10 Items

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

  • 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.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Incentives and Stability of International Climate Coalitions: An Integrated Assessment

  • Valentina Bosetti
  • Carlo Carraro
  • Enrica De Cian
  • Emanuele Massetti
  • Massimo Tavoni
| March 2012

"A successful international climate policy framework will have to meet two conditions, build a coalition of countries that is potentially effective and give each member country sufficient incentives to join and remain in this coalition. Such coalition should be capable of delivering ambitious emission reduction even if some countries do not take mitigation action. In addition, it should meet the target without exceedingly high mitigation costs and deliver a net benefit to member countries as a whole. The novel contribution of this paper is mostly methodological, but it also adds a better qualification of well-known results that are policy relevant."

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Sustainable Cooperation in Global Climate Policy: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets to Build on Copenhagen and Cancun

| September 2011

In pursuit of a workable successor to the Kyoto Protocol, this study offers a framework of formulas that produces precise numerical targets for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases, in all regions of the world in all decades of this century....Firms, consumers, and researchers base their current decisions to invest in plant and equipment, consumer durables, or new technological possibilities on the expected future price of carbon: If government commitments are not credible from the start, then they will not raise the expected future carbon price.

South Africa's Minister of International Relations & Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabaneat at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, July 3, 2011. International delegations met for 2 days to prepare the upcoming UN climate conference in Durban.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Whither the Kyoto Protocol? Durban and Beyond

  • Daniel Bodansky
| August 2011

The Kyoto Protocol establishes a very complex and ambitious regime, in architecture if not stringency. The problem is that relatively few states, representing only about a quarter of the world's emissions, have been willing to assume emission targets under Kyoto....The future of the Protocol thus seems doubtful at best. Even in the most optimistic scenario, a new round of emissions targets couldn't be agreed in time to prevent a legal gap between the first and second commitment periods. A possible middle ground would be to establish a transitional regime that would be political in nature, but that could evolve over time into a legally-binding regime.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security

Belfer Center Newsletter Spring 2011

| Spring 2011

The Spring 2011 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This issue highlights the Belfer Center’s continuing efforts to build bridges between the United States and Russia to prevent nuclear catastrophe – an effort that began in the 1950s. This issue also features three new books by Center faculty that sharpen global debate on critical issues: God’s Century, by Monica Duffy Toft, The New Harvest by Calestous Juma, and The Future of Power, by Joseph S. Nye.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres places a building block in a miniature Mayan pyramid at the site of climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, Nov. 28, 2010. The "Pyramid of Hope" symbolizes the many building blocks needed for a new climate agreement.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - The National Journal

Will We Know Success When We See It?

| December 6, 2010

"It might be relatively easy, but actually quite unfortunate, for countries to achieve what some people might define as 'success' in Cancun:  a signed international agreement, followed by glowing press releases.  I say it would unfortunate, because such an agreement could only be the Kyoto Protocol on steroids: more stringent targets for the original list of industrialized countries (Annex I) and no meaningful commitments by the key rapidly-growing emerging economies, such as China, India, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and South Africa."

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Negligence, Strict Liability, and Responsibility for Climate Change

  • David Weisbach
| July 2010

This paper reexamines responsibility for climate change. Claims of responsibility are based on legal and ethical principles concerning liability for wrongdoing. They are, in essence, tort claims. Tort-law principles might be used in actual legal disputes, to make quasi-legal arguments in a negotiation, or to simply claim moral wrongdoing by a set of actors. The goal, therefore, will be to examine whether tort-law or similar theories of obligation apply to past greenhouse gas emissions

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.

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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

  • 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.

Magazine Article - Harvard Gazette

Workshop Ponders: Post-Kyoto, What Next?

| March 20, 2008

"The project is examining ideas that are similar to Kyoto’s top-down approach, though stronger, as well as approaches that are substantially different. Key ideas in play range from indexing emissions targets to economic growth, to bottom-up approaches, such as linking together the actions of a number of countries. One of the project’s key goals is to persuade the countries of the world not only to look at ideas similar to the Kyoto Protocol, but also to look at ideas that are very different in structure."