Harvard Project Hosts Research Workshop on the Paris Agreement
The purpose of the workshop was to identify options for elaborating and implementing the Paris Agreement—and to identify policies and institutions that might complement or supplement the UNFCCC process.
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The authors explore, in particular, the implications for CO2 removal and solar geoengineering of the Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goals, provision for "removals by sinks," and market-based mitigation mechanisms.
July 18, 2016
Harvard Project Director Robert N. Stavins was awarded the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Award on July 12, 2016, which is presented annually by the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) to a leader in advancing environmental policy in California. CCEEB is a coalition of business, labor, and public leaders seeking to promote both a sound economy and a healthy environment. The award is named after the former California governor, founding CCEEB Chairman, and father of current Governor Jerry Brown.
Estimates of damages from climate change are dependent on estimates of global-average-temperature increase, which in turn depend on how marginal increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations affect temperature. The "likely" range of temperature increase from a doubling of concentrations has stalled for 35 years at 1.5–4.5° C—making estimates of damages difficult and unreliable.
"Frameworks for Evaluating Policy Approaches to Address the Competitiveness Concerns of Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions"
By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
Joseph Aldy examines competitiveness risks from domestic carbon pricing policies, as well as the risks posed by competitiveness policies (for example, border tax adjustments) intended to alleviate adverse impacts of carbon pricing. The paper presents two alternative frameworks for evaluating competitiveness policy options.
"Federal Coal Program Reform, the Clean Power Plan, and the Interaction of Upstream and Downstream Climate Policies"
Can supply-side environmental policies that limit the extraction of fossil fuels reduce CO2 emissions? We study interactions between a specific supply-side policy — an environmental charge on federal coal — and demand-side emissions regulation under the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Using a detailed dynamic model of the power sector, we estimate that, absent the CPP, an environmental charge equal to the social cost of carbon would generate three-quarters of the projected CPP emissions reductions. With the CPP in place, the charge reduces emissions by reducing leakage and causing the CPP to be non-binding in some scenarios.