Policy Briefs & Testimonies

11 Items

At the 2012 U.N. Climate Change Conference held in Doha, Qatar, Costa Rica's 800-member Coopedota coffee cooperative launched the world's first carbon-neutral certified coffee (Carbon Clear, 2011).

Photo Credit: Coopedota

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Eco-Competitiveness and Eco-Efficiency: Carbon Neutrality in Latin America

    Author:
  • René Castro
| November 2015

Improvements in eco-efficiency—defined as a combination of reducing waste and reducing the use of raw inputs—offer one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering production costs. In addition, changes in culture—at the level of individual businesses, countries, or both—can enhance the eco-competitive position of these businesses and countries. This paper describes three examples from Costa Rica and shows how the goal of achieving carbon neutrality can provide incentives for improving eco-efficiency and eco-competitiveness.

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

The Role of Forests in a Future Climate Agreement

    Author:
  • Donna Lee
| April 2013

Forests can play a significant role in helping to avoid dangerous climate change, and a global agreement under the UNFCCC would be uniquely placed to support efforts in this regard. The rising global demand for agricultural and other land-based products means that pressures on land are increasingly cross-border, and there is an accelerating expansion of the deforestation frontier. Smart domestic policies are critical to solving the deforestation challenge, and recent private sector interest in "sustainable agriculture" is encouraging. However, global agreements that value standing forests and provide incentives that positively impact land use change decisions can be an equally important tool.

The United Kingdom's Chris Huhne, then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, speaks at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa, Dec 8, 2011.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

The Durban Platform Negotiations: Goals and Options

    Author:
  • Daniel Bodansky
| July 2012

In December 2011, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, which launched a new round of negotiations aimed at developing "a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force" for the post-2020 period. The Durban Platform negotiations got underway this year and are scheduled to conclude in 2015. This Viewpoint analyzes the elements of the Durban Platform and the possible role that a new instrument might play.

Visitors look at a Intelligent Energy hydrogen fuel cell motorcycle at the 10th Auto Expo in New Delhi, India, Jan. 6, 2010.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Energy Innovation Policy in Major Emerging Countries

New Harvard Kennedy School research finds that energy research, development, and demonstration (ERD&D) funding by governments and 100 percent government-owned enterprises in six major emerging economies appears larger than government spending on ERD&D in most industrialized countries combined. That makes the six so-called BRIMCS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa—major players in the development of new energy technologies. It also suggests there could be opportunities for cooperation on energy technology development among countries.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon delivers his speech on "Preserving Our Common Heritage: Promoting a Fair Agreement on Climate Change" during a lecture at the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan, Feb. 2, 2010.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Institutions for International Climate Governance

    Author:
  • Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
| November 2010

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has significant advantages but also real challenges as a venue for international negotiations on climate change policy. In the wake of the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-15) in Copenhagen, December 2009, it is important to reflect on institutional options going forward for negotiating and implementing climate change policy.

Former U.S. vice president and Nobel laureate, Al Gore, gives a presentation during a ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council, in Tromsoe, Norway, Apr. 29, 2009.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Climate Change Policies: Many Paths Forward

| February 2010

The current global economic crisis highlights the fact that environmental objectives exist in a balance with economic growth, a balance that political leaders struggle to find in their own countries and at the global level. The UNFCCC contributes importantly to achieving a healthy balance by providing an overall framework for action to address climate change and as a regular gathering point for diplomats, policymakers, and technical experts from the widest range of countries. As such, it is a unique forum for building partnerships to help countries meet their own national objectives and to forge the consensus needed for success in global efforts to address climate change. It could also help to coordinate international efforts, creating synergies, and avoiding duplication.

People place lighted candles on bricks with names of people murdered or missing allegedly by paramilitary groups in front of Costa Rica's embassy, in Bogota, Apr., 22, 2008, after one of President Uribe's allies entered the embassy to request asylum.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Re-Plan Colombia

| January 2009

"The financial crisis will require a reevaluation of U.S. aid. Critics of Plan Colombia argue that, in Colombia, union leaders remain at risk, human rights abusers are not brought to justice, the military commits "false positives," and drug eradication has failed. Based on this record, they conclude that the U.S. should reduce or withhold aid from Colombia. This is unsound advice. Colombia has made great advances against the guerrillas and paramilitaries because of U.S. aid. Some 340 politicians who conspired with paramilitaries, 3,000 paramilitaries who committed crimes against humanity, and 14 perpetrators of abuses against union leaders face prosecution because of U.S. aid. These advances in security, justice and democracy would not have occurred without U.S. assistance. However, the critics are not wrong; there is much work left to be done."

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Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Climate Accession Deals: New Strategies for Taming Growth of Greenhouse Gases in Developing Countries—Summary

    Author:
  • David G. Victor
| December 2008

Managing the dangers of global climate change will require developing countries to participate in a global climate regime. So far, however, those nations have been nearly universal in their refusal to make commitments to reduce growth in their greenhouse gas emissions. This paper describes how a set of international "Climate Accession Deals" could encourage large policy shifts that are in developing countries' interests and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.