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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

 

September 21, 2014

"Climate Realities"

Op-Ed, New York Times

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

"...[C]limate change is essentially unobservable by the public. On a daily basis, we observe the weather, not the climate. This makes it less likely that public opinion will force action the way it did 50 years ago when black smoke rose from industrial smokestacks, and chemicals and raw sewage were dumped untreated into rivers, famously causing one to catch fire."

 

 

Cdtew at English Wikipedia

July 31, 2014

"Why the Benefits of the EPA's New Carbon Rule Outweigh the Costs for the U.S.— Just Not by as Much as You've Heard"

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

"...[I]t is anticipated that less coal will be burned than in the absence of the regulation (and more use of natural gas, nuclear and renewable sources of electricity). This means not only less CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere, but also decreased emissions of correlated local air pollutants that have direct impacts on human health, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and mercury."

 

 

June 1, 2014

"The Only Feasible Way of Cutting Emissions"

Op-Ed, New York Times

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

"Because emission control costs vary drastically among the millions of diverse emissions sources, conventional regulations are unfeasible. Only a pricing regime provides incentives for the overall target to be achieved in the least expensive manner. In the long term it is economical because of incentives to adopt lower-cost, cleaner technologies."

 

 

May 15, 2014

"Harnessing Market Forces to Protect the Climate"

Event Report

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

Economics are an essential part of understanding climate change and for developing solutions to it. Robert Stavins and Rohini Pande focused on that idea at a Harvard Kennedy School "IDEASpHERE" event titled "Harnessing Market Forces to Protect the Climate."

 

 

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."

 

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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 Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.