CIERP analyzes critical global environmental problems through an interdisciplinary approach. We identify underlying scientific, social, economic, and technological dimensions of these issues, and then use multiple tools to find effective, sustainable solutions, drawing on fields that include international law, political science, and economics. Our work is empirical, inductive, and grounded in theory. CIERP also studies the evolution of international negotiations and agreements on environment and resource issues.

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Our work includes:

  • Scholarly research for the international academic community;
  • Policy research that evaluates current programs or proposes new approaches; and
  • Applied policy development in collaboration with government agencies, the private sector, and international NGOs.

We research the following themes:

Energy, Climate, and Innovation

The energy sector poses enormous challenges and opportunities for world leaders today. At CIERP, we cultivate policy-relevant knowledge to address energy- related challenges and opportunities. We focus on policy for energy innovation, climate change, energy security, energy access, and sustainable prosperity.

Learn about CIERP’s Climate Policy Lab.

Publications Spotlight  
Metcalf, Gilbert, E. (2019). Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is Good for America Oxford University Press. Mehling, M, Metcalf, G.E., Stavins, R. (2018). Linking climate policies to advance global mitigation Science. 02 Mar 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6379, pp. 997-998Narassimhan, E., Gallagher, K. S., Koester, S. and Rivera Alejo, J. (2017). Carbon Pricing in Practice: A Review of the Evidence. Medford, MA. Climate Policy Lab.

Agriculture, Forests, and Biodiversity

CIERP seeks to understand the impact of information technology on the agriculture sector particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. We collaborate with NGOs and governments to understand the barriers and conduct impact evaluations on the adoption of agricultural technologies, as well as design different interventions to address these barriers.

Learn about our partner Woods Hole Research Center.

Publications Spotlight 
Aker, J. (2018) Are Rainwater Harvesting Techniques Profitable for Small-Scale Farmers? Results from a Pilot Evaluation in Niger. Policy Brief. The Fletcher School, Tufts University. Medford, MA.Cohn, A., et al. (2014). Cattle ranching intensification in Brazil can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by sparing land from deforestation. PNAS 111:20, 7236-7241.

Sustainable Development, Diplomacy, and Governance

Sustainable Development Diplomacy (SDD) research program examines international negotiation processes and governance mechanisms needed to address an ever expanding set of sustainable development challenges. Such challenges require new modes of stakeholder engagement and institutions that can operate at the intersection of human-environment systems. The SDD program also analyzes the system of global governance itself through the lens of sustainable development, and through its Rising Power Alliances project investigates how alliances/coalitions can mobilize to create sustainable global governance.

Publications Spotlight  

Papa, Mihaela (2017). Can BRICS Lead the Way to Sustainable Development? UNA-UK publication, March 20, 2017Papa, Mihaela. (2015). Sustainable Global Governance? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Institutions. Global Environmental Politics. 15(4): 1-20, 2015.
Papa, Mihaela, Bruetsch, Christian. (2013). Deconstructing the BRICS: Bargaining Coalition, Imagined Community or Geopolitical Fad? Chinese Journal of International Politics, 6 (3): 299-327, 2013.

Sustainable Development Economics

At CIERP, we develop new models that promote both environmental protection and economic development based on the assertion that the two are an interrelated and inseparable mechanism to promote human well-being. We work to understand this relationship by quantifying the value of environmental goods and services and evaluating the impact of environmental policies.

Publications Spotlight  
Tanaka, S., Zabel, J. (2018). Valuing nuclear energy risk: Evidence from the impact of the Fukushima crisis on U.S. house prices. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 88, 411-426.Papa, M. (2017). Can BRICS lead the way to sustainable Development? sustainable Development? Sustainable Development Goals 2017, UNA-UK.Moomaw, W.R., Bhandary, R., Kuhl, L. and Verkooijen, P. (2016). Sustainable Development Diplomacy: Diagnostics for the Negotiation and Implementation of Sustainable Development. Global Policy, 8: 73–81. DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12350