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When do increasing carbon taxes accelerate global warming? A note on the green paradox

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  • Edenhofer, Ottmar
  • Kalkuhl, Matthias

Abstract

The "green paradox" by Hans-Werner Sinn suggests that increasing resource taxes accelerate global warming because resource owners increase near-term extraction in fear of higher future taxation. In this note we show that this effect does only occur for the specific set of carbon taxes that increase at a rate higher than the effective discount rate of the resource owners. We calculate a critical initial value for the carbon tax that leads to a decreased cumulative consumption over the entire (infinite) time horizon. Applying our formal findings to carbon taxes for several mitigation targets, we conclude that there is a low risk of a green paradox in case the regulator implements and commits to a permanently mal-adjusted tax. This remaining risk can be avoided by emissions trading scheme as suggested by Sinn--as long as the emission caps are set appropriately and the intertemporal permit market works correctly.

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  • Edenhofer, Ottmar & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2011. "When do increasing carbon taxes accelerate global warming? A note on the green paradox," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 2208-2212, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:2208-2212
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fang, Guochang & Tian, Lixin & Fu, Min & Sun, Mei, 2013. "The impacts of carbon tax on energy intensity and economic growth – A dynamic evolution analysis on the case of China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 17-28.
    2. Matthias Kalkuhl & Ottmar Edenhofer & Kai Lessmann, 2015. "The Role of Carbon Capture and Sequestration Policies for Climate Change Mitigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 60(1), pages 55-80, January.
    3. Michael Nippa & Sanjay Patnaik & Markus Taussig, 2021. "MNE responses to carbon pricing regulations: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 52(5), pages 904-929, July.
    4. Akkaya Sahin & Bakkal Ufuk, 2020. "Carbon Leakage Along with the Green Paradox Against Carbon Abatement? A Review Based on Carbon Tax," Folia Oeconomica Stetinensia, Sciendo, vol. 20(1), pages 25-44, June.
    5. Mattauch, Linus & Creutzig, Felix & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2015. "Avoiding carbon lock-in: Policy options for advancing structural change," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 49-63.
    6. Max Franks & Ottmar Edenhofer & Kai Lessmann, 2017. "Why Finance Ministers Favor Carbon Taxes, Even If They Do Not Take Climate Change into Account," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(3), pages 445-472, November.
    7. Nachtigall, Daniel & Rübbelke, Dirk, 2016. "The green paradox and learning-by-doing in the renewable energy sector," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 74-92.
    8. Zhang, Kun & Zhang, Zong-Yong & Liang, Qiao-Mei, 2017. "An empirical analysis of the green paradox in China: From the perspective of fiscal decentralization," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 203-211.
    9. Ya Chen & Xiaoli Fan & Qian Zhou, 2020. "An Inverted-U Impact of Environmental Regulations on Carbon Emissions in China’s Iron and Steel Industry: Mechanisms of Synergy and Innovation Effects," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-19, February.
    10. Gaoxiang Gu & Zheng Wang, 2019. "The Limit of Global Carbon Tax and its Climatic and Economic Effects," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 169-189, January.
    11. Taylor, David D.J. & Layurova, Mariya & Vogel, David S. & Slocum, Alexander H., 2019. "Black into green: A BIG opportunity for North Dakota’s oil and gas producers," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 242(C), pages 1189-1197.
    12. Campisi-Pinto, Salvatore & Gianchandani, Kaushal & Ashkenazy, Yosef, 2020. "Statistical tests for the distribution of surface wind and current speeds across the globe," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 861-876.
    13. Peeters, Paul M. & Eijgelaar, Eke, 2014. "Tourism's climate mitigation dilemma: Flying between rich and poor countries," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 15-26.
    14. Siegmeier, Jan & Mattauch, Linus & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2018. "Capital beats coal: How collecting the climate rent increases aggregate investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 366-378.
    15. Johannes Pfeiffer, 2017. "Fossil Resources and Climate Change – The Green Paradox and Resource Market Power Revisited in General Equilibrium," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 77, August.
    16. Buñuel González, Miguel, 2011. "El precio de la electricidad y la política de cambio climático: ¿qué papel puede jugar un impuesto sobre el carbono en España? /The Price of Electricity and Climate Change Policy: What Role May a Carb," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 29, pages 663(18.)-66, Agosto.
    17. Fergus Green & Richard Denniss, 2018. "Cutting with both arms of the scissors: the economic and political case for restrictive supply-side climate policies," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 73-87, September.
    18. Clément Bonnet & Samuel Carcanague & Emmanuel Hache & Gondia Sokhna Seck & Marine Simoën, 2018. "The Nexus between Climate Negotiations and Low-Carbon Innovation : A Geopolitics of Renewable Energy Patents," Working Papers hal-03188847, HAL.
    19. Christian Beermann, 2015. "Climate Policy and the Intertemporal Supply of Fossil Resources," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 62, August.
    20. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2013. "Cumulative Carbon Emissions and the Green Paradox," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 281-300, June.
    21. Gábor Kutasi, 2015. "Budgetary Dilemmas Related to Climate Change," Revista Finanzas y Politica Economica, Universidad Católica de Colombia, vol. 7(1), pages 97-107, January.
    22. Eskeland, Gunnar S., 2013. "Leadership in Climate Policy: Is there a case for Early Unilateral Unconditional Emission Reductions?," Discussion Papers 2013/6, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    23. Alex Bowen, 2014. "Green growth," Chapters, in: Giles Atkinson & Simon Dietz & Eric Neumayer & Matthew Agarwala (ed.), Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 15, pages 237-251, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    24. Matthias Kalkuhl & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2010. "Prices vs. Quantities and the Intertemporal Dynamics of the Climate Rent," CESifo Working Paper Series 3044, CESifo.
    25. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Steckel, Jan Christoph & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2020. "All or nothing: Climate policy when assets can become stranded," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).

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