News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Harvard Project Co-organizes Workshop with Beijing Research Institute

  • Robert C. Stowe
| August 26, 2015

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements co-organized a workshop on China-U.S. collaboration on climate-change policy on June 25–26, 2015 in Beijing. The workshop was hosted and co-organized by the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC), a research institute within the National Development and Reform Commission (a key policy-making organization in the government of the People's Republic of China).

The workshop focused on three topics:

I. The formulation and comparison of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)—the commitments that national governments will make at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Paris in December 2015. China, the United States, and approximately 24 other countries had submitted their INDCs as of August 17, 2015. The workshop was premised on the view that a better understanding of the INDC process—including approaches to the comparison of efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions—could help advance:

  1. The equity of the Paris agreement;
  2. The use of domestic market mechanisms and the crediting of these toward INDCs;
  3. Linkage among emissions-trading systems and among heterogeneous mitigation-policy systems. A major advantage of linkage would be to reduce the aggregate cost of emissions abatement in participating jurisdictions;
  4. Increasing the ambition of mitigation commitments over time.

II. Collaboration between China and the United States with regard to the design and implementation of cap-and-trade systems, which both countries are employing—currently on a sub-national level (seven regional pilot programs in China and, in the United States, California and the northeastern states).

III. The intersection of trade and climate policy: How China-U.S. trade might be affected by domestic policies and international agreements to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions; and how China and the United States can collaborate to magnify possible trade benefits and reduce possible trade risks of the movement toward low-carbon societies.

Available for download below are the agenda for the workshop, biographies of participants, presentations made by participants, and English and Chinese versions of a one-page description of the project, of which this workshop was a part. The Harvard Project and NCSC released a discussion paper in February 2016, based in part on the workshop. Download the paper here. The Harvard Project and the NCSC also conducted a joint panel, building on the workshop, at the Twenty-First Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Paris. (See here.)

The Harvard Project is grateful for support of this project provided by the Hui Fund for Generating Powerful Ideas, in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School.

For more information on this publication: Please contact Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
For Academic Citation: Stowe, Robert C.. “Harvard Project Co-organizes Workshop with Beijing Research Institute.” News, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center, August 26, 2015.

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