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.
Over the last decade, market-based incentives have become the regulatory tool of choice when trying to solve difficult environmental problems. Evidence of their dominance can be seen in recent proposals for addressing global warming (through an emissions trading scheme in the Kyoto Protocol) and for amending the Clean Air Act (to add a new emissions trading systems for smog precursors and mercury–the Bush administration's "Clear Skies" program). They are widely viewed as more efficient than traditional command and control regulation. This collection of essays takes a critical look at this question, and evaluates whether the promises of market-based regulation have been fulfilled.