163 Items

three workers install solar panels on roof of home

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

Financing Building Decarbonization: The Roles of Government and Private Sector Investors

  • Marco Fornara
  • Rushabh Sanghvi
| Jan. 22, 2024

Decarbonizing existing buildings is a key component of greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies, but private investors have been slow to finance residential decarbonization projects because of a range of barriers. Authors Chang, Fornara, and Sanghvi argue that green banks could play a major role in unlocking public and private financing for projects that are currently financially unviable. 

On the hood of an electric car, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs an executive order

The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool, File/Daniel Kim

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Americans Agree with Their State and Local Officials on Climate Action

| July 26, 2022

Joshua Schwartz and Sabrina Arias write that although Congress seems unable to act, enough states, cities and counties are mobilizing to make a dent in U.S. carbon emissions. The states, cities, counties, and towns that have committed themselves to upholding the Paris agreement currently release a majority of U.S. carbon emissions. If they do manage to meet their targets, they can make a meaningful difference.

Wind Turbines and sailboats

Wikimedia CC/

News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Danish Climate Minister Lauds European Countries Vowing to Reduce their Dependency on Russian Gas During HPCA Virtual Forum

  • Doug Gavel
| Apr. 11, 2022

The Danish Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities expressed his hope that the tragic war in Ukraine will help accelerate the clean energy transformation by weaning Europe off Russian gas during a Virtual Forum (view recording here) last Friday (April 8). The event was hosted by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements (HPCA) and moderated by Robert Stavins, HPCA Director and A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development. 

Aerial view of Guangzhou-Huadu Plain and Mount Baiyun

Wikimedia CC/Pulsarwind

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

The Guangdong Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme: Progress, Challenges and Trends

  • Zeng Xuelan
  • Li Weichi
  • Guo Xingyue
| June 2021

Guangdong Province ranks first in economic output among China’s provinces and will play a major role in achieving China’s national climate-change goals. This paper examines the progress of Guangdong Province’s carbon dioxide emissions trading system (ETS) in reducing emissions; design features of the system; challenges it faces with regard to further development; and its relationship to China’s new national ETS.

A satellite view of the Baihetan Dam, under construction on the Jinsha River in Yunnan province, February 4, 2020.

CNES/Airbus, used with permission


China Trading Power: Improving Environmental and Economic Efficiency of Yunnan’s Electricity Market

| March 2021

In this report, we propose a market reform pathway for Yunnan that is both feasible and applicable to address some of these challenges immediately, while aiming for a standard design based on well-documented international experience. Our proposal includes at its heart a pay-for-performance monthly capacity auction that can help cover revenue deficiencies in the energy market. Building on international experience with capacity markets, this approach provides incentives for availability when generation is needed most and is compatible with the adoption of a single energy market for all electricity resources. Out-of-market payments to cover stranded costs of certain firms can thus be minimized. Finally, engaging consumers in both these energy and capacity markets can create high-powered incentives to shift consumption to low-cost months and hours, benefitting the entire province.

London Skyline and the Thames


Journal Article - Water Science and Technology

Multi-objective Optimization of Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Water Pumping and Treatment

  • Iliana Cardenes
  • Mohammad Mortazavi Naeini
  • Jim W. Hall
| 2020

A large part of operating costs in urban water supply networks is usually due to energy use, mostly in the form of electricity consumption. There is growing pressure to reduce energy use to help save operational costs and reduce carbon emissions. This study shows how a hybrid linear and multi-objective optimization approach can be used to identify key energy consumption elements in a water supply system, and then evaluate the amount of investment needed to achieve significant operational gains at those points in the supply network.

President-elect Joe Biden and his climate envoy, John Kerry, at The Queen theater.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

What Does Success Look Like for a Climate Czar?

| Dec. 02, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to create a new cabinet-level position for climate-related issues — and to choose so prominent a figure as former Secretary of State John Kerry to fill it — demonstrates Biden’s sincerity over putting climate at the very center of U.S. foreign policy. It is easy to understate the importance of this appointment, given the flurry of czars created by most new administrations.

News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

EC Climate Advisor Offers Insights on the European Green Deal, Green Recovery, and the Future of the Paris Agreement

  • Doug Gavel
| July 14, 2020

From his perspective as Principal Advisor to the Directorate General for Climate Action in the European Commission (EC), Jacob Werksman is cautiously optimistic about the direction of international climate policy. Werksman was the expert guest in the Conversations on Climate Change and Energy Policy webinar discussion last Thursday (July 9). The webinar series is sponsored by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements (HPCA), and the interviews are hosted by HPCA Director Robert Stavins, the A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development at Harvard Kennedy School.