Publications

2016
Stavins, Robert N.What Does Trump’s Victory Mean for Climate Change Policy?.” PBS NewsHour, 2016. Publisher's Version

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Stavins, Robert N.Goodbye to the Climate.” The New York Times, 2016, sec. Op-Ed. Publisher's VersionAbstract

If Trump lives up to his campaign rhetoric, the country’s efforts to reverse climate change will themselves be reversed....

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Goulder, Lawrence H., and Robert N. Stavins. “New Emissions Targets Make Cap and Trade the Best Low-Cost, Market-Based Approach.” The Sacramento Bee, 2016. Publisher's Version

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Stavins, Robert N.A Key Challenge for Sustained Success of the Paris Agreement.” The Environmental Forum 33, no. 6 (2016): 15. column_75.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.Cap-and-Trade: How California Can Lead on Climate Policy.” The Environmental Forum 33, no. 5 (2016): 15. column_74.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.The Ever-Evolving Interrelationship Between GDP and Carbon Dioxide.” The Environmental Forum 33, no. 4 (2016): 17. column_73.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.The Paris Agreement Lays a Good Foundation for Climate Progress.” The Environmental Forum 33, no. 3 (2016): 13. column_72.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.The Paris Agreement – A Good Foundation for Meaningful Progress.” Green Fiscal Policy Network Newsletter, no. 4 (2016): 1–4. Publisher's Version

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Stavins, Robert N.State’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Doesn’t Cut Net Emissions.” Capitol Weekly (2016). Publisher's Version

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Stavins, Robert N.Trade Talks Can Follow Path of Paris Climate Change Agreement.” The Environmental Forum 33 (2016): 15. column_71.pdf

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Chan, Gabriel, Carlo Carraro, Ottmar Edenhofer, Charles Kolstad, and Robert Stavins. “Reforming the IPCC’s Assessment of Climate Change Economics.” Climate Change Economics 7 (2016). Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is broadly viewed as the world’s most legitimate scientific assessment body that periodically assesses the economics of climate change (among many other topics) for policy audiences. However, growing procedural inefficiencies and limitations to substantive coverage have made the IPCC an increasingly unattractive forum for the most qualified climate economists. Drawing on our observations and personal experience working on the most recent IPCC report, published last year, we propose four reforms to the IPCC’s process that we believe will lower the cost for volunteering as an IPCC author: improving interactions between governments and academics, making IPCC operations more efficient, clarifying and strengthening conflict of interest rules, and expanding outreach. We also propose three reforms to the IPCC’s substantive coverage to clarify the IPCC’s role and to make participation as an author more intellectually rewarding: complementing the IPCC with other initiatives, improving the integration of economics with other disciplines, and providing complete data for policymakers to make decisions. Despite the distinct characteristics of the IPCC that create challenges for authors unlike those in any other review body, we continue to believe in the importance of the IPCC for providing the most visible line of public communication between the scholarly community and policymakers.

chan_et_al_reforming_the_ipcc.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.Are the Pope’s Critiques of Markets on Point or Somewhat Misguided?.” The Environmental Forum 33 (2016): 15. column_70.pdf

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2015
Stavins, Robert N.Is Cheap Oil Good News or Bad?.” The Environmental Forum 32 (2015): 14. column_68.pdf

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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.

carraro_kolstad_stavins_feem_ipcc_1.pdf

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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.

ranson_stavins_climate_policy_2015.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.Thanks to Paris, We Have a Foundation for Meaningful Climate Progress.” The Conversation, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Paris deal has laid the foundations for real global progress on climate change. On that score, it must be judged a huge success.

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Stavins, Robert N.From the Science to the Economics and Politics of Climate Change: An Introduction.” In Our World and Us: How Our Environment and Our Societies Will Change, edited by Katinka Barysch, 20–36. Munich, Germany: Allianz Group, 2015. stavins_allianz_book_chapter.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.COP21 is Still on Track as Countries Drop Their More Unfeasible Ambitions.” The Conversation, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Progress is being made at the Paris climate talks, as negotiators being to accept the limits of what can and can't be delivered.

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Stavins, Robert N.A Five-Point Scorecard That Predicts Success at the Paris Climate Talks.” The Conversation, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

I returned from a brief trip to Paris two days before the horrific events of November 13, which shocked and saddened civilised people everywhere. I was in Paris for discussions regarding climate change…

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Lawrence, Robert, and Robert N. Stavins. “What the WTO Can Learn from Paris Climate Talks.” The Boston Globe (2015). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Negotiators for the discussions to take place in Nairobi should emulate the progress made in the climate change agreements.

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Pages