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"Climate Change Policies: Many Paths Forward"

Former U.S. vice president and Nobel laureate, Al Gore, gives a presentation during a ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council, in Tromsoe, Norway, Apr. 29, 2009.
AP Photo

"Climate Change Policies: Many Paths Forward"

Policy Brief, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

February 2010

Authors: Paula J. Dobriansky, Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project, Vaughan C. Turekian


Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements



The current global economic crisis highlights the fact that environmental objectives exist in a balance with economic growth, a balance that political leaders struggle to find in their own countries and at the global level. The UNFCCC contributes importantly to achieving a healthy balance by providing an overall framework for action to address climate change and as a regular gathering point for diplomats, policymakers, and technical experts from the widest range of countries. As such, it is a unique forum for building partnerships to help countries meet their own national objectives and to forge the consensus needed for success in global efforts to address climate change. It could also help to coordinate international efforts, creating synergies, and avoiding duplication.

Despite these many advantages, however, it would be a mistake either to rely solely on UNFCCC processes or to give insufficient resources and attention to the many other venues and partnerships that advance global climate objectives, including the diverse contributions from governments, companies, NGOs, and other groups acting individually and collectively.


Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky is a former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs and is currently a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Dr. Vaughan C. Turekian is the Chief International Officer and Director for the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He served previously as an adviser on science and climate change issues at the U.S. Department of State.

Viewpoints present policy proposals, considered opinions, and commentary by distinguished policymakers, leaders from business and nongovernmental organizations, and scholars. The Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements does not advocate any specific climate change policy proposals. Statements and views expressed in Viewpoints are solely those of the authors and do not imply endorsement by Harvard University, the Harvard Kennedy School, or the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements.


For more information about this publication please contact the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements Coordinator at 617-496-8054.

For Academic Citation:

Dobriansky, Paula J. and Vaughan C. Turekian. "Climate Change Policies: Many Paths Forward." Policy Brief, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center, February 2010.

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