Environment & Climate Change

206 Items

Audio - Harvard Environmental Economics Program

The Power of Youth Climate Activism: A Conversation with Michael Greenstone

| Oct. 06, 2022

The explosion of youth climate activism in recent years has focused the world’s attention on the problem like never before, but Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, argues that young activists often err by trying to turn climate change into a moral issue rather than an environmental one. Greenstone shared his thoughts during the latest episode of “Environmental Insights: Discussions on Policy and Practice from the Harvard Environmental Economics Program,” a podcast produced by the Harvard Environmental Economics

Solar Panels in Israel

Courtesy of the Author, Michael Roth

Journal Article - Energy and Climate Change

Policy Spillovers, Technological Lock-In, and Efficiency Gains from Regional Pollution Taxes in the U.S.

| December 2022

We used the US-TIMES energy-system model in conjunction with integrated assessment models for air pollution (AP3, EASIUR, InMAP) to estimate the consequences of local air pollutant (LAP) and carbon dioxide (CO2) policy on technology-choice, energy-system costs, emissions, and pollution damages in the United States. We report substantial policy spillover: Both LAP and CO2 taxes cause similar levels of decarbonization. Under LAP taxes, decarbonization was a result of an increase in natural gas generation and a near-complete phaseout of coal generation in the electric sector. Under a CO2 tax, the majority of simulated decarbonization was a result of increased electric generation from wind and solar. We also found that the timing of the CO2 and LAP taxes was important. When we simulated a LAP tax beginning in 2015 and waited until 2025 to introduce a CO2 tax, the electric sector was locked into higher levels of natural gas generation and cumulative 2010–2035 energy system CO2 emissions were 8.8 billion tons higher than when the taxes were implemented simultaneously. A scenario taxing CO2 and LAPs simultaneously beginning in 2015 produced the highest net benefits, as opposed to scenarios that target either CO2 or LAPs, or scenarios that delayed either LAP or CO2 taxes until 2025. Lastly, we found that net benefits compared to business as usual are higher under a regional versus a national LAP-tax regime, but that efficiency gains under the regional tax are not substantially higher than those under the national LAP-tax policy.

Hong Kong's harbor and skyline

Wikimedia CC/Benh LIEU SONG

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Increasing the Emissions-Reduction Efficiency of Carbon Trading Schemes in China Under the “30.60” Target: Reflection on the Carbon Markets of Guangdong Province, China

  • Chen Shaoqing
| March 2022

The author explores opportunities for expanding the scope of Guangdong Province’s emissions trading system in the context of China’s recently-launched national carbon-pricing system.

Audio - Harvard Environmental Economics Program

Updating the Social Cost of Carbon: A Conversation with Maureen Cropper

| Mar. 08, 2022

Maureen Cropper, Distinguished University Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, makes a compelling case in favor of updating the social cost of carbon in the latest episode of “Environmental Insights: Discussions on Policy and Practice from the Harvard Environmental Economics Program.”

Book - Cambridge University Press

Foundations for a Low-Carbon Energy System in China

How can China make good on its pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2060? In Foundations for a Low-Carbon Energy System in China, a team of experts from China and the United States explains how China's near-term climate and energy policies can affect long-term decarbonization pathways beyond 2030, building the foundations for a smoother and less costly national energy transformation.

Audio - Resources Radio

When Will the Sun Set on Fossil Fuel Subsidies?

| Sep. 07, 2021

Joseph Aldy describes the challenge of reforming fossil fuel subsidies, given uncertainty about how much subsidies actually cost governments and given provisions in the US tax code that privilege fossil fuels over renewable energy sources. Aldy also elaborates on some policies that the Biden administration—which has committed to removing fossil fuel subsidies—could target as policymakers develop infrastructure legislation.

Solar panels outside of a Chinese city

Wikimedia CC/WiNG

News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Assessing China’s National Carbon Market: An HPCA Conversation with Valerie Karplus, Carnegie Mellon University

  • Doug Gavel
| July 22, 2021

China recently launched the world’s largest emissions trading market, but it is just one component of the nation’s ambitious efforts to curb the rise in greenhouse-gas emissions. That was the message delivered on Thursday (July 22) by Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor Valerie Karplus during a Virtual Forum 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.