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Joe Stiglitz

Nobel Prize Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz Discusses Carbon Pricing and the Green Economy Transition in HPCA Virtual Forum

September 8, 2020

Author: Doug Gavel

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University, shared his thoughts on carbon pricing, the post-pandemic economic recovery, and green economy transition during a virtual forum Tuesday (September 8) sponsored by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements (HPCA), and hosted by...

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Vicky Bailey

Experienced Energy Sector Executive Shares Perspectives on Energy Policy, Climate Change, and Social Injustice: Latest Episode of "Environmental Insights" Podcast

September 4, 2020

Author: Doug Gavel

CAMBRIDGE MA. – Vicky Bailey, who has held high-level national and international corporate, executive, and government positions in the energy sector for more than 30 years, shared her thoughts on energy policy, climate change policy, the impacts of COVID-19, and systemic racial injustice in the newest episode of Environmental Insights: Discussions on...

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Dean Rachel Kyte

Fletcher School Dean Identifies Opportunities and Risks for Green Transition during Economic Recovery

August 24, 2020

Author: Doug Gavel

The dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University highlighted both the opportunities and potential pitfalls for green energy transitions as countries of the world recover from the economic calamities wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rachel Kyte spoke Wednesday (August 19) on the topic of “...

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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.

Environmental Insights Podcast

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Recent Publications

Aldy, Joseph E., and Robert N. Stavins. “Rolling the Dice in the Corridors of Power: William Nordhaus's Impacts on Climate Change Policy.” Harvard Environmental Economics Program Discussion Paper Series (2020).Abstract
The seminal contributions of William Nordhaus to scholarship on the long-run macroeconomics of global climate change are clear. Much more challenging to identify are the impacts of Nordhaus and his research on public policy in this domain. We examine three conceptually distinct pathways for that influence: his personal participation in the policy world; his research’s direct contribution to the formulation and evaluation of public policy; and his research’s indirect role informing public policy. Many of the themes that emerge in this assessment of the contributions of one of the most important economists to have worked in the domain of climate change analysis apply more broadly to the roles played by other leading economists in this and other policy domains.
Metcalf, Gilbert, and James H. Stock. “Measuring the Macroeconomic Impact of Carbon Taxes.” Harvard Environmental Economics Program Discussion Paper Series (2020).Abstract
Economists have long argued that a carbon tax is a cost effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Increasingly, members of Congress agree. In 2019, seven carbon tax bills were filed in Congress (Kaufman et al., 2019). In addition, the Climate Leadership Council has built bipartisan support for a carbon tax and dividend plan (Baker et al., 2017). In contrast, the Trump Administration is retreating from any climate policy and has taken steps to withdraw from the Paris Accord, citing heavy economic costs to the U.S. economy from meeting the U.S. commitments made during the Obama Administration. In his June 1, 2017 statement on the Accord, for example, the President claimed that the cost to the economy would be “close to \$3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs…” (Trump, 2017). What is the basis for claims about the economic impact of a carbon tax? Economic impacts of a carbon tax typically are estimated using computable general equilibrium (CGE) models (as was done for the report on which Trump based his claims). These models, while helpful, make many simplifying assumptions to remain tractable, including optimization, representative agents, and simplified expectations and dynamics, so at a minimum those estimates would ideally be complemented by empirical evidence on the macroeconomic effects of carbon taxes in practice. With carbon taxes in place in twenty-five countries around the world, including some dating to the early 1990s, empirical analysis of historical experience is now possible. This paper considers carbon taxes in Europe to estimate their impact on GDP and employment.
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News from the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Upcoming Events

HPCA Conversations on Climate Change and Energy Policy

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements is conducting a series of virtual forums addressing key issues in climate-change and related energy policy. Each forum will feature an expert guest and will be moderated by Robert Stavins, Director of the Harvard Project. 

We hope you can join us!

Next Scheduled Event: 

Monday, October 19, 2020
9:00 – 10:00 am (U.S./Canada Eastern Time)

Joe Aldy

Joseph Aldy

"Greening Economic Stimulus: Lessons from the 2009 Recovery Act"

Register in advance for this webinar

The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated an economic crisis in the United States and around the world. Once the public health risk is managed, the U.S. economy will likely face its highest unemployment rate and largest shortfall of economic activity since the Great Depression. Other economies across the world are likewise suffering through significant economic contractions that necessitate economic recovery programs. Environmental stakeholders, the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the International Energy Agency, and major politicians have called for the greening of future economic stimulus so that it simultaneously promotes job creation and addresses the climate crisis. Drawing from the lessons learned from the unprecedented U.S. spending on clean energy in the 2009 Recovery Act – from first-hand experience negotiating these provisions with Congress as a member of President Obama’s transition team, overseeing their implementation in practice at the White House, and conducting and synthesizing academic research on their performance – Joe Aldy will explore the potential design of and prospects for climate-oriented economic stimulus.

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