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Issues in Designing U.S. Climate Change Policy

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  • Joseph E. Aldy
  • William A. Pizer

Abstract

Over the coming decades, the cost of U.S. climate change policy likely will be comparable to the total cost of all existing environmental regulationÑperhaps 1-2 percent of national income. In order to avoid higher costs, policy efforts should create incentives for firms and individuals to pursue the cheapest climate change mitigation options over time, among all sectors, across national borders, and in the face of significant uncertainty. Well-designed national greenhouse gas mitigation policies can serve as the foundation for global efforts and as an example for emerging and developing countries. We present six key policy design issues that will determine the costs, cost-effectiveness, and distributional impacts of domestic climate policy: program scope, cost containment, offsets, revenues and allowance allocation, competitiveness, and R&D policy. We synthesize the literature on these design features, review the implications for the ongoing policy debate, and identify outstanding research questions that can inform policy development.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

Volume (Year): Volume 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): Number 3 ()
Pages: 179-210

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Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2009v30-03-a09

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Cited by:
  1. Michael I. Cragg & Yuyu Zhou & Kevin Gurney & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Carbon Geography: The Political Economy Of Congressional Support For Legislation Intended To Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Production," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1640-1650, 04.
  2. Meredith Fowlie & Christopher R. Knittel & Catherine Wolfram, 2008. "Sacred Cars? Optimal Regulation of Stationary and Non-stationary Pollution Sources," NBER Working Papers 14504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Grischa Perino, 2010. "Technology Diffusion with Market Power in the Upstream Industry," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(4), pages 403-428, August.
  4. Davidsdottir, B. & Fisher, M., 2011. "The odd couple: The relationship between state economic performance and carbon emissions economic intensity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 4551-4562, August.
  5. Meredith Fowlie & Christopher R. Knittel & Catherine Wolfram, 2012. "Sacred Cars? Cost-Effective Regulation of Stationary and Nonstationary Pollution Sources," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 98-126, February.
  6. Giménez, Eduardo L. & Rodríguez, Miguel, 2010. "Reevaluating the first and the second dividends of environmental tax reforms," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6654-6661, November.
  7. Arik Levinson, 2011. "Belts and Suspenders: Interactions among Climate Policy Regulations," NBER Chapters, in: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy, pages 127-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Copenhagen Economics, 2008. "Reduced VAT for environmentally friendly products," Taxation Studies 0025, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.

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