Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Using Emissions Trading to Regulate U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Overview of Policy Design and Implementation Issues

Contents:

Author Info

  • Fischer, Carolyn

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Toman, Michael
  • Kerr, Suzi

Abstract

In Kyoto in 1997, the US government agreed that between 2008 and 2012 it would limit average annual emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to seven percent below 1990 levels. As participants in the climate policy debate consider various means by which limits on US GHG emissions might be undertaken in the wake of the Kyoto agreement, there is considerable interest but also some confusion about how a GHG trading program could be organized and operated in practice. In this paper we address several aspects of policy design for a US system, such as who and what is covered by regulation, the organization of the trading system, how carbon permits are allocated, and how a system could be initiated and changed over time. The paper synthesizes existing analyses and adds new insights concerning uncertainty, intertemporal consistency, market institutions, and interactions with the tax system. Our fundamental conclusion is that a domestic "cap-and-trade" system with homogeneous permits applied to control flows of fossil fuels "upstream" in the energy system (along with selective inclusion of other gases and CO2 "sinks"), with permits auctioned periodically by the government, has the most appeal of different trading systems on efficiency and distributional grounds, though it may suffer politically because of its close resemblance to a carbon tax. We identify auction mechanisms that appear to be feasible and efficient for carbon permit allocation. We further argue that while the private sector should bear the "external" risk of changes in total permit availability as a consequence of modifications in international agreements, and that an auctioned upstream program provides more protection against the "internal" risk of efficiency-reducing opportunism by government regulators than other trading mechanisms.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-98-40.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-98-40.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 01 Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-98-40

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.rff.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Cramton, Peter & Kerr, Suzi, 2002. "Tradeable carbon permit auctions: How and why to auction not grandfather," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 333-345, March.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach, 1992. "On the Design and Reform of Capital Gains Taxation," NBER Working Papers 3967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
  4. Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1997. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," NBER Working Papers 5967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Burman, Leonard E & Randolph, William C, 1994. "Measuring Permanent Responses to Capital-Gains Tax Changes in Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 794-809, September.
  6. Goulder Lawrence H., 1995. "Effects of Carbon Taxes in an Economy with Prior Tax Distortions: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-297, November.
  7. Minh Ha-Duong & Michael Grubb & Jean-Charles Hourcade, 1997. "Influence of socioeconomic inertia and uncertainty on optimal CO2-emission abatement," Post-Print halshs-00002452, HAL.
  8. George R. Zodrow, 1995. "Economic Issues in the Taxation of Capital Gains," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 21(s1), pages 27-57, November.
  9. Grubb, Michael, 1997. "Technologies, energy systems and the timing of CO2 emissions abatement : An overview of economic issues," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 159-172, February.
  10. Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S64-S77, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Ian W.H. Parry & Michael Toman, 2002. "Early Emission Reduction Programs: An Application to CO2 Policy," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 73-95.
  2. Wojciech Kopczuk & Justin Marion & Erich Muehlegger & Joel Slemrod, 2013. "Do the Laws of Tax Incidence Hold? Point of Collection and the Pass-through of State Diesel Taxes," NBER Working Papers 19410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Matthew Riddle & James Boyce, 2007. "Cap and Dividend: How to Curb Global Warming while Protecting the Incomes of American Families," Working Papers wp150, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  4. Kolstad, Charles D. & Toman, Michael, 2005. "The Economics of Climate Policy," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1561-1618 Elsevier.
  5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 1998. "Towards a successful international greenhouse gas emissions trading," MPRA Paper 13023, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Brenner, Mark & Riddle, Matthew & Boyce, James K., 2007. "A Chinese sky trust?: Distributional impacts of carbon charges and revenue recycling in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1771-1784, March.
  7. Kerr, Suzi & Cramton, Peter, 1998. "Tradable Carbon Permit Auctions: How and Why to Auction Not Grandfather," Discussion Papers dp-98-34, Resources For the Future.
  8. Fankhauser, Samuel & Hepburn, Cameron, 2010. "Designing carbon markets, Part II: Carbon markets in space," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4381-4387, August.
  9. DAUBANES Julien, 2009. "Changement climatique, instruments économiques et propositions pour un accord post-Kyoto : une synthèse," LERNA Working Papers 09.19.295, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  10. James Boyce & Matthew Riddle & Mark D. Brenner, 2005. "A Chinese Sky Trust? Distributional Impacts of Carbon charges and Revenue Recycling in China," Working Papers wp_brenner_riddle_boyce, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  11. Stavins, Robert & Hahn, Robert, 1999. "What Has Kyoto Wrought? The Real Architecture of International Tradable Permit Markets," Discussion Papers dp-99-30, Resources For the Future.
  12. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 1999. "The design and implementation of an international greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme," MPRA Paper 13046, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Fischer, Carolyn & Hoffmann, Sandra & Yoshino , Yutaka, 2002. "Multilateral Trade Agreements and Market-Based Environmental Policies," Discussion Papers dp-02-28, Resources For the Future.
  14. Pezzey, John C.V., 2001. "Distributing the Value of a Country’s Tradeable Carbon Permits," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125832, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  15. Neuhoff, K. & Grubb, M. & Keats, K., 2005. "Impact of the allowance allocation on prices and efficiency," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0552, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Zeuli, Kimberly A. & Skees, Jerry R., 2000. "Will Southern Agriculture Play A Role In A Carbon Market?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(02), August.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-98-40. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.