Publications

2010
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_olmsteadmontrealfinal-2.pdf

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

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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

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2009
Olmstead, Sheila M, and Robert N Stavins. “The Essential Pillars of a New Climate Pact.” Boston.com (2009). Publisher's Version
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Stavins, Robert. “Can Countries Cut Carbon Emissions Without Hurting Economic Growth? Yes, the Transition Can be Gradual – and Affordable.” The Wall Street Journal (2009). Publisher's Version
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Olmstead, Sheila M, and Robert N Stavins. “Comparing Price and Nonprice Approaches to Urban Water Conservation.” Water Resources Research 45 (2009): 10. Publisher's Version olmstead_stavins_water_resources_research.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Guest Commentary. A Portfolio of Domestic Commitments: Implementing Common but Differentiated Responsibilties.” Carbon Market North America 4 (2009): 6. stavins_point-carbon.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Institutions and Individuals. (universities' Environmental Responsibilities).” The Environmental Forum 26 (2009): 18. column_29.pdf

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Jaffe, Judson, Matthew Ranson, and Robert N Stavins. “Linking Tradable Permit Systems: A Key Element of Emerging International Climate Policy Architecture.” Ecology Law Quarterly 36 (2009): 789–808. Publisher's Version jaffe-ranson-stavins-elq.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “No Free Lunch at the Auto Cafe.(corporate Average Fuel Economy).” The Environmental Forum 26 (2009): 16. column_31.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Opportunity for a Defining Moment.” The Environmental Forum 26 (2009): 16. column_28.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “A Portfolio of Domestic Commitments: Implementing Common but Differentiated Responsibilities.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

International negotiations are focused on developing a climate policy framework for the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period will have ended. In addition to negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), other intergovernmental outlets, including the G20 and the Major Economies Forum, are trying to reach common ground among the world's major emitters of greenhouse gases. To date, these efforts have not produced a politically, economically, and environmentally viable structure for a future climate agreement. An effective, but more flexible and politically palatable approach could be an international agreement on a "portfolio of domestic commitments." Under such an agreement, nations would agree to honor commitments to greenhouse gas emission reductions laid out in their own domestic laws and regulations. A portfolio of commitments may emerge from a global meeting such as the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, or a smaller number of major economies could negotiate an agreement among themselves, and then invite other countries to join. Despite the obvious differences between such a system and the conventional "targets and timetables" in the Kyoto Protocol, negotiators should not dismiss this new approach out of hand. There are several ways to construct a portfolio of domestic commitments, and negotiators have numerous levers available to tailor an agreement to meet their political, economic, and environmental goals. This Viewpoint outlines some basic features of a portfolio approach, highlights a few major issues and concerns, and discusses the potential feasibility of this approach.

domesticcommitments_final.pdf

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Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy: Summary for Policymakers
Aldy, Joseph E, and Robert N Stavins, ed. Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy: Summary for Policymakers. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

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Stavins, Robert N. “The Stimulus and Green Jobs.” The Environmental Forum 26 (2009): 16. column_30.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Towards a Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy Regime.” In Beyond Copenhagen: A Climate Policymaker's Handbook, edited by Juan Delgado and Stephen Gardner, 53–62. Brussels, Belgium: Bruegel Books, 2009. aldy_stavins_bruegel_book_chapter.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Wonderful Politics of Cap-and-Trade.” The Environmental Forum 26 (2009): 16. column_32.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Worried About Competitiveness?The Environmental Forum 26 (2009): 18. column_33.pdf

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2008
Stavins, Robert N, Judson Jaffe, and Todd Schatzki. “Free Greenhouse Gas Cuts: Too Good to Be True?VoxEU.org, 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The possibility of “no cost” emission reductions has been raised by research on California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Here is a more sober assessment. Overly optimistic findings leave policymakers with inadequate appreciation of the stakes, and provide little insight into the relative cost of policy design alternatives.
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Stavins, Robert N. “Inspiration for climate change.” Boston.com (2008). Publisher's Version
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Stavins, Robert N. “AB 32 / Combating Global Warming.” San Diego Union‑Tribune (2008). Publisher's Version
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