Latest News

Good News for Incentive-Based Conservation: New Study Finds that Paying Communities for Forest Management Activities Supports Social Relationships

June 16, 2018

Research by economists at Amherst College and Oregon State University is the first to study the social capital impacts of a national-scale, globally relevant forest conservation incentives program.

(AMHERST, Mass., June 16, 2018) — Paying communities to conserve and manage their jointly owned property doesn’t just benefit the environment—it strengthens social relationships and a sense of community within those areas as well, according to new research led by professors Katharine Sims of Amherst College and Jennifer Alix-Garcia of Oregon...

Read more about Good News for Incentive-Based Conservation: New Study Finds that Paying Communities for Forest Management Activities Supports Social Relationships

Learn about HEEP

HEEP is a university-wide initiative addressing today's complex environmental challenges and is based in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. Learn more by reading director Robert Stavins' welcome message.

Recent Publications

Schmalensee, Richard, and Robert N. Stavins. “The Design of Environmental Markets: What Have We Learned From Experience With Cap and Trade?Oxford Review of Economic Policy 33, no. 4 (2017): 572–588.Abstract
Abstract: This article reviews the design of environmental markets for pollution control over the past 30 years, and identifies key market-design lessons for future applications. The focus is on a subset of the cap-and-trade systems that have been implemented, planned, or proposed around the world. Three criteria led us to the selection of systems for review. First, among the broader class of tradable permit systems, our focus is exclusively on cap-and-trade mechanisms, thereby excluding emission-reductioncredit or offset programmes. Second, among cap-and-trade mechanisms, we examine only those that target pollution abatement, and so we do not include applications to natural resource management, such as individual transferable quota systems used to regulate fisheries. Third, we focus on the most prominent applications—those that are particularly important environmentally, economically, or both. Keywords: environmental markets, cap-and-trade system, air pollution, global climate change JEL classification: Q58, Q28, Q53, Q54
Greenstone, Michael, Cass R. Sunstein, and Sam Ori. “The Next Generation of Transportation Policy.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, 2017.Abstract
Motor vehicle fuel-economy standards have long been a cornerstone of U.S. policy to reduce fuel consumption in the light-duty vehicle fleet. In 2011 and 2012 these standards were significantly expanded in an effort to achieve steep reductions in oil demand and greenhouse gas emissions through 2025, consistent with long-term U.S. policy goals. As a policy approach, however, standards that focus on efficiency alone, as opposed to lifetime consumption, impose unnecessarily high costs and do not deliver guaranteed petroleum savings. On the basis of a commitment to cost-benefit analysis, defining U.S. regulatory policy for more than 30 years, we propose a novel policy solution that would implement a cap-and-trade system in transportation. Acknowledging that the very idea of cap and trade has become controversial, we show that this approach would increase the certainty of reductions in fuel consumption in transportation and do so at a far lower cost per gallon avoided. Such an approach is consistent with the regulatory authority existing at key federal agencies.

News from the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Upcoming Events

2018 Sep 26

Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy

Repeats every week every Wednesday until Wed Dec 05 2018 except Wed Sep 12 2018, Wed Sep 19 2018, Wed Oct 24 2018, Wed Nov 21 2018, Wed Nov 28 2018.
4:15pm to 5:30pm


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