2016

This is Not a Time for Political Neutrality

October 9, 2016

[Robert Stavins' blog] I have been writing essays at this blog for over seven years, and throughout that time, through perhaps 100 more-or-less-monthly essays, I have tried very hard to keep politics at bay, and to view each and every issue I discussed from a politically neutral, yet analytical economic perspective.  But I find it difficult to remain neutral in the current U.S. Presidential election cycle.

Paris Agreement Becomes International Law

October 7, 2016

[NPR ]...STAVINS: Well, actually if I had to choose one word to describe the Paris agreement, it would be the one you just used, Steve. I would say it's “pragmatic”. It's not the type of aspirational agreement that the Kyoto protocol was. It is pragmatic. It is based upon what's politically feasible in each of the countries.

UN Makes Power Play Against Trump

October 5, 2016

[The Hill ]...Most officials expected the climate deal, negotiated in December in Paris, to take effect no earlier than next year. A similar international climate accord, the Kyoto Protocol, wasn’t ratified for five years.

But the specter of a Trump presidency appears to have spurred the deal along.

“His threat stimulated this rapid series of ratifications — China, the USA, Europe, and many others,” Robert Stavins, the director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, wrote in an email.

A Key Moment for California Climate Policy

September 20, 2016

[Robert Stavins' blog] The past year has been a crucial time in international climate negotiations.  In December, 2015, in Paris, negotiators established an agreement on the next round of targets and actions to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which was signed in 1997 and will effectively close down in 2020.  In Paris, negotiators set up a new and meaningful agreement for multinational action through individual country

The Burning Debate Over Fossil Fuel Subsidies

September 1, 2016

[The Washington Diplomat ]...A study by Joseph Aldy, a Harvard University associate professor and former White House energy policy advisor, found the elimination of subsidies would have a negligible impact on U.S. oil and gas production, which is more closely linked to technological advances and the price of oil. Since 2014, U.S. oil and gas companies have eliminated more than 100,000 jobs as the price of oil plummeted, even though they were still receiving subsidies.

It's Hard to Talk About Climate Change. This Storytelling Project Wants to Make it Easier.

August 22, 2016

[Vox ]...Co-founders Trisha Shrum and Jill Kubit are asking people to create messages, photos, and videos to be opened in the years 2030 and 2050. The idea came about after Shrum heard a speech by Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Figueres said she had a dream where children look at her and ask, "You knew about climate change. What did you do?"

A Court Ruling That Could Save the Planet

August 12, 2016

[Bloomberg View ] Cass Sunstein: A federal court this week upheld the approach that the government uses to calculate the social cost of carbon when it issues regulations -- and not just the cost imposed on Americans, but on people worldwide. It’s technical stuff, but also one of the most important climate change rulings ever.

Market Mechanisms in the Paris Climate Agreement: International Linkage under Article 6.2

August 1, 2016

[Robert Stavins' blog] The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements hosted a research workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on July 14–15, 2016, the purpose of which was to identify options for elaborating and implementing the Paris Climate Agreement, and to identify policies and institutions that might complement or supplement the

Robert Stavins

HEEP Director Robert Stavins Receives Environmental Award

July 18, 2016

HEEP Director Robert N. Stavins was awarded the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Award, presented annually by the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) to a leader in advancing environmental policy in California. CCEEB is a coalition of business, labor, and public leaders seeking to promote both a sound economy and a healthy environment. The award is named after the former California governor, founding CCEEB Chairman, and father of current Governor Jerry Brown.