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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 Region

 

Americas (continued)

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?

 

 

AP Photo

April 22, 2010

"All States Need to Embrace Bipartisan Climate Bill"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

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

"A unit of carbon dioxide emitted in California contributes just as much to the problem as carbon dioxide emitted in Tennessee. The overall magnitude of damages — and their location — are completely unaffected by the location of emissions. This means that for any individual jurisdiction, the benefits of action will inevitably be less than the costs. (This is the reason why US action on climate change should occur at the same time as other countries take actions to reduce their emissions)."

 

 

AP Photo

April 13, 2010

"Why Cap-and-Trade Should (and Does) Have Appeal to Politicians"

Op-Ed, Vox

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

Are cap-and-trade schemes working? This column presents a summary of eight existing schemes arguing that half meet the independence property whereby the initial allocation of property rights does not affect the environmental or social outcome and the scheme is cost-effective. This success is a contrast with other policy proposals where political bargaining reduces the effectiveness and drives up cost.

 

 

AP Photo

Spring 2010

"Scholars' Views Vary on Copenhagen Successes"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth, Kelly Sims Gallagher, Member of the Board and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

"Belfer Center participants in the 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (UNFCCC) agreed that while the summit did not produce the treaty most wanted, it did make some significant progress. They disagree, however, on how much. Professors Jeffrey FrankelKelly Sims Gallagher, and Robert Stavins, all members of the Belfer Center Board of Directors, offer their takeaways from the event."

 

 

AP Photo

December 6, 2009

"A Silver Lining in the Climate Talks Cloud"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

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

"...[W]hat would constitute real progress? One important step forward would be a constructive joint-communiqué from major countries (just 17 industrialized and emerging economies account for about 90 percent of annual emissions). Such a joint-communiqué could lay out key progressive principles to underlie a future climate agreement, such as making the notion of common but differentiated responsibilities meaningful through the dual principles that: all countries recognize their historic emissions (read, the industrialized world); and all countries are responsible for their future emissions (think of those emerging economies)."

 

 

AP Photo

October 23, 2009

"Three Pillars of Post-2012 International Climate Policy"

Policy Brief

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

Our proposal for a post-2012 international global climate policy agreement contains three essential elements: meaningful involvement by key industrialized and developing nations; an emphasis on an extended time path of targets; and inclusion of market-based policy instruments. This architecture is consistent with fundamental aspects of the science, economics, and politics of global climate change.

 

 

AP Photo

October 19, 2009

"A Portfolio of Domestic Commitments: Implementing Common but Differentiated Responsibilities"

Policy Brief

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

An effective, but more flexible and politically palatable approach could be an international agreement on a "portfolio of domestic commitments." Under such an agreement, nations would agree to honor commitments to greenhouse gas emission reductions laid out in their own domestic laws and regulations. A portfolio of commitments may emerge from a global meeting such as the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, or a smaller number of major economies could negotiate an agreement among themselves, and then invite other countries to join.

 

 

AP Photo

September 21, 2009

"Yes: The Transition Can Be Gradual—and Affordable"

Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

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

"...[T]he U.S. and China have been involved in intense talks about climate policy. If the two nations come together in a bilateral agreement—a real possibility—they would have much more leverage to persuade other major nations to join. From there, developing nations could be brought on board by giving them targets that reduce emissions without stifling growth. Advanced nations might agree to more-severe emissions cuts and allow developing nations to make gradual cuts in the early decades as they rise toward the world's average per-capita emissions. With the right incentives, developing countries can and will move onto less carbon-intensive growth paths."

 

 

AP Photo

September 20, 2009

"The Essential Pillars of a New Climate Pact"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

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

THE climate change summit at the United Nations on Tuesday is aimed to build momentum for the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December, where nations will continue negotiations on a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. To be successful, any feasible successor agreement must contain three essential elements: meaningful involvement by a broad set of key industrialized and developing nations; an emphasis on an extended time path of emissions targets; and inclusion of policy approaches that work through the market, rather than against it.

 

 

AP Photo

May 20, 2009

"Obama's Fuel-Efficiency Plan? Not So Efficient"

Op-Ed, NPR.org

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

"Because CAFE standards increase the price of new cars, the standards have the unintentional effect of keeping older — dirtier and less fuel-efficient — cars on the road longer. This is counterproductive.

Also, by decreasing the cost per mile of driving, CAFE standards — like any energy-efficiency technology standard — exhibit a rebound effect — namely, people have an incentive to drive more, not less, thereby lessening the anticipated reduction in gasoline usage."

 
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.