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NEWS: HEEP Director, Affiliates Participate in IPCC Process


            Robert Stavins, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, joined colleagues in Changwon, Republic of Korea in mid-July to begin preparing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fifth Assessment Report (“AR5”). The IPCC is the intergovernmental organization dedicated to compiling the most rigorous natural and social-scientific research on climate change; the IPCC Assessment Reports are the scientific gold standard in this field.

            Professor Stavins is the Co-Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of Chapter 13 in IPCC’s Working Group III. The chapter is titled “International Cooperation: Agreements and Instruments”; Working Group III addresses approaches to mitigating climate change. Professor Stavins provides guidance to and coordination of the chapter team’s thirteen experts from around the world. His Co-CLA is Zou Ji, Professor of Environmental Economics at Renmin University in Beijing and China Country Director for the World Resources Institute.

Four other Working Group III participants have HEEP affiliations:

  • Karen Fisher-Vanden, former HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellow and Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, Penn State University: Chapter 6, “Assessing Transformation Pathways.”
  • Charles Kolstad, former HEEP Visiting Scholar and Professor of Environmental Economics, University of California at Santa Barbara: Co-CLA, Chapter 3, “Social, Economic and Ethical Concepts and Methods.”
  • Eswaran (“Som”) Somanathan, former HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellow and Professor in the Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi: Co-CLA of Chap. 15, “National and Sub-National Policies and Institutions.”
  • Martin Weitzman, HEEP Faculty Fellow and Professor of Economics, Harvard University: Chapter 2, “Integrated Risk and Uncertainty Assessment of Climate Change Response Policies.”

In addition, many Working Group III experts have authored or co-authored Discussion Papers released by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, closely affiliated with HEEP:

Geoffrey Blanford (Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto)
Valentina Bosetti (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Venice)
Carlo Carraro (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Venice)
Chen Wenying (Tsinghua University, Beijing)
James Edmonds (Joint Global Change Research Institute, College Park, Maryland)
Leon Clarke (Joint Global Change Research Institute, College Park, Maryland)
Axel Michaelowa (University of Zurich)
Sergey Paltsev (MIT)
Richard Richels (Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto)
Massimo Tavoni (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Venice)
Teng Fei (Tsinghua University, Beijing)
David Victor (University of California, San Diego)

            Finally, two expert participants in Working Group III with Harvard Project or HEEP affiliations resigned from the AR5 process because they were appointed to positions in the United States government subsequent to their IPCC appointment. (IPCC’s reports are intended to convey objective scientific research, not the positions of governments.)  These are Gilbert E. Metcalf, author or co-author of two HPCA Discussion Papers, on leave as Professor of Economics at Tufts University, and currently serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Environment and Energy; and Nathaniel Keohane, former HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellow, currently serving in the White House as Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment.

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