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Climate Change Workshop

Not Offered this year 2015-2016
Last offered in 2010-2011

The negotiations of a new global climate change agreement are currently underway and are scheduled to culminate in Copenhagen in December 2009. (It is most likely that serious issues will remain to be settled or to demand implementation design sessions thereafter.) Core negotiating issues are both analytically confused and politically contested. These issues include technology transfer and development, carbon finance and mitigation; deforestation and land use; adaptation and development. The intent of this research workshop is to have Stanford students, working individually or in small groups, prepare papers that will be used as technical support for specific problems that arise in the course of the negotiations. Sample issues that may become the subjects of such work include analyzing the performance of proposed financial mechanisms in support of climate favoring technologies; the roles of intellectual property in facilitating or impeding technology diffusion; the effectiveness of existing or past efforts to influence technology innovation at national or international levels; the design of regulatory systems to prevent gaming of alternative carbon markets or financial mechanisms; auctioning techniques in the allocation of financial resources; the interaction of adaptation to climate and development goals more generally; systems of certification for sustainable production of bio-energy; implementing energy efficiency measures without creating perverse incentives; downstream organization of market transforming technologies like carbon capture and sequestration; international trade implications of climate agreements; the political economy of climate and economic growth. In all cases, the workshop will orient its output to those questions framed by the key issues under negotiation where bottlenecks may be avoided through improved technical support. The workshop may not meet at regular times, but as the negotiation and research require. We will initiate the course each semester with intensive group meetings that will provide a background for understanding the pragmatic dimensions of the negotiations and will establish a working agenda for the upcoming time period.

Instructors for this course (Past and Present)

Thomas C. Heller