The Past, Present, and Future of Regional Collaboration and Subnational Diplomacy

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The Past, Present, and Future of Regional Collaboration and Subnational Diplomacy: 12/8/2017

Janelle Knox-Hayes (moderator), MIT
Chris Skoglund, New Hampshire
Angel Hsu, Yale University
Rodrigo Tavares, Granito Group
Stacy VanDeveer, UMass Boston


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MIT Professor Janelle Knox

MIT Professor Janelle Knox-Hayes, moderator of this panel discussion, is profiled today in MIT News, "One planet, many cli

mate plans. Why?"

We have one planet, and many plans to keep it from getting too hot. Consider: There are more than 60 different greenhouse gas emissions pricing systems being used by countries and regions around the world, all intended to reduce the climate impact of burning fossil fuels.

In the abstract, it might be simpler to have a more unified set of policies in place, imposing costs on those producing emissions. But, as MIT Associate Professor Janelle Knox-Hayes has made a career observing, climate regulations are not developed in the abstract. The specific policies that countries adopt stem from the particular conditions they face.

So in the U.S., potential emissions-trading proposals were developed in concert with its huge financial sector; traders were even experimenting with collateralized securities based on carbon obligations (akin to mortgage-backed bonds) before the market crash of 2008. In Japan, by contrast, with less financialization and a greater emphasis on exporting material goods, the country’s emissions markets count clean-energy exports as an offset against domestic carbon emissions.

“I think for most people emissions markets are an abstract concept,” Knox-Hayes says. Thus much of her work involves “understanding the cultural dimensions of markets"...

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