As climate change policy enters the post-Paris era, national policymakers around the world need to understand which policies work in practice, which don’t, and why. The Climate Policy Lab (CPL) convenes teams of scholars and practitioners to evaluate existing climate policies empirically and works with governments contemplating new climate policies.
The main questions the Lab seeks to answer are: Which climate policies work in practice? Which don’t work? Why? 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 responsive to policy needs and academically rigorous. The products include accessible publications, scholarly journal papers, policy briefings, workshops, and trainings, all of which are designed to facilitate two-way communication between scholars and practitioners.
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. While we work with governments world-wide, we focus primarily on China, India, and Ethiopia. We specialize in seven areas of climate policy (see projects page).
Where Climate Policy Lab Works
This map shows arrows pointing from the Climate Policy Lab hub in Medford, MA to its primary focus countries, China, India, and Ethiopia.