainable Development, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Council of Economic Advisers, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and Interior, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Members of Congress, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme, state and national governments, and private foundations and firms.

Prior to coming to Harvard, Stavins was a staff economist at the Environmental Defense Fund; and before that, he managed irrigation development in the Middle East, and spent four years working in agricultural extension in West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. His wife, Joanna Stavins, is an Economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. They have two children, Daniel and Julia.

Stavins' Resume with Lists of Publications and Working Papers

Return to Stavins' Home Page

 

 

By Date

 

2016

October 2016

"The Paris Agreement and Beyond: International Climate Change Policy Post-2020"

Paper

By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Robert C. Stowe

The Harvard Project releases a collection of expert briefs on the elaboration of the Paris Agreement.

 

 

May 11, 2016

"An Economist's Take on Climate Change: The Paris Agreement and the Post-2020 World"

Media Feature

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

In this talk sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative, Harvard Project Director Robert Stavins will provided an economic perspective as he assesses the Paris Agreement, reached in December of 2015. He will review the previous 20 years of climate negotiations in order to place the Paris Agreement in its proper context. Drawing on research carried out by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, he will provide a detailed assessment of the new approach now being taken, looking both at the significant accomplishments of the Agreement, as well as the key challenges that remain.

 

 

May 6, 2016

"Don't Be Fooled. CO2 Emissions Still Tied to Economic Growth"

Op-Ed, PBS NEWSHOUR

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

"...[A] belief in decoupling per se could lead to a misguided laissez-faire attitude about the path of CO2 emissions. Being honest and accurate about the links between (desirable) economic growth and (desirable) CO2 emissions reductions puts our focus and emphasis where it ought to be: finding better ways to have both."

 

 

May/June 2016

"The Paris Agreement Lays a Good Foundation for Climate Progress"

Op-Ed, The Environmental Forum, issue 3, volume 33

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

"The problem has not been solved, and it will not be for years to come, but the new approach brought about by the Paris Agreement can be a key step toward reducing the threat of global climate change. The agreement is only a foundation for moving forward, but it is a sufficiently broad and sensible foundation to make increased ambition feasible for the first time. Whether the agreement is ultimately successful, whether this foundation for progress is effectively exploited over the years ahead by the parties to the agreement, is something we will know only 10, 20, or more years from now."

 

 

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, 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.

 

 

March/April 2016

"Trade Talks Can Follow Path of Paris Climate Change Agreement"

Op-Ed, The Environmental Forum, issue 2, volume 33

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

"Trade negotiators can emulate the progress made in the climate change agreements by moving away from a simplistic division between developed and developing countries."

 

 

January 27, 2016

"State's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Doesn't Cut Net Emissions"

Op-Ed, Capitol Weekly

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

"While some of these so-called complementary policies can be valuable under particular circumstances, they can also create severe problems. An example of this is the attempt to employ aggressive sector-based targets through technology-driven policies, such as the Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS). In the presence of the cap-and-trade regime, the LCFS has the perverse effect of relocating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to other sectors but not reducing net emissions, while driving up statewide abatement costs, and suppressing allowance prices in the cap-and-trade market, thereby reducing incentives for technological change."

 

 

Fall/Winter 2015-2016

"Paris Climate Conference 2015: A key step in stopping climate?"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and David Keith, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Was the Paris Climate Conference of 2015 a key step in stopping climate change? We asked the Belfer Center's Robert Stavins and David Keith to give us their answers to that question. They agreed to disagree in some of their answers and comments.

 

 

Creative Commons

January/February 2016

"Are the Pope's Critiques of Markets on Point or Somewhat Misguided?"

Op-Ed, The Environmental Forum

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

"I respect what the Pope says about the need for action, but his unfortunate attack on the use of the market to address climate change is out of step with the thinking and the work of informed analysts and policymakers around the world, who recognize that we can do more, faster, and better with the use of market-based policy instruments — carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems."

 

2015

December 7, 2015

"COP21 is Still on Track as Countries Drop Their More Unfeasible Ambitions"

Op-Ed, Conversation

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

"There has been more progress on discussions in the corridors, if not in the negotiations, regarding the eventual legal status of the agreement. The French have now recognised publicly that their previous position arguing that the entire agreement, including the numerical contributions in the INDCs, be binding under international law is simply not feasible. Among other things, it would mean that the Paris Agreement would require Senate ratification in the United States, which means that the United States would not be a party to the agreement. No one wants to repeat the Kyoto Protocol experience."

 
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.