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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

 

North America (continued)

Kentaro IEMOTO Photo CC

May 6, 2014

"Chinese and US Climate Interests are Converging"

Op-Ed, China Dialogue

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

"...[B]ilateral negotiations between China and the United States — possibly outside of the UNFCCC — are where real progress is most likely to be made. For global efforts to tackle climate change, they are the most significant development since the Kyoto Protocol."

 

 

Danfmyers Photo

December 5, 2013

"Why the US and China Inspire Hope for International Climate Change Action"

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

"Given this description of what happened (and did not happen) in Warsaw, is there any cause for optimism regarding the path ahead? There is cause at least for cautious optimism, because of a singular reality — the growing convergence of interests between the two most important countries in the world when it comes to climate change and international policy to address it, namely, China and the United States."

 

 

November 2013

"Linkage of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Systems: Learning from Experience"

Discussion Paper

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

The authors draw upon the past decade of experience with carbon markets to test a series of hypotheses about why governments have demonstrated a preference for linking.

 

 

August 14, 2013

Robert Stavins on Climate Policy

Media Feature

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

"...[T]he reason I am more optimistic today is that just two years ago at the annual Conference of the Parties, this time in Durban, South Africa, a new approach was approved by the community of nations. And that is an approach which promises that by the year 2015 to come up with an international agreement that will include all countries in the same legal framework. That breaks from this Berlin mandate, which I think has been an anchor dragging against forward movement of the ship of progress. Now, with this new commitment from the community of nations to come up with an international agreement by 2015, for implementation by 2020, in which all countries will participate, there is for the first time in decades a real opportunity for meaningful progress."

 

 

March 7, 2013

"The Sordid History of Congressional Acceptance and Rejection of Cap-and-Trade: Implications for Climate Policy"

Op-Ed, Vox

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

Not so long ago, cap-and-trade mechanisms for environmental protection were popular in Congress. Now, such mechanisms are denigrated. What happened? This column tells the sordid tale of how conservatives in Congress who once supported cap and trade now lambast climate change legislation as 'cap-and-tax'. Ironically, conservatives are choosing to demonise their own market-based creation. The successful conservative campaign that disparaged cap-and-trade means it may now be politically impossible to promote it in the US. The good news? Elsewhere, cap and trade is now a proven, viable option for tackling large-scale environmental problems.

 

 

March 1, 2013

"Is Obama's Climate Change Policy Doomed to Fail? Maybe Not"

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

"...[T]here will be actions having significant implications for U.S. CO2 emissions. The big difference is that most will not be called 'climate policy' and virtually all will be within the regulatory and executive-order domain, not new legislation. Will this set of actions and developments put the U.S. on a path to the long-term Waxman-Markey target of an 83 percent reduction below 2005 by 2050? Of course not. For that, a meaningful legislated, economy-wide, national carbon pricing regime will be necessary."

 

 

August 2012

"The SO2 Allowance Trading System: The Ironic History of a Grand Policy Experiment"

Discussion Paper

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

In a new discussion paper, authors Richard Schmalensee, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Robert N. Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, explore four ironic outcomes associated with the otherwise very successful sulfur-dioxide cap-and-trade system created by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

 

 

AP Photo

June 26, 2012

"Don't Write Off Cap and Trade"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, China Dialogue

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

Various journalists and advocates have, of late, described America's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as being near "the brink of failure" thanks to the trend of very low prices of permits to emit carbon dioxide. Likewise, commentators have claimed that Europe's carbon market, the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS), may be "sinking into oblivion" because its emissions allowances too have become very cheap. 

 

 

AP Photo

January 2012

The SO2 Allowance Trading System and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990: Reflections on Twenty Years of Policy Innovation

Report

By Gabe Chan, Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Robert C. Stowe, Executive Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program; Manager, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Richard Sweeney

The introduction of the U.S. SO2 allowance-trading program to address the threat of acid rain as part of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 is a landmark event in the history of environmental regulation. The program was a great success by almost all measures. Ironically, cap and trade seems especially well suited to addressing the problem of climate change, in that emitted greenhouse gases are evenly distributed throughout the world's atmosphere. Recent hostility toward cap and trade in debates about U.S. climate legislation may reflect the broader political environment of the climate debate more than the substantive merits of market-based regulation.

 

 

December 5, 2011

"A Wave of the Future: International Linkage of Carbon Markets"

Op-Ed, Outreach

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

"...[I]t remains true that cap-and-trade is still the most likely domestic policy approach for CO2 emissions reductions throughout the industrialised world, given the rather unattractive set of available alternative approaches.  This makes it important to think about the possibility of linking these national and regional cap-and-trade systems in the future.  Such linking occurs when the government that maintains one system allows regulated entities to use allowances or credits from other systems to meet compliance obligations."

 

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