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Federal Policies to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Emissions Targets, Regulatory Design, and Broader Policy Goals
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
8:00am - 4:00pm

1st Floor Conference Room
Resources for the Future
1616 P St. NW
Washington, DC 20036

Policymakers in the United States confront a number of important choices as they consider policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How can a U.S. climate policy target be derived from long-term stabilization goals? How will the choice of key features in U.S. climate policy affect the level of reductions achieved and the costs of achieving them? What are the broader objectives - beyond emissions reductions - that the United States may have for domestic climate policy?

This one-day workshop featured panelists who have used climate economics modeling to address these questions. Panelists in the first two sessions discussed U.S. domestic mitigation targets in the context of global stabilization goals and the key design features which will determine the impact of climate policy. Panelists in the final session looked beyond the modeling to take a broader view of U.S. climate policy objectives - including policies for technology development and global participation - and discussed the institutional challenges of implementing legislation.

Video, Audio, and Presentations

Note: Flash is required to view video content. Audio can be streamed with Real Player or downloaded for use with any mp3 player.

Audio (mp3): Session 1, Session 2, Session 3  

Session 1: Selecting a Climate Policy Target for the United States  8:15 - 10:15am

How can a U.S. climate policy target be derived from long-term stabilization goals? Three modeling teams will present results on scenarios for global emissions mitigation and discuss the implications for the development of U.S. domestic mitigation targets. Panelists will also discuss key developments necessary to achieve stabilization.


Introduction and Session 1 Moderator

Billy Pizer, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

Billy Pizer

Henry D. Jacoby, Professor of management, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, MIT Sloan School of Management

Henry D. Jacoby
 Link to slides

Leon Clarke, Senior Research Economist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and staff member, Joint Global Change Research Institute

Leon Clarke
 Link to slides

Rich Richels, Senior Technical Executive for Climate Research, Electric Power Research Institute

Rich Richels
 Link to slides

Session 1 Question and Answer

Panel 1

Session 2: Impacts of Different U.S. Climate Change Targets and Design Choices 10:30am - 12:30pm

How will the choice of key features in U.S. climate policy affect the level of reductions achieved, the costs of achieving those reductions, distributional impacts, and other policy considerations? Panelists will take a more detailed and "U.S.-centric" view of climate policy, examining key design features - for example, emissions targets, offsets, sectoral coverage, or cost containment provisions - that affect policy impact through more detailed models of the U.S. economy and energy sector.




Terry Dinan, Senior Advisor for Climate Policy, Congressional Budget Office

Terry Dinan

Allen Fawcett, Senior Economist, Climate Economics Branch, U.S. EPA

Allen Fawcett
Link to slides

Howard Gruenspecht, Deputy Administrator, Energy Information Administration

Howard Gruenspecht
 Link to slides

Brian Murray, Director for Economic Analysis, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

Brian Murray
Link to slides

Session 2 question and answer

Session 2

Session 3: Broader Objectives for U.S. Climate Policy 1:30PM - 3:30PM

What are the broader objectives - beyond direct effects on regulated emissions levels - that the United States may have for domestic climate policy, and what are the implications of those objectives for domestic policy design? Experts will complement the previous two panels by discussing policy mechanisms to encourage technology development and global participation, institutional challenges of implementing legislation, key uncertainties, and how domestic policy might deal with our evolving knowledge.


Ray Kopp, Senior Fellow and Climate Policy Program Director, RFF

Ray Kopp



Nigel Purvis, Visiting Scholar, RFF

Nigel Purvis



Linda Cohen, Professor of economics and Associate Dean for research and graduate studies, School of Social Sciences, University of California-Irvine


Linda Cohen
   Link to slides



Bob Simon, Democratic Staff Director, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate

Bob Simon
  Link to slides



Session 3 question and answer

Panel 3



At RFF's monthly First Wednesday Seminar Series, scholars and experts exchange ideas and views with the RFF community on important energy, environmental, and natural resource topics.

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