Harnessing Market Forces to Protect the Climate

| May 15, 2014

Takeaways from the Harvard Kennedy School IDEASpHERE discussion "Harnessing Market Forces to Protect the Climate," with Robert Stavins and Rohini Pande


Sampling of Notable Thoughts

"Ultimately, the only way to eliminate these competitiveness effects and the emissions for other jurisdictions to be on board with comparable policies. And that's why the international dimension is so important. That's why the emerging economies of China, India, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, are so important." — Robert Stavins

"If we apply simple economic solutions of trying to understand 'Where is the failure, what are the incentives that are misaligned?', you can actually put in place systems that will give you good information." — Rohini Pande


Economics are an essential part of understanding climate change and for developing solutions to it. Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, and Professor of Public Policy Rohini Pande focused on that idea at a Harvard Kennedy School "IDEASpHERE" event titled "Harnessing Market Forces to Protect the Climate."

Climate change is a global problem, said Robert Stavins, adding that international cooperation is essential in dealing with its causes and consequences.

Rohini Pande agreed, discussing her work with the Kennedy School to implement solutions to poor environmental regulation in India, where incentives for regulators are misaligned.

Robert Stavins turned the conversation to the United States, where cap-and-trade policies are in place in certain regions, to discuss market successes and failures in emissions policy. He noted that some carbon pricing policies can be complementary with climate change policies.

Rohini Pande concluded the conversation by talking about why emissions trading schemes have not taking off in emerging economies, and the resulting consequences. She discussed how market systems can be put in place to lead the way for further emissions reduction and climate change policies in emerging economies.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: “Harnessing Market Forces to Protect the Climate.” Event Report, Discussion, IDEASpHERE Celebration, Harvard Kennedy School, May 15, 2014.


Robert N. Stavins