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Can There Be a Positive Prognosis for Climate Negotiations?

I’m writing this brief essay on board my flight to the USA from Europe (where I participated in a workshop at the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, Germany).  It was an interesting event, the substance of which (the “...

Posted March 18, 2014    

Will Europe Scrap its Renewables Target? That Would Be Good News for the Economy and for the Environment

The European Union is considering scrapping the use of binding renewable energy targets as part of its global climate change policy mix that will extend action from 2020 to 2030.  The Financial Times reported that this move – presumably due to...

Posted January 20, 2014    

The Warsaw Climate Negotiations, and Reason for Cautious Optimism

The Nineteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) came to a close in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, November 23rd, after what has become the norm – several all-night sessions...

Posted December 2, 2013    

Climate Change, Public Policy, and the University

Over the past year or more, across the United States, there has been a groundswell of student activism pressing colleges and universities to divest their holdings in fossil fuel companies from their investment portfolios.  On October 3, 2013,...

Posted October 24, 2013    

Remembering the Contributions of Ronald Coase

On September 2nd, Ronald Coase, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Chicago Law School, Nobel laureate, and principal creator of the academic field of law and economics, passed away at the age of 102.  Numerous, lengthy...

Posted September 16, 2013    

Economics and Politics in California: Cap-and-Trade and Trade Exposure

In my previous essay at this blog – The Importance of Getting it Right in California – I wrote about the precedents and lessons that  California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and its greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system will have...

Posted August 19, 2013    

On the Origins of Research

In response to “On Becoming an Environmental Economist,” several readers suggested that someday I should write about the origins of my various research initiatives over the past 25 years.  Today, I’m doing that sooner than anyone might have...

Posted August 13, 2013    

Thinking About the Energy Efficiency Gap

Adoption of energy-efficient technologies could reap both private and social rewards, in the form of economic, environmental, and other social benefits from reduced energy consumption. Social benefits include improvements in air quality, reduced...

Posted August 6, 2013    

Climate Change Policy and the Importance of Getting it Right in California

Why should sub-national climate policies exist?  In the case  of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), the answer flows directly from the very nature of the problem — global climate change, the ultimate global commons problem....

Posted August 2, 2013    

Climate Change in Obama's Second Term

In his inaugural address on January 21st, President Obama surprised many people – including me – by the intensity and the length of his comments on global climate change. Since then, there has been a great deal of discussion in the press and in the...

Posted January 28, 2013    

Reflections from Cambridge on the Climate Talks in Doha

Ever since I returned – some two weeks ago – from Doha, Qatar, the site of the Eighteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), I have planned to offer some commentary … Continue...

Posted December 21, 2012    

While International Climate Negotiations Continue, the World’s Ninth Largest Economy Takes an Important Step Forward

A little more than two weeks ago, while some 195 nations prepared to meet in Doha, Qatar, for the Eighteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in an ongoing effort to hammer out...

Posted December 3, 2012