News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Harvard Project Hosts Workshop in Preparation for 2015 Paris Climate Conference

  • Bryan Galcik
  • Robert C. Stowe
| May 26, 2015

Experts from universities, think tanks, the World Bank, and private companies met at the Harvard Kennedy School on May 7 and 8, 2015 to discuss how flexible approaches to exchanging mitigation commitments might be incorporated into the new climate agreement to be concluded in Paris later in 2015. The workshop, "Comparison and Linkage of Mitigation Efforts in a New Paris Regime," was co-sponsored by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, and World Bank Group's Networked Carbon Markets Initiative.

Motivation for the Workshop

The new international climate-policy regime arising from the UNFCCC Paris agreement will have a voluntary, pledge-based policy architecture. Governments can pledge to reduce emissions however much or in whatever manner they think is fair; mitigation commitments ("Intended Nationally Determined Contributions") will therefore be highly heterogeneous. Given this heterogeneity, the assessment (ex-ante and ex-post) of individual contributions and of the overall agreement's effectiveness and equity will require the development and use of reliable and rigorous tools for quantifying and comparing pledges. Approaches to comparing mitigation effort will also be essential to enable the transfer of mitigation-effort units from one UNFCCC Party to another—that is, broadly speaking, to enable linkage—and hence reduce the aggregate cost of mitigation in the new regime. Finally, it will be highly desirable for parties to increase their mitigation ambition over time, and it will be difficult to do so in a concerted and coordinated manner without being able to compare effort across countries. One option for comparing effort to be considered is how mitigation value and the determination of exchange rates could together constitute an approach to comparing disparate climate mitigation policies.

Related Materials from the Workshop Co-sponsors

International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). "Streamlined Market Provisions for the Paris 2015 Climate Agreement." IETA, July 2015.

World Bank Group: Climate Change. "Networked Carbon Markets." Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group, January 10, 2015.

Workshop Presentations

For more information on this publication: Please contact Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
For Academic Citation: Galcik, Bryan and Robert C. Stowe. “Harvard Project Hosts Workshop in Preparation for 2015 Paris Climate Conference.” News, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center, May 26, 2015.

The Authors