Environment & Climate Change

8 Items

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

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?

- 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.

Ships anchor near the entrance of the Long Beach Harbor on Aug. 25, 2004. Marine terminal operators at the largest U.S. port revealed a plan to expand their cargo operations into the evening and weekend hours to ease traffic congestion & GHG emissions.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

The São Paulo Proposal for an Improved International Climate Agreement

    Author:
  • Erik Haites
| January 2010

An effective international climate agreement poses formidable challenges. Existing agreements, naturally, have some good features. Further improvements are being discussed in the current negotiations. But the cost and uncertainty associated with regular renegotiation of commitments is not being addressed. The São Paulo Proposal suggests mechanisms that would avoid the need for regular renegotiation of commitments and suggests other ways to make international climate agreements more effective.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the signing of a protocol with the EU backing Russia’s WTO accession in Moscow, May 21, 2004. Putin said Moscow in turn would speed up ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

Trade Could Hold the Key to a Climate Deal

    Author:
  • Bard Harstad
| December 3, 2009

"Implementing such a linkage is possible. The Montreal Protocol, successfully protecting the ozone layer, is already restricting trade with non-participants and non-compliers, although only in the substances controlled by the treaty. To repeat this success and overcome the obstacles for a climate agreement, signatories should become favoured trading partners while non-compliance should trigger a temporary denial of this status. Disputes can be solved by expanding the mandate of the WTO's dispute settlement body or another mediator."

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

The São Paulo Proposal for an Agreement on Future International Climate Policy

    Authors:
  • Erik Haites
  • Farhana Yamin
  • Niklas Höhne
| October 2009

The São Paulo Proposal is designed to create a stable, long-term, universal regime based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Such a regime is required to encourage the technological change and structural shifts necessary to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations. Richer countries adopt binding targets that become more stringent over time. Financial and institutional provisions to enhance developing country implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions are strengthened.

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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.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

International Climate Technology Strategies

    Author:
  • Richard G. Newell
| October 2008

This paper considers opportunities for improved and expanded international development and transfer of climate technologies. It characterizes the economic scale of the climate technology challenge, and it reviews the pattern of public and private R&D and the rationale for R&D policies within the global innovation system. The paper clarifies the importance of options for inducing technology market demand through domestic GHG pricing, international trade, and international development assistance. It then turns to upstream innovation strategies, including international coordination and funding of climate technology R&D, and knowledge transfer through intellectual property. The paper concludes that a successful international effort to accelerate and then sustain the rate of development and transfer of GHG mitigation technologies must harness a diverse set of markets and institutions beyond those explicitly related to climate, to include those for energy, trade, development, and intellectual property.

Press Release

Harvard Launches Major Initiative to Help Design an International Climate Agreement

Summer 2007

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— Harvard University announced a two-year project to help identify key design elements of a future international agreement on climate change, drawing upon the ideas of leading thinkers from academia, private industry, government, and advocacy organizations, both in the industrialized world and in developing countries.