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  
Gallagher, K. S. and Qi, Q. (2018). Policies Governing China’s Overseas Development Finance: Implications for Climate Change. Medford, MA. Climate Policy Lab.Gallagher, K.S. and Anadon, L.D. (2018). DOE Budget Authority for Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Database, The Fletcher School, Tufts University; and Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, Harvard Kennedy School; March 22.Narassimhan, 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

Environmental and resource policy issues requires new kinds of diplomacy that stray from traditional models. At CIERP, we identify means to address an ever expanding set of global issues arising from the unsustainable practices that are overwhelming the capacity of traditional diplomacy. We focus on the underlying causes rather than the symptoms that are addressed by much of the current treaty system in order to reframe environmental and resource issues as opportunities for sustainable development.

Publications Spotlight  

Bhandary, R. R. (2017). Coalition strategies in the climate negotiations: an analysis of mountain-related coalitions. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 17(2), 173-190.Moomaw, W., et al. (2013). A post-Kyoto partner: Considering the stratospheric ozone regime as a tool to manage nitrous oxide. PNAS. Gallagher, K. (2009). Breaking the Climate Impasse with China: A Global Solution. Discussion Paper 09-32, Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.


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