Environment & Climate Change

11 Items

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

A Climate Diplomacy Proposal: Carbon Pricing Consultations

    Authors:
  • Adele Morris
  • Warwick McKibbin
  • Peter Wilcoxen
| February 2013

The United States has considerable tax administration and cap-and-trade expertise that could highlight potentially successful carbon pricing approaches. Although this experience is not climate-related, the United States deploys an efficient and highly compliant excise tax system, and it could assist developing country efforts to build their own capacity to tax carbon. The United States also has long experience with cap-and-trade systems for criteria air pollutants, much of which is transferable to greenhouse-gas emissions trading.

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

    Author:
  • 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.

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.

A customer prepares to pump gas at a filling station in Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 29, 2010.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Reducing the U.S. Transportation Sector's Oil Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

This policy brief is based on Belfer Center paper #2010-02 and an article published in Energy Policy, Vol. 38, No. 3.

Oil security and the threat of climate disruption have focused attention on the transportation sector, which consumes 70% of the oil used in the United States.
This study explores several policy scenarios for reducing oil imports and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

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.

Testimony

Harvard's Gallagher Discusses New Report on Energy Policy Challenges Facing U.S.

| May 28, 2009

Will the Obama administration's plan for vehicle emissions standards and auto efficiency affect consumer behavior? During today's OnPoint, Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center, gives her take on the administration's recent auto emissions announcement and whether it will have any significant effects on the environment. Gallagher, editor of the new report, "Acting in Time on Energy Policy," explains why she believes Congress should consider a variable tax on the price of oil as part of the United States' energy policy.

Policy Brief - Consortium for Energy Policy Research

Acting in Time on Energy Policy

| May 20, 2009

This policy brief outlines urgent priorities for U.S. energy policy at the dawn of the Obama administration, and recommends specific steps that the U.S. government should take to address the numerous energy-related challenges facing the United States. It is based on the book, Acting in Time on Energy Policy (Brookings 2009), edited by Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center.

We concentrate on six topics: climate change policy, carbon capture and storage policy, oil security policy, energy-technology innovation policy, electricity market structure, and infrastructure policy. The United States cannot afford to wait any longer to enact long-term policies on these topics. In fact, acting early is clearly in the longer-term interest of the United States.