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Robert N. Stavins

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

 

 

By Date

 

2010 (continued)

UN Climate Talks Photo

December 13, 2010

What Happened (and Why): An Assessment of the Cancun Agreements

Media Feature

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

The international climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, have concluded, and despite the gloom-and-doom predictions that dominated the weeks and months leading up to Cancun, the Sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) must be judged a success.  It represents a set of modest steps forward.  Nothing more should be expected from this process.

 

 

AP Photo

December 6, 2010

"Will We Know Success When We See It?"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, National Journal

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

"It might be relatively easy, but actually quite unfortunate, for countries to achieve what some people might define as 'success' in Cancun:  a signed international agreement, followed by glowing press releases.  I say it would unfortunate, because such an agreement could only be the Kyoto Protocol on steroids: more stringent targets for the original list of industrialized countries (Annex I) and no meaningful commitments by the key rapidly-growing emerging economies, such as China, India, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and South Africa."

 

 

AP Photo

November 28, 2010

"Knowing Success if You See It"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Outreach

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

It is important to bring to the Cancun discussions sensible expectations and effective plans. Negotiations in this domain will be an ongoing process, not a single task with a clear end-point. The most sensible goal for Cancun is progress on a sound foundation for meaningful long-term action, not some notion of immediate triumph. The key question is not what Cancun accomplishes in the short-term, but whether it helps put the world in a better position five, ten, and twenty years from now in regard to an effective long-term path of action to address the threat of global climate change.

 

 

AP Photo

November 24, 2010

"Renewable Irony"

Op-Ed, The Huffington Post

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

"It is often argued that if cap-and-trade is dead, enacting renewable or clean electricity standards is better than doing nothing at all about climate change. While that argument has some merit, since the risks of doing nothing are substantial, there is a real danger that enacting these standards will create the illusion that we have done something serious to address climate change. Worse yet, it could create a favored set of businesses that will oppose future adoption of more efficient, serious, broad-based policies — like cap-and-trade."

 

 

AP Photo

Sep/Oct 2010

"AB 32 and Climate Change: The National Context of State Policies for a Global Commons Problem"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Agricultural and Resource Economics Update, issue 1, volume 14

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

Because climate change is a global problem, climate change policies should involve the highest levels of effective government. However, absent effective action at the national or international levels, some states and regions are enacting subnational climate change policies. This article examines the positive, negative, and benign interactions of state policies such as California's AB 32 with federal policies, and explores whether such policies can provide an impetus for further action at the federal level.

 

 

September 2010

"The Problem of the Commons: Still Unsettled After 100 Years"

Discussion Paper

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

Harvard Project Director Robert N. Stavins reviews economics research on open-access resources over the last century; the development of market-based policies to respond to commons problems; and the application of policy-relevant scholarship in economics to the "ultimate commons problem"—global climate change.

 

 

AP Photo

July 27, 2010

"The Power of Cap-and-Trade"

Op-Ed, Boston Globe

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

"A price on carbon is the least costly way to provide meaningful incentives for technology innovation and diffusion, reduce emissions from fossil fuels, and drive energy efficiency. In the long run, it can reduce our use of oil and drive our transportation system toward alternative energy sources."

 

 

June 2010

"Three Key Elements of Post-2012 International Climate Policy Architecture"

Discussion Paper

By Sheila M. Olmstead, Former Research Fellow, Environment and Natural Resources Program, 2001–2002 and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

We describe three essential elements of an effective post-2012 international global climate policy architecture: a means to ensure that key industrialized and developing nations are involved in differentiated but meaningful ways; an emphasis on an extended time path of targets; and inclusion of flexible market-based policy instruments to keep costs down and facilitate international equity. This architecture is consistent with fundamental aspects of the science, economics, and politics of global climate change; addresses specific shortcomings of the Kyoto Protocol; and builds upon the foundation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

 

 

June 2010

"Interactions between State and Federal Climate Change Policies"

Discussion Paper

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

Federal action addressing climate change is likely to emerge either through new legislation or via the U.S. EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act. The prospect of federal action raises important questions regarding the interconnections between federal efforts and state-level climate policy developments. In the presence of federal policies, to what extent will state efforts be costeffective? How does the co-existence of state- and federal-level policies affect the ability of state efforts to achieve emissions reductions?

 

 

May 2010

"Options for the Institutional Venue for International Climate Negotiations"

Policy Brief

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

The Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reinforced doubts about whether the UNFCCC should continue to be the primary institutional venue for global climate change negotiations. This issue brief assesses some other institutions that might serve to supplement or partially replace the UNFCCC.

 

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