The Paris Agreement, which was signed in December 2015 and went into effect in November 2016, provides a framework for a new market mechanism that could to incentivize countries to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs). ITMOs enable countries to transfer emissions reduction credits between countries to efficiently find those areas where emissions could be reduced most efficiently and cost-effectively, thus resulting in greater net reductions globally. ITMOs are therefore intended as a pathway for countries to meet their emissions targets in a customizable and sustainable manner, and can be created and traded under voluntary bilateral or multilateral agreements. In drafting the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) built in flexibility to the ITMO framework, thereby enabling it to become broadly accepted by 194 countries. However, the flipside of this flexibility is that it remains unclear whether and how ITMOs can actually be created and implemented in practice. More fundamentally, we lack a coherent theoretical framework for conceptualizing ITMO creation and implementation.
Scope of work:
A postdoctoral fellow will develop a theoretical foundation for ITMOs, and use this to explore the relevance of ITMOs for Canadian LNG producers. This will involve using game-theoretic approaches (drawing on agency theory, contract theory and mechanism design) to build mathematical models of an economic system consisting of different players (e.g. countries) who participate in the global carbon economy. Using simple mathematical models that approximate the Paris agreement, we will analyze the decisions that countries will make under different rules. This will help us understand whether ITMOs will effective and, if so, how they should be designed to achieve the most desirable outcomes. The project findings will inform our broader understanding of how Canadian LNG producers could create, implement, and benefit from ITMOs, in turn creating advantages for the Canadian economy and broader society, due to increased competitiveness and greater GHG emissions reductions respectively.
The position is funded by a Mitacs Accelerate Industrial Postdoc grant. The salary is Canadian $50,000 for one year. The position may be extended for an additional year.
Please apply with a CV and a list of three references. Please send your application to Prof. Harish Krishnan at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your application e-mail, please list the subject "ITMO postdoc". Review of applications will begin immediately and proceed until the position is filled. The desired start date is as soon as March 1, 2021 with later start dates negotiable.