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Early Emission Reduction Programs: An Application to CO2 Policy

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  • Ian W.H. Parry
  • Michael Toman

Abstract

In the wake of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which if implemented would oblige industrialized countries to meet targets for greenhouse gases (GHGs) In 2008-2012, there have been several proposals to reduce emissions during the interim period. A concern for early reduction also arises in other policy contexts. This paper uses a series of simple models and numerical illustrations to analyze voluntary early reduction credits for GHGs. We examine several issues that affect the economic performance of these policies, including asymmetric information, learning-by-doing, and fiscal impacts, and we compare their performance with that of an early cap-and-trade program. We find that the economic benefits of early credit programs are likely to be limited, unless these credits can be banked to offset future emissions. Such banking was not allowed under the Kyoto Protocol. An early cap-and-trade program can avoid many of the problems of early credits, provided it does not require excessive abatement.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2002v23-01-a04
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    Cited by:

    1. Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2004. "Cost-effective environmental policy: implications of induced technological change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1099-1121, November.
    2. Wang, Mingxi & Wang, Mingrong & Wang, Shouyang, 2012. "Optimal investment and uncertainty on China's carbon emission abatement," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 871-877.
    3. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2004. "Mandatory and Voluntary Approaches to Mitigating Climate Change," Working Papers 2004-28, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    4. Corrado Di Maria & Sjak Smulders & Edwin van der Werf, 2008. "Absolute Abundance and Relative Scarcity: Announced Policy, Resource Extraction, and Carbon Emissions," Working Papers 2008.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Di Maria, Corrado & Smulders, Sjak & van der Werf, Edwin, 2012. "Absolute abundance and relative scarcity: Environmental policy with implementation lags," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 104-119.
    6. Kim, Eun-Hee & Lyon, Thomas P., 2011. "Strategic environmental disclosure: Evidence from the DOE's voluntary greenhouse gas registry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 311-326, May.
    7. Kruger, Joseph, 2005. "From SO2 to Greenhouse Gases: Trends and Events Shaping Future Emissions Trading Programs in the United States," Discussion Papers dp-05-20, Resources For the Future.
    8. Xiangsheng Dou, 2015. "The essence, feature and role of low carbon economy," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 123-136, February.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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