Environment & Climate Change

1603 Items

The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia, located in the city of Segovia, Spain.  (Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0

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

The Collapse of Civilizations

| September 2018

Five causes of collapse appear paramount: major episodes of climate change, crises-induced mass migrations, pandemics, dramatic advances in methods of warfare and transport, and human failings in crises including societal lack of resilience and the madness, incompetence, cultic focus, or ignorance of rulers.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

An Economic Anatomy of Optimal Climate Policy

| August 2018

The authors introduce geoengineering into an optimal control model of climate economics. Together with mitigation and adaptation, carbon and solar geoengineering span all possible climate policies. Their wildly different characteristics have important implications for policy. They show in the context of their model that: (i) whether emissions are positive or zero the optimal carbon tax always equals the marginal cost of carbon geoengineering; (ii) the introduction of either form of geoengineering leads to higher emissions yet lower temperatures; (iii) in a world with above-optimal cumulative emissions, mitigation alone is insufficient and only a complete set of instruments can minimize climate damages.

This is an updated version of a paper first published in July 2017.

Susan Biniaz

HPCA/Casey Billings

News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Harvard Project on Climate Agreements Hosts Susan Biniaz

    Authors:
  • Robert C. Stowe
  • Casey Billings
| July 06, 2018

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements hosted Susan Biniaz, former lead attorney for the U.S. climate-change negotiating team (1989 – 2017), for several days in mid-April 2018, meeting with students and faculty focusing on climate-change policy and the Paris Agreement.

Report - Asia Society Policy Institute

Carbon Market Cooperation in Northeast Asia: Assessing Challenges and Overcoming Barriers

    Editor:
  • Jackson Ewing
| July 2018

This report includes 11 chapters that examine the challenges of and approaches to carbon market cooperation and linkage in Northeast Asia. The report begins with four chapters focused on the status of carbon markets in the region, with examinations of how legal and institutional frameworks can facilitate the varying national and local measures employed to strengthen links and yield dividends. Chapters five through seven describe the barriers to linkage, and the uneven impacts — whether positive or negative — of linkage across the region, and also identify opportunities to pursue other forms of non-traditional linkage pathways. The remainder of the report is organized around the particularities of emissions trading system policies and goals in China and Japan, with the final chapter making the case for the importance of business sector involvement in linkage efforts.

Report Chapter - Asia Society Policy Institute

The Paris Agreement's Article 6 and Cooperation in Northeast Asia to Address Climate Change

    Author:
  • Robert C. Stowe
| July 2018

This chapter explores how Article 6 of the Paris Agreement may support international cooperation to address climate change, with particular reference to Northeast Asia. The chapter focuses especially on Article 6.2, which provides the opportunity for countries to apply emissions reductions from other jurisdictions to the attainment of their own nationally determined contributions.

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

Rahm Emanuael/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

| June 18, 2018

Early in Richard Rhodes’s new book, “Energy: A Human History,” we hear of a prominent citizen using colorful language to lament the state of his polluted city and urge his government to shut down industry or move it elsewhere: “If there be a resemblance of hell upon earth, it is in this volcano [on] a foggy day.” Though this could easily apply to modern-day Beijing, the speaker here is John Evelyn, a wealthy horticulturalist and one of the founders of the scientific Royal Society of London — and he’s complaining about London in 1659.

Satellite image of Hurricane Katia (left) making landfall over the Mexican state of Veracruz, Hurricane Irma (center) approaching Cuba, and Hurricane Jose reaching peak intensity

NOAA

Journal Article - Review of Environmental Economics and Policy

Recommendations for Improving the Treatment of Risk and Uncertainty in Economic Estimates of Climate Impacts in the Sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report

| June 04, 2018

Large discrepancies persist between projections of the physical impacts of climate change and economic damage estimates. These discrepancies increase with increasing global average temperature projections. Based on this observation, the authors recommend that in its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) improve its approach to the management of the uncertainties inherent in climate policy decisions.

A petroleum refinery is seen in the background of a residential neighborhood.

AP Photo/David Goldman

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

NOVA: Holdren, Schrag Explain Climate Change

| Summer 2018

In a new PBS NOVA documentary, Decoding the Weather Machine, Holdren notes that climate science—accumulating since Fourier’s time—proves that humans are responsible for the big increases in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.