Past Seminar

A Policy Briefing on Strategies for Post-Kyoto Climate Policy

Oct 4, 2007

About the Event

Resources for the Future and the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements Present: A Policy Briefing on Strategies for Post-Kyoto Climate Policy
October 4, 2007

Increasing greenhouse gas emissions have triggered a global experiment with an uncertain outcome for the future of the planet. The Kyoto Protocol serves as an initial step through 2012 to mitigate threats posed by global climate change.

A second step is needed, and policymakers, scholars, business planners, and environmentalists have begun debating the structure of the successor to the Kyoto agreement. In a just-published volume, Architectures for Agreement: Addressing Global Climate Change in the Post - Kyoto World, leading thinkers in economics, law, and international relations examine the merits of six alternative international strategies for future climate policy.

On October 4th, the editors of Architectures for Agreement presented key highlights of the book's analysis. This was followed by commentaries on the current climate policy negotiations--including the White House meeting of major nations on energy security and climate change--by the coordinator of White House climate change policy in the Clinton Administration and the former director of the Climate Change Technology Program in the Bush Administration.

Audio (mp3) 

Architectures for Agreement: Addressing Global Climate Change in the Post - Kyoto World
Joseph E. Aldy and Robert N. Stavins, Editors

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Phil Sharp, President, RFF


Robert N. Stavins, Director, Harvard University Environmental Economics Program; co-editor

Presentation Slides

Joseph E. Aldy, Fellow, RFF; co-editor


Robert N. Stavins, Director, Harvard University Environmental Economics Program; co-editor



Todd Stern, Vice Chair, Public Policy and Strategy Practice, WilmerHale; and Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress


David W. Conover, Esq., founding principal, David Conover and Associates, and Counsel, National Commission on Energy Policy


Question and Answer


This event was sponsored by Resources for the Future and the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements, which is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Commentary on the book:

"The Kyoto Protocol was at best an imperfect and incomplete first step toward an effective response to the enormously difficult problem of climate change, which is characterized by huge stakes, great uncertainties, global scope, and a time-scale measured in decades or centuries. In this important volume, Joseph Aldy, Robert Stavins, and a host of distinguished contributors provide a thoughtful exploration of a range of alternative post-Kyoto top-down and bottom-up regimes and their implications. This book should be read by everyone who takes climate change seriously as a policy problem."
-- Richard Schmalensee, John C. Head III Dean, Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management

"Architectures for Agreement
is a genuinely interdisciplinary book that takes institutions and incentives seriously. Critically evaluating proposals for climate change policy that fail to take political realities into account, its authors put forward alternatives worthy of serious consideration and debate."
-- Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University

"Now that global climate change is on the international agenda, we all desperately need to construct a reasoned basis on which to build an architecture of agreement among nations. This book presents a set of penetrating essays that go a long way toward that goal."
-- Sir Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge

"As diplomats and politicians around the world -- from the G8 leaders to mayors of our larger cities -- struggle to find a formula for a global regime that would successfully tackle the threat of climate change, what they need most is a clear and dispassionate description of the pros and cons of the competing regimes being offered up to them. And that is exactly what they will find in this volume, as it first describes and then tests the three basic approaches to the problem. As Lawrence Summers points out in the foreword, what makes global warming so hard is that it requires international cooperation at a scale to which we are not accustomed. But by thoughtfully organizing the lucidly written contributions of some 20 distinguished contributors, Joseph Aldy and Robert Stavins, the editors, give us what they promise in the title, Architectures for Agreement."
-- Frank Loy, Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs and Former Chief Climate Change Negotiator for the United States, 1998-2001



  • Joseph E. Aldy, University Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Robert N. Stavins, University Fellow, A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development, Director, Environmental Economics Program, Harvard University