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A No Cap But Trade Proposal For Greenhous Gas Emission Reduction Targets For Brazil, China And India

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  • Katrin Rehdanz
  • Richard S.J. Tol

    ()
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

Abstract

One problem in international climate policy is the refusal of large developing countries to accept emission reduction targets. Brazil, China and India together account for about 20% of today’s CO2 emissions. We analyse the case in which there is no international agreement on emission reduction targets, but countries do have domestic targets, and trade permits across borders. We contrast two scenarios. In one scenario, Brazil, China and India adopt their business as usual emissions as their target. In this scenario, there are substantial exports of emission permits from developing to developed countries, and substantial economic gains for all. In the second scenario, Brazil, China and India reduce their emissions target so that they have no net economic gain from permit trade. Here, developing countries do not accept responsibility for climate change (as they bear no net costs), but they do contribute to emission reduction policy by refusing to make money out of it. Adopting such break-even targets can be done at minor cost to developed and developing countries (roughly $2 bln/year each in extra costs and foregone benefits), while developing countries are still slightly better off than in the case without international emissions trade. This result is robust to variations in scenarios and parameters. It contrasts with Stewart and Wiener (2003) who propose granting “hot air” to developing countries to seduce them to accept targets. In 2020, China and India could reduce their emissions by some 10% from the baseline without net economic costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University in its series Working Papers with number FNU-68.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision: Jul 2005
Publication status: Published, Climate Policy, 8 (3), 293-304
Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:68

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Keywords: climate policy; developing countries; emission permits; emission reduction targets;

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References

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  1. Scott Barrett & Robert Stavins, 2003. "Increasing Participation and Compliance in International Climate Change Agreements," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 349-376, December.
  2. Aldy, Joseph & Barrett, Scott & Stavins, Robert, 2003. "Thirteen Plus One: A Comparison of Global Climate Policy Architectures," Working Paper Series rwp03-012, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol & Patrick Wetzel, 2005. "Ocean Carbon Sinks And International Climate Policy," Working Papers FNU-60, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2005.
  4. Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "On Multi-Period Allocation Of Tradable Emission Permits," Working Papers FNU-43, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2004.
  5. Carlo Carraro & Barbara Buchner, 2006. "Regional and sub-global climate blocs. A game-theoretic perspective on bottom-up climate regimes," Working Papers 2006_10, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  6. Yasuko Kameyama, 2004. "The Future Climate Regime: A Regional Comparison of Proposals," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 307-326, December.
  7. Rehdanz, Katrin & Tol, Richard S.J., 2005. "Unilateral regulation of bilateral trade in greenhouse gas emission permits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 397-416, September.
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