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Atmospheric Chemist Daniel Jacob Address the Role of Methane in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Global Climate Change

Atmospheric Chemist Daniel Jacob Address the Role of Methane in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Global Climate Change

September 8, 2022

Atmospheric Chemist Daniel Jacob Address the Role of Methane in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Global Climate Change in Newest Episode of

 “Environmental Insights”

Podcast is a production of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program

CAMBRIDGE MA. – Debates about global climate change policy often...

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Remembering a True Giant: New Journal Article Recounts the Contributions of Martin Weitzman to Environmental Economics and Other Fields

Remembering a True Giant: New Journal Article Recounts the Contributions of Martin Weitzman to Environmental Economics and Other Fields

August 31, 2022

When Martin Weitzman, Research Professor of Economics at Harvard University, passed away in 2019, his friends and colleagues mourned the loss of a truly influential figure in the field of economics. His impressive portfolio of theoretical and empirical research on everything from unemployment to inflation to climate change was extraordinarily substantive and impactful.  

In a new article published in the...

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HEEP Faculty Fellow Ariel Pakes is 2022 Nemmers Prize Winner

HEEP Faculty Fellow Ariel Pakes is 2022 Nemmers Prize Winner

August 10, 2022

Congratulations to Ariel Pakes, Thomas Professor of Economics for receiving the Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics. The biennial prizes recognize top scholars for their lasting significance, outstanding achievements, contributions to knowledge and the development of significant new modes of analysis. Read more about Professor Pakes' research...

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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.

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Recent Publications

Aldy, Joseph E.Learning How to Build Back Better through Clean Energy Policy Evaluation,” 2022, dp\_93.Abstract

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act authorized and appropriated unprecedented spending and tax expenditures to decarbonize the American economy. In the spirit of “build back better,” this paper examines how integrating evaluation in the design and implementation of these new clean energy policies can facilitate the learning necessary for policymakers to make policy better over time. It draws lessons from two case studies: (1) on institutionalizing evaluation based on the experience with regulatory review, and (2) on conducting evaluation based on the research literature assessing the 2009 Recovery Act’s clean energy programs. The paper identifies in recent legislation the programs and their characteristics amenable to various evaluation methodologies. The paper closes with recommendations for a clean energy program evaluation framework that would enable implementation of climate-oriented learning agendas under the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act.

Keywords: program evaluation, learning agendas, renewable energy, energy efficiency

Aldy, Joseph E., and Zachery M Halem. “The Evolving Role of Greenhouse Gas Emission Offsets in Combating Climate Change,” 2022, dp\_92.Abstract

As governments, firms, and universities advance ambitious greenhouse gas emission goals, the demand for emission offsets – projects that reduce or remove emissions relative to a counterfactual scenario – will increase. Reservations about an offset’s additionality, permanence, double-counting, and leakage pose environmental, economic, and political challenges. We review the role of offsets in regulatory compliance, as an incentive for early action, and in implementing voluntary emission goals. The rules and institutions governing offsets drive large variations in prices and in the types of projects deployed to reduce or remove emissions across offset programs. A lack of carbon price convergence and potential information asymmetries may contribute to limited price discovery and market segmentation. Taking into account the financial properties of offsets, an array of financial and technological innovations could enhance offsets’ environmental integrity and promote liquid offset markets. Unresolved questions about the future of policy will influence the evolution of voluntary offsets markets.    

Keywords: climate change, certified emission reductions, offsets, cap-and-trade, corporate social responsibility

JEL Codes: Q54, Q52, Q58, H23

Ramelli, Stefano, Alexander Wagner, Alexandre Ziegler, and Richard Zeckhauser. “Investor Rewards to Climate Responsibility: Stock-Price Responses to the Opposite Shocks of the 2016 and 2020 U.S. Elections.” Harvard Environmental Economics Program, 2021.Abstract
Donald Trump’s 2016 election and his nomination of climate skeptic Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency drastically downshifted expectations on U.S. policy toward climate change. Joseph Biden’s 2020 election shifted them dramatically upward. We study firms’ stock-price movements in reaction. As expected, the 2016 election boosted carbon-intensive firms. Surprisingly, firms with climate-responsible strategies also gained, especially those firms held by long-run investors. Such investors appear to have bet on a ‘‘boomerang’’ in climate policy. Harbingers of a boomerang already appeared during Trump’s term. The 2020 election marked its arrival. (JEL G14, G38, G41)
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News from the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

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: 

TBD

To access recordings and transcripts of past events, please go to the HPCA Conversations Series webpage.

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