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Alternative Climate Policies and Intertemporal Emissions Leakage: Quantifying the Green Paradox

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  • Fischer, Carolyn

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Salant, Stephen

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Efforts to limit cumulative emissions over the next century may be partially thwarted by the responses of fossil fuel suppliers. Current price-cost margins for major reserves are ample, leaving scope for significant price reductions if climate policies reduce demand for fossil fuels through conservation or substitution to clean alternatives. Most models simulating the consequences of climate policies completely disregard these supply responses. As for theoretical models, under standard assumptions they predict such strong supplier responses that climate policies may have no effect on cumulative emissions and may even leave society worse off, suffering damages from global warming sooner and with less time to adapt (the “green paradox”).We contribute to this literature by developing a richer theoretical model that takes account of the different extraction costs and emissons rates of different fossil reserves. We use this model to compare the qualitative effects of four policy options—accelerating cost reductions in the clean backstop technologies, taxing emissions, improving energy efficiency, and a clean fuel blend mandate. We also discuss the consequences of mandating carbon capture and sequestration. All policies can reduce cumulative emissions, but the backstop policy accelerates emissions while conservation policies (energy efficiency or blend mandates) delay emissions. We then calibrate the model using data on costs, reserves, and emissions factors for five major categories of oil. Using this calibrated model, we estimate the interemporal leakage rate—the percentage error in cumulative emissions reductions that would arise if no account is taken of the supply responses of oil producers. We find that conservation policies can have higher intertemporal leakage rates and backstop policies can have lower leakage than an emissions tax. Leakage rates generally decline as the policies become more stringent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-12-16.

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Date of creation: 23 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-12-16

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Keywords: green paradox; climate change; exhaustible resources;

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References

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  1. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard G., 2008. "Environmental and technology policies for climate mitigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 142-162, March.
  2. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2011. "Carbon Leakage, The Green Paradox, And Perfect Future Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 767-805, 08.
  3. Reyer Gerlagh, 2011. "Too Much Oil," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(1), pages 79-102, March.
  4. Hoel, Michael, 2011. "The supply side of CO2 with country heterogeneity," Memorandum 08/2011, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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  8. Frederick Van der Ploeg & Cees A. Withagen, 2010. "Is There Really a Green Paradox?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2963, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Anthoff, David & Rose, Steven K. & Tol, Richard S. J. & Waldhoff, Stephanie, 2011. "The Time Evolution of the Social Cost of Carbon: An Application of FUND," Papers WP405, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  10. Gerard Gaudet & Michel Moreaux & Stephen W. Salant, 2001. "Intertemporal Depletion of Resource Sites by Spatially Distributed Users," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1149-1159, September.
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  14. Molly Espey, 1996. "Explaining the Variation in Elasticity Estimates of Gasoline Demand in the United States: A Meta-Analysis," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 49-60.
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  16. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt Van Dender, 2007. "Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-52.
  17. Mustafa H. Babiker & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Border Measures in Subglobal Climate Agreements," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 99-126.
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  19. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & Ngo Van Long, 2010. "Biofuels Subsidies and the Green Paradox," CESifo Working Paper Series 2960, CESifo Group Munich.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Nachtigall & Dirk Rübbelke, 2014. "The Green Paradox and Learning-by-Doing in the Renewable Energy Sector," CESifo Working Paper Series 4880, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Julien Daubanes & Pierre Lasserre, 2012. "Non-Renewable Resource Supply: Substitution Effect, Compensation Effect, and All That," CIRANO Working Papers 2012s-28, CIRANO.
  3. Roumasset, James & Wada, Christopher, 2013. "Energy Costs and the Optimal Use of Groundwater," 2014 Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 3-5, 2014, Philadelphia, PA 161892, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. repec:pdn:wpaper:62 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Hendrik Ritter & Mark Schopf, 2014. "Unilateral Climate Policy: Harmful or Even Disastrous?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(1), pages 155-178, May.
  6. 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.
  7. repec:pdn:wpaper:63 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Hallegatte, Stephane & Fay, Marianne & Vogt-Schilb, Adrien, 2013. "Green industrial policies : when and how," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6677, The World Bank.

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