Saturday, January 26, 2008

Harvard Open Paper Competition -- Climate Policy Framework



The Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements invites submission of papers focused on the design of international climate policy architectures.  Papers should propose a complete policy framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol in the post-2012 period.   

The Harvard Project will select one or more submitted papers and award winning authors an honorarium of US$3,000 per paper.   The Harvard Project will publish the winning paper through the Project’s Working Paper Series and website:

Papers should be submitted as a PDF file attachment by email to by July 1, 2008.  Include “HARVARD PROJECT PAPER” on the subject line of the email.  The paper should include the following: the title of the paper, name and institutional affiliation of author(s) and their disciplines on the title page; a one-page abstract; and text not too exceed 10,000 words.  Only English-language papers will be considered in the competition.  Email submissions should also include a PDF file attachment of the lead author’s curriculum vitae.

The Harvard Project will acknowledge receipt of all submissions by email.  Notification of acceptance will be made by September 1, 2008. 

This call for papers is open to policy practitioners, scholars, students, and others in all fields from developed and developing countries.  Professors, researchers, students, and others affiliated with Harvard University or Resources for the Future are not eligible to participate in this competition.

Criteria for Evaluating Papers

The Harvard Project will evaluate the submitted papers based on how effectively they address the following questions:

(1) What incentives does the policy framework provide for participation and compliance?

(2) Is the policy approach robust to various economic, political, and environmental shocks as well as the resolution of uncertainty over time?

(3) Is it politically feasible to transition from the Kyoto Protocol to the proposed policy architecture?  How does the proposed approach address major issues raised in the Bali Action Plan, including mitigation, adaptation, technology, and financial mechanisms?

(4) What are the equity implications of the proposal?

(5) How does the proposal pursue cost-effective mitigation of climate change risks?

(6) How does the proposed framework provide the basis for satisfying the ultimate objective of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (Article 2)?

(7) What are the costs and benefits of the proposed policy architecture, to the extent these can be identified?   

For examples of climate policy architectures, please refer to the proposals described in:

Architectures for Agreement: Addressing Global Climate Change in the Post-Kyoto World, Joseph E. Aldy and Robert N. Stavins, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Summaries of these proposals can also be found on the Harvard Project website:

About the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements

The goal of the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements is to help identify key design elements of a scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically pragmatic post-2012 international policy architecture for global climate change. We are drawing upon leading thinkers from academia, private industry, government, and non-governmental organizations from around the world to construct a small set of promising policy frameworks, and then disseminate and discuss the design elements and frameworks with decision makers. The Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements is co-directed by Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government and Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, and Joseph E. Aldy, Fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-partisan, non-advocacy research institute in Washington, DC. For news, research results, and more information, see the Project’s website at  To sign up for email alerts, please go to and click on the “Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements” box.   

Major funding for the project has been provided by the Climate Change Initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation ( ). Additional funding has been provided by Christopher P. Kaneb, AB 1990, Harvard College and the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation.

Best regards,

Joe Aldy and Rob  Stavins

Joseph E. Aldy
Co-Director, Harvard Project on International  Climate Agreements
Fellow, Resources for the Future
(202)  328-5091

Robert N. Stavins
Co-Director, Harvard  Project on International Climate Agreements
Albert Pratt Professor of  Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School
(617)  495-1820

Robert C. Stowe
Project  Manager, Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements
(617)  496-4265

Sasha Talcott
Communications  Director, Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements
(617)  495-7831

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