News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

IPCC Releases Mitigation Report; Harvard Project Director Plays Key Role

  • Robert C. Stowe
| April 15, 2014

The important work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is receiving worldwide attention following the recent release of the Panel's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The Report has been prepared by hundreds of experts over the last four years; it reviews and assesses the most advanced research on climate change and summarizes it for policy makers around the world. The IPCC's assessment reports are considered the benchmark for scientific understanding of climate change.

AR5 is composed of three sub-reports, prepared by separate working groups. The Working Group III contribution, Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, was approved by IPCC member governments at an intensive review session in Berlin last week, was released to the public today, and is available here.

Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, served for the last four years as Co-Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter of the Working Group III report on "International Cooperation: Agreements and Instruments." Dr. Zou Ji, Deputy Director of China's National Center for Climate Strategy and International Cooperation, served as the other Co-Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter.  They chaired the work of an international team of thirteen Lead Authors.

Stavins also serves as a lead author of AR5's Synthesis Report, which incorporates the work of AR5's Working Group I (addressing the physical-science basis for our understanding of climate change),  Working Group II (addressing the impacts of—and strategies for adaptation to—climate change), and Working Group III (mitigation). The Synthesis Report will be released by the IPCC in early November 2014.

The Harvard Environmental Economics Program (HEEP) provided support for Professor Stavins' work on the IPCC.  In particular, Gabriel Chan, a Ph.D. student in Public Policy at Harvard and HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellow, served as Chapter Scientist and provided invaluable assistance throughout the process, including traveling with Stavins to all meetings of the chapter writing team.

The IPCC report is receiving significant media coverage. Stavins was a featured guest on PBS NewsHour on April 15 and NPR's one-hour news-interview program, On Point, on April 14.  He was also quoted in several other news reports, including The New York Times (April 15), NPR's Morning Edition (April 14); National Geographic online "Daily News" (April 13); The Weather Channel (April 13); Climate Wire (April 14); MIT Technology Review (April 18); and The Twin Cities Press (April 21).

For more information on this publication: Please contact Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
For Academic Citation: Stowe, Robert C.. “IPCC Releases Mitigation Report; Harvard Project Director Plays Key Role.” News, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center, April 15, 2014.

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