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Assessing the Economic Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Hosted by the
U.S. National Academies
Embassy Suites, Capital Room B
900 10th St NW, Washington, DC
October 2-3, 2008

Workshop objective: Identify decision-making needs, capabilities, and opportunities for advancing the capacity for economic analysis of climate policies, including guiding future investments in the U.S. federal R&D portfolio.



8:30 a.m.

Welcoming Remarks and Goals of the Workshop

Richard Newell, Gendell Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental
Economics, Duke University
Robert Marlay, Deputy Director, Office of Climate Change Policy & Technology, U.S. Department of Energy


Session I: Policymakers’ Informational Needs (Richard Newell)


9:00 a.m.

Panelists from government and the policy community

This panel identified the range of specific informational needs and questions regarding the design, impacts, and outcomes of climate change policies and related energy policies that are being asked, or are likely to be asked in the future, by policymakers.

Bob Shackleton, Congressional Budget Office [PDF, 37 KB]
Howard Gruenspecht, Energy Information Administration
Francisco de la Chesnaye, Electric Power Research Institute [PDF, 236 KB]
Nat Keohane, Environmental Defense Fund
Tim Profeta, Duke University


10:10 a.m.

Broader group reactions, questions, and discussion


Session II: Modeling and Other Analytic Approaches (Marilyn Brown)

11:00 a.m.

This panel presented a variety of existing modeling and other analytic approaches currently being used to meet the type of informational needs explored in Session I. Rather than focusing on specific modeling results, panelists presented the capabilities and high-level structure of these approaches, advantages/disadvantages relative to other approaches, how decision-makers are using these tools, and whether/how the approaches incorporate uncertainty.

John Conti, Energy Information Administration [PDF, 54 KB]
Dick Goettle, Northeastern University [PDF, 980 KB]

Leon Clarke, Pacific Northwest National Lab [PDF, 273 KB]
Martin Ross, RTI International [PDF, 204 KB]

John Reilly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology [PDF, 222 KB]
Jean-Marc Burniaux, OECD [PDF, 123 KB]
Tom Kram, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency [PDF, 2.79 MB]
Dallas Burtraw, Resources for the Future
Peter Evans, GE Energy


2:10 p.m.

Broader group reactions, questions, and discussion


Session III: Economics of GHG Mitigation and Climate Change (Richard Newell)

3:00 p.m.

Economic Modeling and Policy for Global Warming

William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University [PDF, 817 KB]


3:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Critical Assumptions, Advantages, and Limitations


This panel explored the state of the economics of climate change, and the role of economic analyses in climate policy decisionmaking. Panelists discussed key modeling assumptions, advantages, and limitations, potential impacts to the U.S. and world economies, approaches for estimating benefits and costs of mitigation, and the intertemporal and distributional equity issues associated with climate change and mitigation.

John Weyant, Stanford University [PDF, 105 KB]
Joel Smith, Stratus Consulting Inc.
Richard Bradley, International Energy Agency
Dimitri Zenghelis, London School of Economics
William Cline, Peterson Institute for International Economics [PDF, 67 KB]


4:30 p.m.

Broader group reactions, questions, and discussion



8:30 a.m.

Summary for Day One


Session IV: Enhancing Analytical Capabilities to Inform Policy (John Weyant)

8:40 a.m.

This panel took stock of the current suite of modeling/analytical approaches for responding to policymaking informational needs. Panelists explored how existing models and analytic approaches could be enhanced, specific areas that might deserve more focus (e.g. uncertainty, technology policy, risk, international analyses, interactions with other policy goals), new approaches worthy of further development, and opportunities for government agencies and other institutions to enhance their policy-analytic capabilities.

Brian Murray, Duke University [PDF, 317 KB]
Ray Kopp, Resources for the Future
Ed Rubin, Carnegie Mellon University
Bryan Hubbell, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [PDF, 148 KB]
Skip Laitner, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy [PDF, 72 KB]
Nebojsa Nakicenovic, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis [pps, 1.52 MB]
David Montgomery, CRA International


10:20 a.m.

Broader group reactions, questions, and discussion



Summary and wrap up


Planning Committee

Richard Newell (chair), Gendell Assoc. Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics, Duke University
Marilyn Brown, Professor of Energy Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology
Paul Joskow, President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
John Weyant, Research Professor, Stanford University



James Zucchetto, Director, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems
Derek Vollmer, Associate Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program
Jonathan Yanger, Senior Program Assistant, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems
For more information about the workshop please contact Derek Vollmer at 202-334-1679