Land, Energy, and Climate
GDAE’s program in Land, Energy, and Climate, under the direction of GDAE Co-Director Dr. William Moomaw, seeks to apply tools of scientific and economic analysis to pressing problems of the biosphere. These include global atmospheric change that threatens to destabilize the planet’s climate, as well as changes to land and water ecosystems that can undermine the basis for a sustainable human economy. A major research focus is on Sustainable Development Diplomacy to solve these problems through innovative technologies, policies and practices that provide required services by less environmentally damaging means, and implementation of restorative development actions to restore lost ecosystem functions.
We are working in collaboration with Soil4Climate on research and education concerning ecological restoration and carbon storage in soils, forests, and wetlands.
The series of articles and reports below deals with issues concerning climate change, fisheries, agriculture, and the development of renewable energy systems. Dr. Moomaw has served as a lead author on several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports, also available below.
The research program builds on earlier work on climate change and cost-benefit analysis by GDAE Research Fellows Frank Ackerman and Liz Stanton. See Dr. Ackerman's website for additional publications.
The COP-21 climate talks in Paris represent a watershed moment for global climate policy. There is a widespread awareness of the urgent need to avoid the planetary catastrophes that would result from unrestrained carbon emissions. At the same time, technological progress has improved prospects for a rapid transition away from carbon-based fuels. Countries have prepared national commitments (INDCs or “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions”), which, whether adequate or inadequate, represent a start to global coordination on carbon emissions reduction.
GDAE presents the following series of materials to address issues in climate science and economic policy. To receive email updates, subscribe to our "Climate Change" list
Publications and Multimedia:
Policy Brief #1: “Paris Talks Get Underway”
Policy Brief #2: “After Paris: The New Landscape for Climate Policy”
Policy Brief #3: "Forests, Soils, Grasslands and Wetlands: Key Allies in Meeting Climate Goals"
Radio Interviews: Prof William Moomaw comments on Paris negotiations: A major move forward, but much work remains to reach needed targets. Listen on BBC Radio 5 (start at minute 9:30) and WBUR's Here & Now
Reddit AMA: Dr. Moomaw participates in an "Ask Me Anything" discussion on climate change
Meeting the Paris Goals: Clean Energy, Forests, and Soils,William R Moomaw, Presentation at International Society for Ecological Economics 2016, Washington, DC [PPT]
Why Metrics Matter: Evaluating Policy Choices for Reactive Nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,
A multiple metrics approach to prioritizing strategies for measuring and managing reactive nitrogen in the San Joaquin Valley of California, Ariel I Horowitz, William R Moomaw, Daniel Liptzin, Benjamin M Gramig, Carson Reeling, Johanna Meyer, Kathleen Hurley, Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 6, June 13, 2016
Charting a New Course for the Oceans, William Moomaw & Sara Blankenship, CIERP Discussion Paper (10), Water and Oceans Program, CIERP, The Fletcher School, April 2014.
The Critical Role of Global Food Consumption Patterns in Achieving Sustainable Food Systems and Food for All, A UNEP Discussion Paper William Moomaw, Timothy Griffin, K. Kurczak, J. Lomax, United Nations Environment Programme, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, Paris, France, 2012.
Birch, Melissa B.L.; Gramig, Benjamin M.; Moomaw, William R.; Doering, Otto C. III; and Reeling, Carson J., Environmental Science & Technology
45, 168-174, 2011.
What kind of Arctic do we need?
Dr. William Moomaw spoke in the session "What kind of Arctic do we need?" organized by the Woods Hole Research Center at the 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland in October 2016.
How Restorative Development Can Address Climate Change [Video interview]
On September 13, 2016, the Forum Network, a public media service of WGBH, interviewed Dr. William Moomaw on the link between industrial agriculture, especially synthetic fertilizers, and unprecedented damage to our soil, water, and atmosphere. He argues that the only viable option for recovering the health of these systems is restorative development.
Sustainable Development Diplomacy: Diagnostics for the Negotiation and Implementation of Sustainable Development, William R. Moomaw, Rishikesh Ram Bhandary, Laura Kuhl, Patrick Verkooijen, Global Policy, July 26, 2016
Letter to Congress on forest biomass carbon neutrality, William Moomaw joined a group of 65 researchers to express concern over the implications of Senate Amendment 3140 to the Energy Policy Modernization Act, February 22, 2016. This story was covered by the Washington Post and The New York Times.
Brief of Amici Curiae Dr. William R. Moomaw, Alternatives for Community and the Environment, and the Town of Duxbury in the case of ISABEL KAIN & others vs. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. 474 Mass. 278, December 28, 2015
TTIP vs. Climate Policy: What is at Risk? Frank Ackerman, GDAE Globalization Commentary, December 1, 2015 (also available in German)
Add Carbon Sinks to the Climate Treaty, Interview with William Moomaw, National Journal, May 23, 2015
Trees in the Tundra, Earthwatch Institute produced this multimedia story, which includes a feature of William Moomaw, April 2015
Letter to US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on biomass policy, William Moomaw joined 77 other scientists in signing this letter, February 9, 2015. This story was covered by the Washington Post.
Climate Impacts on Agriculture: A Challenge to Complacency?, Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth A. Stanton, GDAE Working Paper 13-01, February 2013
Creating a Mutual Gains Climate Regime through Universal Clean Energy Services, William Moomaw and Mihaela Papa, CIERP Discussion Paper 6, Sustainable Development Diplomacy and Governance Program, CIERP, The Fletcher School, May 2012.
Also published in Climate Policy, January 2012: DOI:10.1080/14693062.2011.644072
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2011. Renewable Energy Technology and Climate Change Mitigation Working Group 3.
William Moomaw was a coordinating lead author of Chapter 1, Renewable Energy and Climate Change, and a lead author of Summary for Policy Makers, Technical Summary, Annex I: Glossary, Acronyms, Chemical Symbols and Prefixes, and Annex II Methodology.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007. Contribution of Working Group III, Mitigation, to the Fourth Assessment Report, 2007. B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
William Moomaw was a lead author in Chapter 4 Energy Supply.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Contribution of Working Group III, Mitigation, to the Third Assessment Report, 2001.
William Moomaw was coordinating lead author of Chapter 3, Technological and Economic Potential of Greenhouse Gas Reductions, and a lead author of Summary for Policy Makers and Technical Summary.
Can We Afford the Future? The Economics of a Warming World, Frank Ackerman, Zed Books, 2009.
In this book, Frank Ackerman offers a refreshing look at the economics of climate change, explaining how the arbitrary assumptions of conventional theories get in the way of understanding this urgent problem. The benefits of climate protection are vital but priceless, and hence often devalued in cost-benefit calculations.
Good Day Sunshine, Berkshire Living home + garden, 2008
This article features William and Margot Moomaw’s solar-powered house, and includes a variety of photographs
A House That Costs Nothing to Run, from a Business Week Special Report: A Low-Cost Energy Future, September 20, 2005
This series of studies focuses on different geographic areas to estimate the locally specific costs of climate inaction.
The Caribbean and Climate Change: The Costs of Inaction, Ramón Bueno, Cornelia Herzfeld, Elizabeth A. Stanton, and Frank Ackerman, June 2008.
The Cost of Climate Change: What We’ll Pay if Global Warming Continues Unchecked, by Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth A. Stanton, May 2008.
Florida and Climate Change: The Costs of Inaction, by Elizabeth A. Stanton and Frank Ackerman; report commissioned by Environmental Defense, November 2007.
Frank Ackerman and Liz Stanton worked closely with the Friends of the Earth – England, Wales and Northern Ireland on the following series of papers
Out of the Shadows: What’s Behind DEFRA’s New Approach to the Price of Carbon by Elizabeth A. Stanton and Frank Ackerman, July 2008.
Generated User Benefits and the Heathrow Expansion: Understanding Consumer Surplus, by Elizabeth A. Stanton and Frank Ackerman, July 2008.
Critique of Cost-Benefit Analysis, and Alternative Approaches to Decision-Making, by Frank Ackerman, January 2008.
Debating Climate Economics: The Stern Review vs. Its Critics, by Frank Ackerman. Report to Friends of the Earth-England, Wales and Northern Ireland, July 2007.
Climate Change - The Costs of Inaction, by Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth Stanton. Report released with Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, October 2006.
This series of papers includes academic publications on the climate benefits of recycling and a survey of international carbon emissions from waste management systems for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Climate-Resilient Industrial Development Paths: Design Principles and Alternative Models, Lyuba Zarsky, GDAE Working Paper 10-01, February 2010
The Economics of 350: The Benefits and Costs of Climate Stabilization, by Frank Ackerman, Elizabeth A. Stanton, et. al., Report produced for Economics for Equity and Environment, October 2009.
Hot, It’s Not: Reflections on Cool It!, by Bjorn Lomborg, by Frank Ackerman, Climatic Change, Volume 89, Issue 3-4, August 2008.
Law and Economics for a Warming World, by Lisa Heinzerling and Frank Ackerman; Harvard Law and Policy Review volume 1, no. 2, 2007, pp.331-362.
The Carbon Content of Japan-US Trade, by Frank Ackerman, Masanobu Ishikawa, and Mikio Suga; Energy Policy, volume 35 no. 9, September 2007, pp.4455-4462.
The Economics of Inaction on Climate Change: A Sensitivity Analysis, by Frank Ackerman and Ian Finlayson; Climate Policy, volume 6 no. 5 (2006), pp.509-526. An earlier version of this article appeared as GDAE Working Paper 06-07. October, 2006.
Can Climate Change Save Lives? A comment on ‘Economy-wide estimates of the implications of climate change: Human health’, by Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth A. Stanton; Ecological Economics, volume 66 (2008), pp. 8-13. An earlier version of this article appeared as GDAE Working Paper 06-05. September, 2006.
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