Robert StavinsRobert Stavins is the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, Director of Graduate Studies for the Doctoral Program in Public Policy and the Doctoral Program in Political Economy and Government, Co-Chair of the Harvard Business School-Kennedy School Joint Degree Programs, and Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

Tel: 617-495-1820
Office: Littauer 306
Assistant: Jason Chapman
Tel: 617-496-8054
Mailing Address:
Robert N. Stavins
Harvard Kennedy School, Mailbox #11
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Carraro, Carlo, Charles D Kolstad, and Robert N Stavins. “Assessment and Communication of the Social Science of Climate Change: Bridging Research and Policy” (2015). Publisher's VersionAbstract
On February 18-20, 2015, twenty-four experts gathered in Berlin to explore approaches to improving the process by which research on climate change is assessed – with a focus on the social-sciences (economics, political science, policy studies). The workshop was sponsored by the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, and the Stanford Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis Center. Leaders of three of the sponsoring organizations, Carlo Carraro (FEEM), Charles Kolstad (Stanford University), and Robert Stavins (Harvard Kennedy School), have prepared a memorandum drawing from the workshop. The memo describes the specific challenges and opportunities facing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and provides recommendations for improving the IPCC's process of assessing scientific research on climate change.
Ranson, Matthew, and Robert N Stavins. “Linkage of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Systems: Learning from Experience.” Climate Policy (2015): 1–17. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The last ten years have seen the growth of linkages between many of the world's cap-and-trade systems for GHGs, both directly between systems, and indirectly via connections to credit systems such as the Clean Development Mechanism. If nations have tried to act in their own self-interest, this proliferation of linkages implies that for many nations, the expected benefits of linkage outweighed expected costs. In this article, we draw on the past decade of experience with carbon markets to examine why systems have demonstrated this revealed preference for linking. Linkage is a multi-faceted policy decision that can be used by political jurisdictions to achieve a variety of objectives, and we find qualitative evidence that many economic, political, and strategic factors – ranging from geographic proximity to integrity of emissions reductions – influence the decision to link. We also identify some potentially important effects of linkage, such as loss of control over domestic carbon policies, which do not appear to have deterred real-world decisions to link.Policy relevanceThese findings have implications for the future role that decentralized linkages may play in international climate policy architecture. The Kyoto Protocol has entered what is probably its final commitment period, covering only a small fraction of global GHG emissions. Under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, negotiators may now gravitate toward a hybrid system, combining top-down elements for establishing targets with bottom-up elements of pledge-and-review tied to national policies and actions. The incentives for linking these national policies are likely to continue to produce direct connections among regional, national, and sub-national cap-and-trade systems. The growing network of decentralized, direct linkages among these systems may turn out to be a key part of a future hybrid climate policy architecture.
Carraro, Carlo, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland, Charles Kolstad, Robert N. Stavins, and Robert Stowe. “The IPCC at a Crossroads: Opportunities for Reform.” Science 350 (2015): 34–35. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has proven its value as an institution for large-scale scientific collaboration to synthesize and assess large volumes of climate research for use by policy-makers, as well as for establishing credibility of findings among diverse national governments. But the IPCC has received considerable criticism of both its substance and process. The new IPCC leadership to be elected in October could help guide the IPCC to a clear, shared understanding of future objectives and could shape procedural reforms. We identify key opportunities for reform by addressing two related questions: Is the IPCC doing the right things? Is the IPCC doing things right?

My Blog: An Economic View of the Environment


Roles and Responsibilities

Albert Pratt Professor of Business & Government, Harvard Kennedy School

Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program

Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Director of Graduate Studies for Ph.D. in Public Policy, and Political Economy & Government

Co-Chair, HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program

Faculty Chair, Exec Ed Course Climate Change & Energy: Policy Making for the Long Term

University Fellow, Resources for the Future

Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research

Co-Editor, The Journal of Wine Economics

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