David Kanter, PhD candidate

Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Program

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Princeton University


dkanter at princeton.edu

David KanterI'm in my fourth year of the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) Ph.D program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. My work with Professors Denise Mauzerall and Michael Oppenheimer focuses on how and to what effect the 1987 Montreal Protocol could control nitrous oxide (N2O), the third most abundant greenhouse gas (after carbon dioxide and methane) and the largest remaining threat to the stratospheric ozone layer. By investigating both the effect of nitrogen fertilizer application on global N2O emissions using Earth-system computer models developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, as well as a cost-benefit analysis evaluating possible policy approaches for the Montreal Protocol, I'mhoping to track this issue from its source to its solution. With faith in the future of the international climate regime uncertain, I'm convinced the Montreal Protocol has an important role to play in mitigating the effects of global climate change.


I was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium to Swedish and British parents. I graduated with a BSc in Chemistry and Law from the University of Bristol, UK in 2009. My undergraduate thesis investigated how to reform the international regulation of fluorinated greenhouse gases, particularly hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).


Before arriving at Princeton, I worked as a science and policy adviser to Greenpeace International in Amsterdam on their campaign to eliminate fluorinated greenhouse gases. This work took me to three annual Montreal Protocol Meetings of the Parties from 2007 to 2009 and the 2009 UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen. I spent the summer of 2010 working in Paris at the OzonAction branch of the United Nations Environment Programme, which helps developing countries comply with their commitments under the Montreal Protocol. I have since attended the 2011 and 2012 annual Montreal Protocol meeting where I organized side-events to begin a conversation on controlling N2O, as well as the Rio+20 conference in June, 2012.