Environment & Climate Change

6 Items

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Treaty Design and Duration: Effects on R&D, Participation, and Compliance

    Author:
  • Bard Harstad
| January 2013

Climate policy is complicated. For a treaty to be beneficial, one must think through carefully how it will work, once it is implemented. Crucial questions include the following: How should an international treaty be designed? Should one negotiate commitments for a five-year period, or for much longer? Assuming that the treaty specifies aggregate or country-specific emission caps, what should these caps be and how should they change over time? How should the agreement be updated once policymakers, scholars, and the public learn more about the severity of the climate-change problem, or about the effects of the policy? Can the treaty be designed to encourage investments in "green" abatement technology or renewable energy sources? Finally, how can one motivate countries to participate and comply with such an agreement?

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.

Cattle graze in front of wind turbines of the Spanish utility Endesa in the Eolico Park, Spain, Aug. 3, 2006.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Toward a Post-2012 International Climate Agreement

    Author:
  • Fulvio Conti
| March 2010

Negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Copenhagen in December 2009 did not produce a new international treaty with binding emissions commitments, but have defined a roadmap for dealing with global climate change in the post-2012 era. As countries continue to pursue new models for global agreement, it will be important to learn from the weaknesses of past approaches, while building on positive aspects of the experience with the Kyoto Protocol so far.

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Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

A Sectoral Approach as an Option for a Post-Kyoto Framework—Summary

    Author:
  • Akihiro Sawa
| December 2008

The Kyoto Protocol uses a top-down mechanism to negotiate economy-wide emissions caps. This paper proposes an alternative "sectoral" approach, which would determine industry-level emissions reduction targets based on technological analyses.

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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.