Linking Heterogeneous Climate Policies (Consistent with the Paris Agreement)

51 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2017

See all articles by Michael A. Mehling

Michael A. Mehling

MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR)

Gilbert E. Metcalf

Tufts University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert N. Stavins

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Resources for the Future; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: September 16, 2017

Abstract

The Paris Agreement has achieved one of two key necessary conditions for ultimate success – a broad base of participation among the countries of the world. But another key necessary condition has yet to be achieved – adequate collective ambition of the individual nationally determined contributions. How can the climate negotiators provide a structure that will include incentives to increase ambition over time? An important part of the answer can be international linkage of regional, national, and sub‐ national policies, that is, formal recognition of emission reductions undertaken in another jurisdiction for the purpose of meeting a Party’s own mitigation objectives. A central challenge is how to facilitate such linkage in the context of the very great heterogeneity that characterizes climate policies along five dimensions – type of policy instrument; level of government jurisdiction; status of that jurisdiction under the Paris Agreement; nature of the policy instrument’s target; and the nature along several dimensions of each Party’s Nationally Determined Contribution. We consider such heterogeneity among policies, and identify which linkages of various combinations of characteristics are feasible; of these, which are most promising; and what accounting mechanisms would make the operation of respective linkages consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Suggested Citation

Mehling, Michael A. and Metcalf, Gilbert E. and Stavins, Robert N., Linking Heterogeneous Climate Policies (Consistent with the Paris Agreement) (September 16, 2017). HKS Working Paper No. RWP17-042. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3042820 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3042820

Michael A. Mehling

MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Gilbert E. Metcalf

Tufts University - Department of Economics ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States
617-627-3685 (Phone)
617-627-3917 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Robert N. Stavins (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1820 (Phone)
617-496-3783 (Fax)

Resources for the Future

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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