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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111 Items

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Rolling the Dice in the Corridors of Power: William Nordhaus's Impacts on Climate Change Policy

| July 2020

The seminal contributions of William Nordhaus to scholarship on the long-run macroeconomics of global climate change are clear. Much more challenging to identify are the impacts of Nordhaus and his research on public policy in this domain. The authors examine three conceptually distinct pathways for that influence: his personal participation in the policy world; his research’s direct contribution to the formulation and evaluation of public policy; and his research’s indirect role informing public policy

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Three Prongs for Prudent Climate Policy

| April 2020

After reviewing emission mitigation’s poor performance and low-probability of delivering on long-term climate goals, the authors evaluate a three-pronged strategy for mitigating climate change risks: adding adaptation and amelioration — through solar radiation management (SRM) — to the emission mitigation approach.  They conclude by assessing the value of an iterative act-learn-act policy framework that engages all three prongs for limiting climate-change damages.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Creating Subnational Climate Institutions in China

| December 2019

This discussion paper (available in English and Chinese) describes the evolution of decentralization over the reform period that began in China in 1978, different theories of institutional change in China, and how the empirical and theoretical literatures help scholars and policymakers understand the development of institutions for governing GHG-emitting activities.

Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Carbon Taxes vs. Cap and Trade: Theory and Practice

| November 2019

How do the two major approaches to carbon pricing compare on relevant dimensions, including efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and distributional equity? This paper addresses this question by drawing on theories of policy instrument choice pertaining to the attributes — or merits — of the instruments.

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

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

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

Governing Cooperative Approaches under the Paris Agreement

  • 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.