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The hedge value of international emissions trading under uncertainty

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  • Webster, Mort
  • Paltsev, Sergey
  • Reilly, John

Abstract

This paper estimates the value of international emissions trading, focusing on a here-to-fore neglected component; its value as a hedge against uncertainty. Much analysis has been done of the Kyoto Protocol and other potential international greenhouse gas mitigation policies comparing the costs of achieving emission targets with and without trading. These studies often show large cost reductions for all Parties under trading compared to a no trading case. We investigate the welfare gains of including emissions trading in the presence of uncertainty in economic growth rates, using both a partial equilibrium model based on marginal abatement cost curves and a computable general equilibrium model. We find that the hedge value of international trading is small relative to its value in reallocating emissions reductions when the burden sharing scheme does not resemble a least cost allocation. We also find that the effects of pre-existing tax distortions and terms of trade dominate the hedge value of trading. We conclude that the primary value of emissions trading in international agreements is as a burden sharing or wealth transfer mechanism and should be judged accordingly.

Suggested Citation

  • Webster, Mort & Paltsev, Sergey & Reilly, John, 2010. "The hedge value of international emissions trading under uncertainty," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1787-1796, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:4:p:1787-1796
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Webster, Mort & Cho, Cheol-Hung, 2006. "Analysis of variability and correlation in long-term economic growth rates," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 653-666, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Weitzel, 2017. "The role of uncertainty in future costs of key CO2 abatement technologies: a sensitivity analysis with a global computable general equilibrium model," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 153-173, January.
    2. Fujimori, Shinichiro & Masui, Toshihiko & Matsuoka, Yuzuru, 2015. "Gains from emission trading under multiple stabilization targets and technological constraints," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 306-315.
    3. Subimal Chatterjee & Satadruta Mookherjee, 2018. "Valuing bets and hedges," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 13(6), pages 509-513, November.
    4. Nemet, Gregory F., 2010. "Robust incentives and the design of a climate change governance regime," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7216-7225, November.
    5. Chang, Kai & Pei, Ping & Zhang, Chao & Wu, Xin, 2017. "Exploring the price dynamics of CO2 emissions allowances in China's emissions trading scheme pilots," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 213-223.
    6. Dai, Hancheng & Xie, Yang & Liu, Jingyu & Masui, Toshihiko, 2018. "Aligning renewable energy targets with carbon emissions trading to achieve China's INDCs: A general equilibrium assessment," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 82(P3), pages 4121-4131.
    7. Shiro Takeda & Toshi H. Arimura & Makoto Sugino, 2019. "Labor Market Distortions and Welfare-Decreasing International Emissions Trading," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 74(1), pages 271-293, September.
    8. Martin Henseler & Ruth Delzeit & Marcel Adenäuer & Sarah Baum & Peter Kreins, 2020. "Nitrogen Tax and Set-Aside as Greenhouse Gas Abatement Policies Under Global Change Scenarios: A Case Study for Germany," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 76(2), pages 299-329, July.

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