The authors explore several approaches to an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in late 2015—including through carbon pricing.
By Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
Inadequate policy surveillance has undermined the effectiveness of multilateral climate agreements. To illustrate an alternative approach to transparency, the author evaluated policy surveillance under the 2009 G-20 fossil fuel subsidies agreement. The Leaders of the Group of 20 nations tasked their energy and finance ministers to identify and phase-out fossil fuel subsidies. The G-20 leaders agreed to submit their subsidy reform strategies to peer review and to independent expert review conducted by international organizations.
This paper posits the conceptually useful allegory of a futuristic "World Climate Assembly" that votes on global carbon emissions via the basic principle of majority rule. Two variants are considered. One is to vote on a universal price (or tax) that is internationally harmonized, but the proceeds from which are domestically retained. The other is to vote on the overall quantity of total worldwide emissions, which are then distributed for free (via a pre-decided fractional subdivision formula) as individual allowance permits that are subsequently marketed in an international cap-and-trade system.
May 26, 2015
Experts from universities, think tanks, the World Bank, and private companies met at the Harvard Kennedy School on May 7 and 8, 2015 to discuss how flexible approaches to exchanging mitigation commitments might be incorporated into the new climate agreement to be concluded in Paris later in 2015. The workshop, "Comparison and Linkage of Mitigation Efforts in a New Paris Regime," was co-sponsored by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, and World Bank Group's Networked Carbon Markets Initiative.
April 16, 2015
By Bryan Galcik
Matthew Ranson, former student collaborator of the Harvard Project, and Robert Stavins, Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, recently published their research on linking emissions-trading systems in the journal Climate Policy.
By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
Robert Stavins argues for an economic approach to solving environmental problems and explains why "environmental economics" is not an oxymoron.
The authors consider the role of integrated assessment models in estimating the social cost of carbon—an estimation that is important in the formulation of U.S. climate policy.
Carbon taxes, which postpone extraction of fossil fuels and reduce cumulative carbon emissions, also have economic advantages over taxes on capital.
February 25, 2015
By Robert C. Stowe, Executive Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program; Manager, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
On February 18–20, 2015, twenty-four experts gathered in Berlin to explore approaches to improving the process by which research on climate change is assessed—with a focus on the social sciences (economics, political science, policy studies). Participants discussed potential reforms in the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and also the development of assessment processes complementary to the IPCC.
This discussion paper examines the potential role U.S. National Parks play in curbing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions through carbon sequestration—the process of moderating global climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in long-term mineral, organic, and oceanic reservoirs.