Round Up

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements Discussion Paper Series

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements is supporting more than twenty-seven research projects from leading thinkers around the world, including from Europe, China, Japan, India, Australia, and the United States. These projects range in topic from complete architectures to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, to proposed solutions to specific problems climate negotiators face, such as facilitating technology transfer to developing countries, preventing deforestation, and enforcing a global climate agreement.

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97 Items

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

US Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement: Economic Implications of Carbon-Tariff Conflicts

  • Christoph Böhringer
  • Thomas F. Rutherford
| August 2017

Authors Christoph Böhringer and Thomas Rutherford evaluate the efficacy of imposing carbon tariffs on U.S. imports as an alternative to U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement. The authors warn that carbon tariffs on the United States could lead to a tariff war that ultimately hurts China, in particular, and the European Union more than the United States.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

On a World Climate Assembly and the Social Cost of Carbon

  • Martin L. Weitzman
| November 2016

Martin Weitzman explores theoretically how international cooperation (democratic voting and/or negotiation) to set a global carbon price might incentivize mitigation and yield a global price that approximates an economically-efficient "social cost of carbon."

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Living Mitigation Plans: The Co-Evolution of Mitigation Pledge and Review

| October 25, 2016

The 2015 Paris Agreement completed the transition to pledge-and-review as the core of the multilateral climate policy architecture. With ambitious long-term temperature goals and country-specific emission mitigation pledges set through 2030, the unfinished business coming out of the Paris talks is the design and implementation of the climate transparency mechanism. This paper reviews the poor transparency track record under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and uses this performance to motivate engagement of non-stakeholders to enhance the rigor of the information and analysis of countries' emission mitigation efforts.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Paris: Beyond the Climate Dead End through Pledge and Review?

  • Robert O. Keohane
  • Michael Oppenheimer
| August 2016

The authors examine the pledge and review system of the Paris Agreement, which gives states much more freedom in setting goals for reducing emissions. This is quite different than the Kyoto Protocol, which set specific targets and timetables.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Confronting Deep and Persistent Climate Uncertainty

  • Gernot Wagner
  • Richard Zeckhauser
| July 2016

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.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Frameworks for Evaluating Policy Approaches to Address the Competitiveness Concerns of Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

| July 2016

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.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Federal Coal Program Reform, the Clean Power Plan, and the Interaction of Upstream and Downstream Climate Policies

  • Todd D. Gerarden
  • W. Spencer Reeder
  • James Stock
| June 2016

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.