Round Up

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements Discussion Paper Series

Nov. 07, 2018

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.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
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107 Items

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Transitioning to Long-Run Effective and Efficient Climate Policies

| April 2019

This paper evaluates factors affecting the potential to transition over time to more efficient longrun climate policies, including the sequence of policies to be adopted. By considering these factors, policymakers can increase the likelihood that more efficient policies emerge from the current suite of less-efficient measures being pursued by some national and sub-national governments. The authors focus on the state of Oregon, which is currently contemplating the adoption of a greenhouse-gas cap-and-trade system.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

The Future of U.S. Carbon-Pricing Policy

| May 2019

There is widespread agreement among economists — and a diverse set of other policy analysts — that at least in the long run, an economy-wide carbon pricing system will be an essential element of any national policy that can achieve meaningful reductions of CO2 emissions cost-effectively in the United States. There is less agreement, however, among economists and others in the policy community regarding the choice of specific carbon-pricing policy instrument. 

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Policy Evolution Under the Clean Air Act

| November 2018

The U.S. Clean Air Act, passed in 1970 with strong bipartisan support, was the first environmental law to give the Federal government a serious regulatory role, established the architecture of the U.S. air pollution control system, and became a model for subsequent environmental laws in the United States and globally. We outline the Act’s key provisions, as well as the main changes Congress has made to it over time. We assess the evolution of air pollution control policy under the Clean Air Act, with particular attention to the types of policy instruments used. We provide a generic assessment of the major types of policy instruments, and we trace and assess the historical evolution of EPA’s policy instrument use, with particular focus on the increased use of market-based policy instruments, beginning in the 1970s and culminating in the 1990s.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

GHG Cap-and-Trade: Implications for Effective and Efficient Climate Policy in Oregon

| November 2018

Like many other states, Oregon has begun to pursue climate policies to attempt to fill the gap created by the lack of effective climate policy at the Federal level. After adopting a variety of policies to address climate change and other environmental impacts from energy use, Oregon is now contemplating the adoption of a greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system. However, interactions between policies can have important consequences for environmental and economic outcomes. Thus, as Oregon considers taking this step, reconsidering the efficacy of its other current climate policies may better position the state to achieve long-run emission reductions at sustainable economic costs.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Governing Cooperative Approaches under the Paris Agreement

    Author:
  • Michael A. Mehling
| November 2018

This paper draws upon research, practical experience with carbon trading, textual analysis, negotiating history, and insights from stakeholders to develop principles that can help inform the elaboration of cooperative approaches set out in Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement — and thereby enhance opportunities for ambitious mitigation. The author, Michael A. Mehling, explores, in particular, how operational guidance for implementing Article 6.2 can balance environmental ambition and flexibility in governance.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

An Economic Anatomy of Optimal Climate Policy

| August 2018

The authors introduce geoengineering into an optimal control model of climate economics. Together with mitigation and adaptation, carbon and solar geoengineering span all possible climate policies. Their wildly different characteristics have important implications for policy. They show in the context of their model that: (i) whether emissions are positive or zero the optimal carbon tax always equals the marginal cost of carbon geoengineering; (ii) the introduction of either form of geoengineering leads to higher emissions yet lower temperatures; (iii) in a world with above-optimal cumulative emissions, mitigation alone is insufficient and only a complete set of instruments can minimize climate damages.

This is an updated version of a paper first published in July 2017.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Linking Heterogeneous Climate Policies (Consistent with the Paris Agreement)

| October 2017

The authors of this discussion paper consider linkage among heterogeneous climate-change policies — moving beyond relatively simple linkage among emissions-trading systems — in the context of the emerging Paris-Agreement regime. A Harvard Project event at COP-23 will draw upon this paper.