Publications by Year: 2010

Schmalensee, Richard, and Robert Stavins. “The Power of Cap-and- Trade.” (2010). Publisher's Version
Stavins, Robert N, and Richard Schmalensee. “Renewable Irony.” The Huffington Post, 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Those who believe that renewable electricity standards would create a huge number of green jobs have forgotten the lesson of Detroit: a large domestic market does not guarantee a healthy domestic industry.
Stavins, Robert N. “Why Cancun Trumped Copenhagen: Warmer Relations on Rising Temperatures.” Christian Science Monitor (2010). Publisher's VersionAbstract
The climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico, didn’t solve all the world’s climate problems. But they were hugely successful. Through the Cancun Agreements, 194 countries reached landmark consensus (even the US and China) to set emissions targets and limit global temperature increases.
Stavins, Robert N, and Robert W Hahn. “Why Cap-and-Trade Should (and Does) Have Appeal to Politicians.”, 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Are cap-and-trade schemes working? This column presents a summary of eight existing schemes arguing that half meet the independence property whereby the initial allocation of property rights does not affect the environmental or social outcome and the scheme is cost-effective. This success is a contrast with other policy proposals where political bargaining reduces the effectiveness and drives up cost.
Stavins, Robert N. “AB 32 and Climate Change: The National Context of State Policies for a Global Commons Problem.” Agricultural & Resource Economics Update 14 (2010): 2–5. stavins.update.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Beware Scorched-Earth Strategies.” The Environmental Forum 27 (2010): 14. column_38.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Can We Afford to Cut Carbon?The Environmental Forum 27 (2010): 16. column_34.pdf


Reinhardt, Forest L, and Robert N Stavins. “Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Strategy, and the Environment.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 26 (2010): 164 –181. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We examine the concept of firms sacrificing profits in the social interest within the environmental realm, with particular focus on the case of the United States by addressing four key questions. May they do so within the scope of their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders? Can they do so on a sustainable basis, or will the forces of a competitive marketplace render such efforts and their impacts transient at best? Do firms, in fact, frequently or at least sometimes behave this way, reducing their earnings by voluntarily engaging in environmental stewardship? Should firms carry out such profit-sacrificing activities (i.e. is this an efficient use of social resources)? We address these questions through the lens of economics, including insights from legal and business scholarship.



Stavins, Robert N. “In Defense of Pollution Markets.(emissions Trading).” The Environmental Forum 27 (2010): 16. column_39.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Knowing Success if You See It.” Outreach: A Multi-stakeholder Magazine on Environment and Sustainable Development (2010): 1–3. stavins_article_in_outreach_cancun.pdf


Peace, Janet, and Robert N Stavins. “Meaningful and Cost Effective Climate Policy: The Case for Cap and Trade.” Arlington, VA: Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2010. Publisher's Version case-for-cap-and-trade-paper.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Options for the Institutional Venue for International Climate Negotiations.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

It is exceptionally challenging to conclude a comprehensive and effective multilateral agreement to address global climate change among nations with divergent interests. This is true for many international issues. However, largely because any domestic policy or set of policies to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (whether intended to implement an international agreement or not) extend so deeply into the economic fabric of a nation, climate change negotiations have proven to be exceptionally difficult. The Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reinforced doubts about whether the UNFCCC should continue to be the primary institutional venue for global climate change negotiations. This issue brief assesses some other institutions that might serve to supplement or partially replace the UNFCCC.



Stavins, Robert N. “The Path Forward for Climate Talks.” The Environmental Forum 27 (2010): 18. column_35.pdf


Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy: Implementing Architectures for Agreement
Aldy, Joseph E, and Robert N Stavins, ed. Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy: Implementing Architectures for Agreement. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.


Stavins, Robert N. “State Eyes on the Climate Policy Prize.” The Environmental Forum 27 (2010): 16. column_37.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Storing Carbon in Wood: A Cheaper Way to Slow Climate Change?The Milken Institute Review 12 (2010): 18–25. Publisher's Version milken_institute_review_on_carbon_sequestration.pdf


Olmstead, Sheila M, and Robert N Stavins. “Three Key Elements of Post-2012 International Climate Policy Architecture.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We describe three essential elements of an effective post-2012 international global climate policy architecture: a means to ensure that key industrialized and developing nations are involved in differentiated but meaningful ways; an emphasis on an extended time path of targets; and inclusion of flexible market-based policy instruments to keep costs down and facilitate international equity. This architecture is consistent with fundamental aspects of the science, economics, and politics of global climate change; addresses specific shortcomings of the Kyoto Protocol; and builds upon the foundation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.



Stavins, Robert N. “Two Countries Key to Progress in 2010.” The Environmental Forum 27 (2010): 16. column_36.pdf


Stavins, Robert N, and Robert C Stowe. “What Hath Copenhagen Wrought? A Preliminary Assessment.” Environment 52 (2010): 8–14. Publisher's Version stavins_stowe_environment.pdf