The main questions the Lab seeks to answer are:
- Which climate policies work in practice?
- Which don’t work?
- Under what conditions would they work elsewhere?
The scope of the Lab is global, with a particular emphasis on international comparative analysis. In-residence faculty and research fellows work with a global network of scholars and policymakers on projects, which are academically rigorous and responsive to policy needs. The products include policy briefings, accessible publications, scholarly journal papers, workshops, and executive education trainings, all of which are designed to facilitate two-way communication between scholars and practitioners. The results also feed into our relevant Fletcher graduate courses.
Much of the scholarship on climate change policy is theoretical, not empirical. Extensive literature now exists about the merits of price versus quantity instruments, for example, but much less exists evaluating the actual implementation of these policies. The CPL is mindful of relevant theory, but emphasizes assessment of actually-implemented climate policies. This approach allows the lab to be nimble and responsive to changes in the policy environment, and not driven by the use and refinement of a specific model. The scope of the Lab is highly attuned to state, national, and bi-lateral policy processes while maintaining a global perspective -- the motto of The Fletcher School. In addition, we focus on, and work with, multilateral organizations.
2017 of the Climate Policy Lab Projects
- Climate policy performance index: A global index on the performance of national (and subnational) climate policies that will help guide climate investments, identify gaps in climate policy, assist in identification of best practices, and aid comparative research.
- NDC implementation in developing countries with UNDP: Through a new partnership with UNDP, the CPL will provide climate policy advice to governments of developing countries.
- Climate policy gap analysis: What is the gap between existing, already-implemented climate policies and those that will be needed to achieve each country’s INDC? In 2017 we will start with a study of China’s policy gap.
- Climate finance institutions in developing countries: Which types of climate finance institutions are most effective from the vantage point of developing countries?
- Green finance: Which policy instruments are most effective at catalyzing both domestic and international finance for clean energy?
- Carbon pricing: Many theoretical studies exist about the benefits of carbon pricing and market-based mechanisms. As more than 40 countries are already using some form of carbon pricing, this study will examine the effectiveness of different approaches in practice.
- Energy innovation in major emerging economies: This project will collect and analyze innovation indicators from major emerging economies. Which indicators are available, and which indicators are needed to compare innovation capabilities in clean technologies between developed and developing countries?
- Innovation systems for resilience: Innovation is central to adaptation, but innovation systems in many developing countries are weakly developed. Based on emerging literature and new case studies in Honduras and Ethiopia, what do we know about effective innovation policy for resilience?
- Content analysis of Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs): This project examines and compares the NDCs submitted by countries from around the world, including adaptation strategies, non-fossil targets, financing strategies, and other targets.
- Intensive Climate Policy Training Course:The Program aims to provide professionals with the knowledge and understanding of current climate change policy approaches and their successes and failures, as well as technical and analytical tools to more effectively and efficiently address climate change policy and governance (May 16 – 19, 2017).