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You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publishing Institution Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Topic Climate Change Remove constraint Topic: Climate Change
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  • Author: René Castro
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In 2014, world per capita greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent terms (CO2e), exceeded 7 tons. Per capita emissions for Latin America and the Caribbean were even higher, at 9 tons CO2e. To achieve international goals for the stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for annual emissions to fall to 2 tons per capita by the year 2050 and 1 ton per capita by the year 2100. It is clear that we face a moral problem: everyone needs to, and can contribute to, the fight against climate change (Pope Francis, 2015). Improvements in eco-efficiency—defined as a combination of reducing waste and reducing the use of raw inputs—offer one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering production costs. In addition, changes in culture—at the level of individual businesses, countries, or both—can enhance the eco-competitive position of these businesses and countries. This paper describes three examples from Costa Rica and shows how the goal of achieving carbon neutrality can provide incentives for improving eco-efficiency and eco-competitiveness.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jeffrey Frankel, Valentina Bosetti, James W. Harpel
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Those worried about the future of the earth's climate are hoping that the climate change convention in Lima, Peru, in December 2014, will yield progress toward specific national commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. The Lima conference will be hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is a prelude to the make-or-break Paris meeting of the UNFCCC, in December 2015, where a new international agreement is scheduled to be concluded.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Governance
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Peru
  • Author: Joseph E. Aldy
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: An extensive literature shows that information-creating mechanisms enhance the transparency of and can support participation and compliance in international agreements. This paper draws from game theory, international relations, and legal scholarship to make the case for how transparency through policy surveillance can facilitate more effective international climate change policy architecture. This paper critically evaluates the historic practice of monitoring and reporting under the global climate regime, with a focus on how surveillance affects the legitimacy, reciprocity, and adequacy of climate agreements. Given the inadequate nature of climate policy surveillance, I draw lessons from policy surveillance in multilateral economic, environmental, national security, and other contexts. I also describe how the institution of policy surveillance can facilitate a variety of climate policy architectures. This evaluation of policy surveillance suggests that transparency is necessary for global climate policy architecture.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Robert N. Stavins, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The goal of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements is to help identify and advance scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically pragmatic public policy options for addressing global climate change. Drawing upon leading thinkers in Argentina, Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan, and the United States, the Project conducts research on policy architecture, key design elements, and institutional dimensions of domestic climate policy and a post-2015 international climate policy regime. The Project is directed by Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Daniel Bodansky
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In December 2011, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, which launched a new round of negotiations aimed at developing "a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force" for the post-2020 period. The Durban Platform negotiations got underway this year and are scheduled to conclude in 2015. This Viewpoint analyzes the elements of the Durban Platform and the possible role that a new instrument might play.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Author: Robert N. Stavins, Joseph E. Aldy
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A key outcome of the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP-17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Durban, South Africa, late in 2011 — the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action — represents an important milestone in the history of climate negotiations. This is because it departs from the long-standing and problematic dichotomous division of the world's countries into those with serious emissions-reduction responsibilities and the others — with no such responsibilities whatsoever. That distinction, now apparently abandoned, has prevented meaningful progress for decades. The Durban Platform — by replacing the Berlin Mandate's (1995) division of the world into a set of countries with ambitious responsibilities and another set of countries with no responsibilities — has opened an important window. National delegations from around the world now have a challenging task before them: to identify a new international climate policy architecture that is consistent with the process, pathway, and principles laid out in the Durban Platform, while still being consistent with the UNFCCC. The challenge is to find a way to include all key countries in a structure that brings about meaningful emission reduction on an appropriate timetable at acceptable cost, while recognizing the different circumstances of countries in a way that is more subtle, more sophisticated, and — most important — more effective than the dichotomous distinction of years past.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: South Africa, United Nations, Durban
  • Author: Robert N. Stavins
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Why should anyone be interested in the national context of a state policy? In the case of California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), the answer flows directly from the very nature of the problem— global climate change, the ultimate global commons problem. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) uniformly mix in the atmosphere. Therefore, any jurisdiction taking action—whether a nation, a state, or a city—will incur the costs of its actions, but the benefits of its actions (reduced risk of climate-change damages) will be distributed globally. Hence, for virtually any jurisdiction, the benefits it reaps from its climate-policy actions will be less than the cost it incurs. This is despite the fact that the global benefits of action may well be greater—possibly much greater—than global costs.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Valentina Bosetti, Matthew Bunn, Michela Catenacci, Audrey Lee, Laura Diaz Anadon
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Nuclear Power
  • Author: Daniel Bodansky
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On December 31, 2012, the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period will expire. Unless states agree to a second commitment period, requiring a further round of emissions cuts, the Protocol will no longer impose any quantitative limits on states' greenhouse gas emissions. Although, as a legal matter, the Protocol will continue in force, it will be a largely empty shell, doing little if anything to curb global warming.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Author: Matthew Bunn, Charles Jones, Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Ruud Kempener, Laura Diaz Anadon, Gabriel Chan, Melissa Chan, Audrey Lee, Nathaniel Logar
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United States needs a revolution in energy technology innovation to meet the profound economic, environmental, and national security challenges that energy poses in the 21st century. If the U.S. government does not act now to improve the conditions for innovation in energy, even in times of budget stringency, it risks losing leadership in one of the key global industries of the future, and the world risks being unable to safely mitigate climate change and to reduce vulnerability to disruptions and conflicts—both domestic and international. Waiting is not an option.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Fulvio Conti
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Copenhagen in December 2009 did not produce a new international treaty with binding emissions commitments, but have defined a roadmap for dealing with global climate change in the post-2012 era. As countries continue to pursue new models for global agreement, it will be important to learn from the weaknesses of past approaches, while building on positive aspects of the experience with the Kyoto Protocol so far.
  • Topic: Climate Change, United Nations, Kyoto Protocol
  • Author: Paula Dobriansky, Vaughan Turekian
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The twelve years since the conclusion of Kyoto have provided an abundance of ideas and experiences that can contribute to effective global action to address climate change. Individually, developed and developing countries are establishing and implementing national policies and investing in new technologies. Internationally, governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are working together in numerous venues to share ideas, to coordinate policies in areas such as regulation, research, and investment, and to distill lessons that can be incorporated into new policies. Linking these many efforts, which range from large international exchanges to targeted multilateral groups to actionoriented partnerships, will be crucial to success in combating climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Non-Governmental Organization, Kyoto Protocol
  • Author: Erik Haites
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: An effective international climate agreement poses formidable challenges. Existing agreements, naturally, have some good features. Further improvements are being discussed in the current negotiations. But the cost and uncertainty associated with regular renegotiation of commitments is not being addressed. The São Paulo Proposal suggests mechanisms that would avoid the need for regular renegotiation of commitments and suggests other ways to make international climate agreements more effective.
  • Topic: Climate Change, United Nations, Kyoto Protocol
  • Author: Henry Lee, Kelly Sims Gallagher, W. Ross Morrow, Gustavo Collantes
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Harder Than it Looks. Reducing oil consumption and carbon emissions from transportation is a much greater challenge than conventional wisdom assumes. It will require substantially higher fuel prices, ideally in combination with more stringent regulation. Higher Gasoline Prices Essential. Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the transportation sector 14% below 2005 levels by 2020 may require gas prices greater than $7/gallon by 2020. Tax Credits Expensive. While relying on subsidies for electric or hybrid vehicles is politically seductive, it is extremely expensive and an ineffective way to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near term. Climate and Economy Not a Zero Sum Game. Aggressive climate change policy need not bring the economy to a halt. Even under high-fuels-tax, high-carbon price scenarios, losses in annual GDP, relative to business-as-usual, are less than 1%, and the economy is still projected to grow at 2.1-3.7% per year assuming a portion of the revenues collected are recycled to taxpayers.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Akihiro Sawa
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: With the gap between developed and developing nations remaining unclosed, post-Kyoto Protocol negotiations have run into rough waters: Developing countries insist that developed countries be committed to more ambitious targets for the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol and provide large amounts of financial or technological assistance to developing countries, while developed countries propose that financial and technological support be balanced with developing countries' mitigation actions and measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV).
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Daniel Bodansky
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The failure of the Copenhagen conference to adopt a new legal agreement on climate change is blamed by some on poor chairing or other transitory factors. But the problems with the UN climate-change negotiations are more fundamental and are unlikely to go away anytime soon. Rather than putting all of our eggs in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) basket or listening to the siren song of a new legal agreement, states should seek to address climate change in additional forums and through additional means.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)-established by the Kyoto Protocol of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change-is an emissions offset program that allows industrialized countries to receive credits for funding emissions reduction projects in developing countries. The program is intended to provide a cost-effective way for industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time supporting sustainable development in developing countries. However, the CDM has been criticized for its lengthy and expensive project approval procedures, its exclusion of many categories of potentially important mitigation activities, and its methodologies for calculating whether projects actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In response to these problems, this Issue Brief presents a variety of options for reforming the CDM.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Akinobu Yasumoto, Mutsuyoshi Nishimura
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: An effective policy approach to climate change would be a global emission trading system. Opinions differ, however, as to what approach should be pursued when fostering a global emissions trading system. Many argue in favor of linking various national and regional emission trading systems as a possible way forward. However, an alternative method, which involves developing a new system from the ground up, could prove more advantageous. Under an Upstream Global Emission Trading System (UGETS), all nations would use an upstream emissions trading system that would result in far fewer monitoring points than a downstream system. A nation would only need to keep track of domestic shipments and imports of fossil fuels.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin, Peter Wilcoxen, Adele Morris
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s 2007 Bali Plan of Action calls for the next agreement to ensure the "comparability of efforts" across developed countries while "taking into account differences in their national circumstances." Trends in national emissions and economic growth vary widely between countries, as do yearto-year fluctuations around those trends. This means that achieving similar reductions relative to historical base years can require very different levels of efforts in different countries. These differences have greatly hampered climate cooperation because it means that commitments that are similar in effort look inequitable. Further, divergent underlying trends make it difficult to know the effort that any particular commitment will require. The failure of the G-8 to set a base year for its agreed 80 percent reduction of emissions by 2050 illustrates the contention in formulating even collective targets.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Benedict Kingsbury, Richard B. Stewart, Bryce Rudyk
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Climate finance is fundamental to curbing anthropogenic climate change. Compared, however, to the negotiations over emissions reduction timetables, commitments, and architectures, climate finance issues have received only limited and belated attention. Assuring delivery and appropriate use of the financial resources needed to achieve emissions reductions and secure adaptation to climate change, particularly in developing countries, is as vital as agreement on emission caps. Yet, a comprehensive framework on financing for mitigation and adaptation is not in sight. Developed and developing countries cannot agree on even the fundamentals of what should be included (e.g. should private finance through carbon markets be included?), let alone the level and terms of financing commitments, regulatory and other mechanisms, or governance structures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements