Publications by Year: 2013

Stavins, Robert N. “Is Obama's Climate Change Policy Doomed to Fail? Maybe Not.PBS NewsHour, 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Until there is an obvious, sudden and perhaps cataclysmic event, such as a loss of part of the Antarctic ice sheet, the odds would seem to be stacked heavi
Schmalensee, Richard, and Robert N Stavins. “The Sordid History of Congressional Acceptance and Rejection of Cap-and-Trade: Implications for Climate Policy.”, 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Not so long ago, cap-and-trade mechanisms for environmental protection were popular in Congress. Now, such mechanisms are denigrated. What happened? This column tells the sordid tale of how conservatives in Congress who once supported cap and trade now lambast climate change legislation as ‘cap-and-tax’. Ironically, conservatives are choosing to demonise their own market-based creation. The successful conservative campaign that disparaged cap-and-trade means it may now be politically impossible to promote it in the US. The good news? Elsewhere, cap and trade is now a proven, viable option for tackling large-scale environmental problems.
Solman, Paul, and Robert N Stavins. “Why the US and China Inspire Hope for International Climate Change Action.” PBS NewsHour, 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Protesters assemble outside the 19th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland, late last month.
Stavins, Robert N. “AB 32: The Whole World Is Watching.(California Assembly Bill That Became the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006).” The Environmental Forum 30 (2013): 14. column_57.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Action and Inaction in the Second Term.(pres. Barack Obama's Second Term Environmental Policies).” The Environmental Forum 30 (2013): 14. column_54.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Closing the Energy-Efficiency Gap.(Removing Barriers That Contribute to Under-Investment in Energy Efficient Technologies).” The Environmental Forum 30 (2013): 14. column_56.pdf


Stavins, Robert N, and Joseph E Aldy. “Designing the Post‑Kyoto Climate Regime.” In A New Global Covenant: Protection without Protectionism, edited by Mary H Kaldor and Joseph E Stiglitz, 205-230. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. desiging_the_post-kyoto_climate_regime_aldy_stavins.pdf


Economics of Climate Change and Environmental Policy: Selected Papers of Robert N. Stavins, 2000-2011
Stavins, Robert N. Economics of Climate Change and Environmental Policy: Selected Papers of Robert N. Stavins, 2000-2011. Northampton, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. 2013. Publisher's Version


Stavins, Robert N. “Film Review: David Roach and Warwick Ross. Red Obsession.” Journal of Wine Economics 8 (2013): 355–357. Publisher's Version red_obsession_stavins_jwe_2013.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Film Review: Jason Wise, Somm.” Journal of Wine Economics 8 (2013): 238–241. Publisher's Version somm_review_jwe.pdf


Ranson, Matthew, and Robert N Stavins. “Linkage of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Systems: Learning from Experience.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The last ten years have seen the growth of linkages between many of the world’s cap-and-trade systems for greenhouse gases (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 paper, we draw on the past decade of experience with carbon markets to test a series of hypotheses about 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 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. These 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.



Stavins, Robert N. “Navigating a Two-Way Street Between Academia and the Policy World.” In Introduction to Economics of Climate Change and Environmental Policy: Selected Papers of Robert N. Stavins, Volume II, 2000-2011. Northampton, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. 2013. stavins_introduction_selected_papers_2.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “The Ninth Largest Economy Steps Up.(California's Cap and Trade Program).” The Environmental Forum 30 (2013): 14. column_53.pdf


Ranson, Matthew, and Robert N Stavins. “Post-Durban Climate Policy Architecture Based on Linkage of Cap-and-Trade Systems.” Chicago Journal of International Law 13 (2013): 403–438. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The outcome of the December 2011 United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, provides an important new opportunity to move toward an international climate policy architecture that is capable of delivering broad international participation and significant global CO2 emissions reductions at reasonable cost. We evaluate one important component of potential climate polig architecture for the post-Durban era: links among independent tradable permit systems for greenhouse gases, because linkage reduces the cost of achieving given targets, there is tremendous pressure to link existing and planned cap-and-trade systems, and in fact, a number of links already or will soon exist. We draw on recent political and economic experience with linkage to evaluate potential roles that linkage may play in post-Durban international climate policy, both in a near-term, de facto architecture of indirect links between regional, national, and sub-national cap-and-trade systems, and in a longer-term, more comprehensive bottom-up architecture of direct links. Although linkage will certainly help to reduce long-term abatement costs, it may also serve as an effective mechanism for building institutional and political structure to support a future climate agreement. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]



Stavins, Robert N. “Reflections on a Personal Milestone.(economic Analysis of Environmental Policy Trends).” The Environmental Forum 30 (2013): 14. column_55.pdf


Schmalensee, Richard, and Robert N Stavins. “The SO2 Allowance Trading System: The Ironic History of a Grand Policy Experiment.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 27 (2013): 103–122. Publisher's Version schmalensee_stavins_jep_2013.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Why the Grass Is Always Greener.(carbon Tax Politics).” The Environmental Forum 30 (2013): 16. column_52.pdf