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"Comparability of Effort in International Climate Policy Architecture"

"Comparability of Effort in International Climate Policy Architecture"

Discussion Paper 2014-62, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

January 2014

Authors: Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, William A. Pizer

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements Discussion Paper Series

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

 

ABSTRACT

The comparability of domestic actions to mitigate global climate change has important implications for the stability, equity, and efficiency of international climate agreements. We examine a variety of metrics that could be used to evaluate countries' climate change mitigation effort and illustrate their potential application for large developed and developing countries. We also explain how transparent measures of the comparability of effort can contribute to the design of international and domestic climate change policy along several dimensions. For example, such measures can facilitate participation and compliance in an agreement if they can illustrate that all parties are doing their "fair share." Second, these measures can inform the bilateral linking of domestic cap-and-trade programs in a manner akin to how nations negotiate the lowering of trade barriers more generally in trade policy. Third, assessments of the comparability of effort can affect whether to implement and, if necessary, the stringency of unilateral border measures (e.g., a border tax). Finally, such assessments demonstrate the need for a well-functioning policy surveillance regime.

 

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

For Academic Citation:

Aldy, Joseph E. and William A. Pizer. "Comparability of Effort in International Climate Policy Architecture." Discussion Paper 2014-62, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, January 2014.

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