2016

Donald Trump Should Know: This Is What Climate Change Costs Us

December 15, 2016

[The New York Times ] Michael Greenstone and Cass Sunstein: Last week, Donald J. Trump’s transition team sent a startling questionnaire to the Department of Energy. Among other things, the questionnaire asked for the names of all employees and contractors who attended meetings of the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon, as well as all emails associated with those meetings, and the department’s “opinion” on the underlying issues — a request it essentially refused.

Clean Energy ‘Moving Forward’ Despite Trump’s E.P.A. Pick, Experts Say

December 8, 2016

[The New York Times ]...“The good news is that on its own, the U.S. economy has become less carbon intensive, and that trend will continue overall,” said Robert N. Stavins, the director of the environmental economics program at Harvard University. The bad news, he said, is that markets alone will not lower emissions enough to offset the worst impacts of global warming.

The Fate Of The Climate Under President Trump

November 18, 2016

[NPR radio interview with Robert N. Stavins] Delegates from nearly 200 countries are in Morocco this week to work out how to implement the Paris Climate Agreement. That's the historic accord under which countries including the U.S. pledged to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to help poorer countries transition away from fossil fuel.

But, with the election of Donald Trump last week, some environmentalists are worried the U.S. will backtrack.

What Does the Trump Victory Mean for Climate Change Policy?

November 10, 2016

[Robert Stavins' blog] Those of you who have read my previous essay at this blog, “This is Not a Time for Political Neutrality” (October 9, 2016), know that my greatest concerns about a Trump presidency (then a possibility, now a certainty), were not limited to environmental policy, but rather were “about what a Trump presidency would mean for my country and for the world in realms ranging from economic progress to national security to personal liberty,” based on his “own… Read more about What Does the Trump Victory Mean for Climate Change Policy?

Goodbye to the Climate

November 9, 2016

[The New York Times ] Robert N. Stavins: Donald J. Trump once tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” Twitter messages may not be clear signs of likely public policies, but Mr. Trump followed up during the campaign with his “America First Energy Plan,” which would rescind all of President Obama’s actions on climate change.

New Emissions Targets Make Cap and Trade the Best Low-Cost, Market-Based Approach

October 30, 2016

[The Sacramento Bee ] Lawrence Goulder and Robert Stavins: This is a critical time for California’s climate policies. Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown achieved his hope of extending California’s action beyond 2020, the termination date of Assembly Bill 32. Whereas AB 32 called for reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the newly signed Senate Bill 32 and AB 197 mandate an additional 40 percent reduction by 2030.

Breaking Down Clinton’s Climate Approach

October 14, 2016

[NPR ]...CURWOOD: So, what are the key elements of Secretary Clinton's climate and energy platform?

ALDY: Well, I think the first thing is that she recognizes climate change as a serious threat, that it's important that we bring resources to deal with the risk posed by climate change -- to make our economy more resilient to the threats posed by climate change, to make investments in clean energy that will both create jobs and create manufacturing.… Read more about Breaking Down Clinton’s Climate Approach

Tackling International Problems

October 12, 2016

[Harvard Gazette ]...Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, was awarded funding for a project called “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: International Cooperation in East Asia.” The project will build on previous collaboration between the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, a University-wide initiative based in the Harvard Kennedy School, and the National Center for Climate Change Strategy Research and International Cooperation (NCSC) in Beijing.