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The policy challenges of tradable credits: A critical review of eight markets

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  • Sovacool, Benjamin K.

Abstract

This article offers a critical review of eight tradable permit markets: water permits at Fox River, Wisconsin; the U.S. leaded gasoline phase-out; sulfur dioxide credits under the U.S. Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990; the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) for controlling ozone and acid rain in Southern California; renewable energy credit trading at the regional level in the United States; individual transferrable quotas for fisheries at the national level in New Zealand; carbon credits traded under the European Union-Emissions Trading Scheme; and carbon offsets permitted under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. By "critical" the article does not fully weigh the costs and benefits of each tradable credit scheme and instead identifies key challenges and problems. By "review" the author relied exclusively on secondary data from an interdisciplinary review of the academic literature. Rather than performing as economic theory suggests, the article shows that in many cases credit markets are prone to compromises in program design, transaction costs, price volatility, leakage, and environmental degradation. The article concludes by discussing the implications of these problems for those seeking to design more equitable and effective public policies addressing environmental degradation and climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2011. "The policy challenges of tradable credits: A critical review of eight markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 575-585, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:2:p:575-585
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2015. "The political economy of pollution markets: Historical lessons for modern energy and climate planners," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 943-953.
    2. repec:eco:journ2:2017-02-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Black, Geoffrey & Holley, Donald & Solan, David & Bergloff, Michael, 2014. "Fiscal and economic impacts of state incentives for wind energy development in the Western United States," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 136-144.
    4. Xu, Meng & Grant-Muller, Susan, 2016. "Trip mode and travel pattern impacts of a Tradable Credits Scheme: A case study of Beijing," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 72-83.
    5. repec:eee:transa:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:52-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:clg:wpaper:2015-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Andres P. Perez, Enzo E. Sauma, Francisco D. Munoz, and Benjamin F. Hobbs, 2016. "The Economic Effects of Interregional Trading of Renewable Energy Certificates in the U.S. WECC," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    8. Call, Isabel L. & Lew, Daniel K., 2015. "Tradable permit programs: What are the lessons for the new Alaska halibut catch sharing plan?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 125-137.
    9. Paul Lehmann & Felix Creutzig & Melf-Hinrich Ehlers & Nele Friedrichsen & Clemens Heuson & Lion Hirth & Robert Pietzcker, 2012. "Carbon Lock-Out: Advancing Renewable Energy Policy in Europe," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-32, February.
    10. Wolfgang Buchholz & Jonas Frank & Hans-Dieter Karl & Johannes Pfeiffer & Karen Pittel & Ursula Triebswetter & Jochen Habermann & Wolfgang Mauch & Thomas Staudacher, 2012. "Die Zukunft der Energiemärkte: Ökonomische Analyse und Bewertung von Potenzialen und Handlungsmöglichkeiten," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 57, October.
    11. Li, Y.P. & Huang, G.H. & Li, M.W., 2014. "An integrated optimization modeling approach for planning emission trading and clean-energy development under uncertainty," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 31-46.
    12. repec:spr:masfgc:v:22:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s11027-016-9720-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kamleshan Pillay & Jorge E. Viñuales, 2016. "“Monetary” rules for a linked system of offset credits," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(6), pages 933-951, December.
    14. Wang, Qiang & Chen, Xi, 2013. "Rethinking and reshaping the climate policy: Literature review and proposed guidelines," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 469-477.

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