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Costs, Revenues, and Effectiveness of the Copenhagen Accord Emission Pledges for 2020


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  • Rob Dellink
  • Gregory Briner
  • Christa Clapp


Tackling the problem of global climate change requires a high level of international cooperation. Many countries have pledged targets or actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Appendices to the Copenhagen Accord. This analysis examines the costs and effectiveness of these pledges, using the OECD’s ENV-Linkages computable general equilibrium model. Several scenarios are analysed to evaluate the impacts of the range of pledges, the use of offsets, and linking emission trading systems. The results show that while the emission targets currently pledged by a wide range of countries under the Accord are an important and welcome start to a global solution, the pledges are not ambitious enough to put us on a pathway to limit average global temperature increase to below 2°C. This paper also analyses the economic impacts of the pledges, and estimates the costs of action at around 0.3% of GDP for both Annex I and non- Annex I countries and 0.5-0.6% of global real income (not taking into consideration the economic benefits from avoided damages from climate change). Furthermore, the analysis reveals that the potential for increased fiscal revenue or proceeds are substantial and for the Annex I group of countries can exceed 1% of GDP (or 400 billion USD) if mitigation actions are achieved through market instruments such as carbon taxes or cap-and-trade emission schemes with auctioned emission allowances. Pour parer au changement climatique planétaire, une coopération internationale poussée s’impose. Beaucoup de pays se sont engagés à réaliser des objectifs ou à mettre en oeuvre des actions de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre dans les appendices à l’Accord de Copenhague. La présente analyse vise à examiner les coûts et l’efficacité de ces engagements au moyen du modèle d’équilibre général calculable ENV-Linkages de l’OCDE. Elle porte sur plusieurs scénarios, de manière à évaluer les incidences qu’entraînent les divers engagements pris, l’utilisation de formules de compensation, ainsi que les liens entre les systèmes d’échange de droits d’émission. Les résultats montrent que si les objectifs d’émission actuellement annoncés par un large éventail de pays dans le cadre de l’Accord sont un premier pas important et fort apprécié dans le sens d’une solution mondiale, les engagements ne sont pas suffisamment ambitieux pour nous placer sur une trajectoire permettant de maintenir l’élévation moyenne de la température du globe au-dessous de 2°C. Ce document concerne aussi les répercussions économiques des engagements, les coûts de l’action étant estimés à 0.3 % environ du PIB, que les pays soient visés ou non à l’Annexe I, et à 0.5-0.6 % du revenu réel mondial (compte non tenu des avantages économiques liés aux atteintes évitées du changement climatique). Par ailleurs, l’analyse fait ressortir des perspectives non négligeables d’augmentation des recettes budgétaires qui, pour les pays de l’Annexe I, pourraient représenter plus de 1 % du PIB (400 milliards USD) si les mesures d’atténuation passent par des instruments de type marché tels que les taxes carbone ou les systèmes de plafonnement et d’échange dans lesquels des quotas d’émission sont attribués par voie d’enchères.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Environment Working Papers with number 22.

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Date of creation: 04 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:22-en

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Keywords: climate change; greenhouse gas mitigation; Copenhagen accord; computable general equilibrium model; modèle d'équilibre général calculable; atténuation des émissions de gaz à effet de serre; changement climatique; Accord de Copenhague;

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Cited by:
  1. Carlo Carraro & Emanuele Massetti, 2012. "Beyond Copenhagen: a realistic climate policy in a fragmented world," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 523-542, February.
  2. Mendoza Beltran, Angelica & den Elzen, Michel G.J. & Hof, Andries F. & van Vuuren, Detlef P. & van Vliet, Jasper, 2011. "Exploring the bargaining space within international climate negotiations based on political, economic and environmental considerations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7361-7371.
  3. Olivia Ricci & Sandrine Selosse, 2013. "A cost analysis of the Copenhagen emission reduction pledges," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 764-771.
  4. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Someshwar, Shiv, 2012. "Green Growth and Equity in the Context of Climate Change: Some Considerations," ADBI Working Papers 371, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  5. Howes, Stephen & Wyrwoll, Paul, 2012. "Climate Change Mitigation and Green Growth in Developing Asia," ADBI Working Papers 369, Asian Development Bank Institute.


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