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The Green Paradox: A Supply-Side Approach to Global Warming

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Author Info

  • Sinn, Hans-Werner

    ()
    (CESIfo Group)

Abstract

The Earth is getting warmer. Yet, as Hans-Werner Sinn points out in this provocative book, the dominant policy approach--which aims to curb consumption of fossil energy--has been ineffective. Despite policy makers’ efforts to promote alternative energy, impose emission controls on cars, and enforce tough energy-efficiency standards for buildings, the relentlessly rising curve of CO2 output does not show the slightest downward turn. Some proposed solutions are downright harmful: cultivating crops to make biofuels not only contributes to global warming but also uses resources that should be devoted to feeding the world’s hungry. In The Green Paradox, Sinn proposes a new, more pragmatic approach based not on regulating the demand for fossil fuels but on controlling the supply. The owners of carbon resources, Sinn explains, are pre-empting future regulation by accelerating the production of fossil energy while they can. This is the “Green Paradox”: expected future reduction in carbon consumption has the effect of accelerating climate change. Sinn suggests a supply-side solution: inducing the owners of carbon resources to leave more of their wealth underground. He proposes the swift introduction of a “Super-Kyoto” system--gathering all consumer countries into a cartel by means of a worldwide, coordinated cap-and-trade system supported by the levying of source taxes on capital income--to spoil the resource owners’ appetite for financial assets. Only if we can shift our focus from local demand to worldwide supply policies for reducing carbon emissions, Sinn argues, will we have a chance of staving off climate disaster.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The MIT Press in its series MIT Press Books with number 0262016680 and published in 2012.

Volume: 1
Edition: 1
ISBN: 0-262-01668-0
Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262016680

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu

Related research

Keywords: environmental politics; policy; public economics; consumerism;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hassler, John & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2012. "The Fossile Episode," CEPR Discussion Papers 9256, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Eric Bahel & Walid Marrouch & Gerard Gaudet, 2010. "The Economics of Oil, Biofuel and Food Commodities," Working Papers e07-26, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Daniel Nachtigall & Dirk Rübbelke, 2013. "The Green Paradox and Learning-by-doing in the Renewable Energy Sector," Working Papers 2013-09, BC3.
  4. Quentin Grafton, R. & Kompas, Tom & Van Long, Ngo, 2012. "Substitution between biofuels and fossil fuels: Is there a green paradox?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 328-341.
  5. Corrado Di Maria & Ian A. Lange & Edwin van der Werf, 2012. "Should we be Worried about the Green Paradox? Announcement Effects of the Acid Rain Program," CESifo Working Paper Series 3829, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Grafton, R. Quentin & Kompas, Tom & Long, Ngo Van & To, Hang, 2014. "US biofuels subsidies and CO2 emissions: An empirical test for a weak and a strong green paradox," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 550-555.
  7. Gabriela Michalek & Reimund Schwarze, 2014. "Carbon Leakage: Pollution, Trade or Politics?," Discussion Paper Series RECAP15 12, RECAP15, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder).
  8. Klaus Wohlrabe, 2013. "Einige Anmerkungen zum Handelsblatt-Ranking 2013," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(23), pages 79-83, December.
  9. Marc Gronwald & Ngo Van Long & Luise Röpke, 2013. "Simultaneous Supplies of Dirty and Green Fuels with Capacity Constraint: Is there a Green Paradox?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4360, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Benchekroun, Hassan & Ray Chaudhuri, Amrita, 2014. "Transboundary pollution and clean technologies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 601-619.
  11. Helm, Dieter, 2014. "The European framework for energy and climate policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 29-35.

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