IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v49y2012icp288-295.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A cost–benefit analysis of the EU 20/20/2020 package

Author

Listed:
  • Tol, Richard S.J.

Abstract

The European Commission did not publish a cost–benefit analysis for its 2020 climate package. This paper fills that gap, comparing the marginal costs and benefits of greenhouse gas emission reduction. The uncertainty about the marginal costs of climate change is large and skewed, and estimates partly reflect ethical choices (e.g., the discount rate). The 2010 carbon price in the EU Emissions Trading System can readily be justified by a cost–benefit analysis. Emission reduction is not expensive provided that policy is well-designed, a condition not met by planned EU policy. It is probably twice as expensive as needed, costing one in ten years of economic growth. The EU targets for 2020 are unlikely to meet the benefit–cost test. For a standard discount rate (3% pure rate of time preference), the benefit–cost ratio is rather poor (1/30)—so that benefits need to be very much higher, or costs very much lower than typically assumed to justify the 2020 targets. Only a very low discount rate (0% PRTP) would justify the 20% emission reduction target for 2020.

Suggested Citation

  • Tol, Richard S.J., 2012. "A cost–benefit analysis of the EU 20/20/2020 package," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 288-295.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:49:y:2012:i:c:p:288-295
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.06.018
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512005253
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Reilly, Marcus Sarofim, Sergey Paltsev and Ronald Prinn, 2006. "The Role of Non-CO2 GHGs in Climate Policy: Analysis Using the MIT IGSM," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 503-520.
    2. Anthoff, David & Tol, Richard S.J., 2010. "On international equity weights and national decision making on climate change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 14-20, July.
    3. Anthoff, David & Rose, Steven & Tol, Richard S. J. & Waldhoff, Stephanie, 2011. "Regional and sectoral estimates of the social cost of carbon: An application of FUND," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-18, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Patuelli, Roberto & Nijkamp, Peter & Pels, Eric, 2005. "Environmental tax reform and the double dividend: A meta-analytical performance assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 564-583, December.
    5. Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Intra- and extra-union flexibility in meeting the European Union's emission reduction targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4329-4336, November.
    6. Smulders, Sjak & Gradus, Raymond, 1996. "Pollution abatement and long-term growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 505-532, November.
    7. Tol, Richard S. J., 2005. "The marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions: an assessment of the uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(16), pages 2064-2074, November.
    8. Yunfeng, Yan & Laike, Yang, 2010. "China's foreign trade and climate change: A case study of CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 350-356, January.
    9. Carolyn Fischer & Richard D. Morgenstern, 2006. "Carbon Abatement Costs: Why the Wide Range of Estimates?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 73-86.
    10. Böhringer, Christoph & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tol, Richard S. J., 2009. "The EU 20/20/2020 Targets: An Overview of the EMF22 Assessment," Papers WP325, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    11. Benz, Eva & Trück, Stefan, 2009. "Modeling the price dynamics of CO2 emission allowances," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 4-15, January.
    12. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
    13. Tol, Richard S. J., 2008. "The Social Cost of Carbon: Trends, Outliers and Catastrophes," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-22.
    14. John P. Weyant, 1993. "Costs of Reducing Global Carbon Emissions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 27-46, Fall.
    15. Tol, Richard S. J., 2009. "Why Worry About Climate Change?," Papers RB2009/1/1, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    16. Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams III, Roberton C., 1999. "A second-best evaluation of eight policy instruments to reduce carbon emissions," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 347-373, August.
    17. John P. Weyant, Francisco C. de la Chesnaye, and Geoff J. Blanford, 2006. "Overview of EMF-21: Multigas Mitigation and Climate Policy," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-32.
    18. Terry Barker & Jonathan Köhler & Marcelo Villena, 2002. "Costs of greenhouse gas abatement: meta-analysis of post-SRES mitigation scenarios," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 5(2), pages 135-166, June.
    19. repec:oup:renvpo:v:12:y:2018:i:1:p:4-25. is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Peters, Glen P., 2008. "From production-based to consumption-based national emission inventories," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 13-23, March.
    21. Christoph Böhringer & Henrike Koschel & Ulf Moslener, 2008. "Efficiency losses from overlapping regulation of EU carbon emissions," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 299-317, June.
    22. Bohringer, Christoph & Hoffmann, Tim & Manrique-de-Lara-Penate, Casiano, 2006. "The efficiency costs of separating carbon markets under the EU emissions trading scheme: A quantitative assessment for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 44-61, January.
    23. Burtraw, Dallas & Krupnick, Alan & Palmer, Karen & Paul, Anthony & Toman, Michael & Bloyd, Cary, 2003. "Ancillary benefits of reduced air pollution in the US from moderate greenhouse gas mitigation policies in the electricity sector," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 650-673, May.
    24. Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Intra-union flexibility of non-ETS emission reduction obligations in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1745-1752, May.
    25. Boeters, Stefan & Koornneef, Joris, 2011. "Supply of renewable energy sources and the cost of EU climate policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1024-1034, September.
    26. Bruton, H.J., 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Center for Development Economics 156, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    27. Manne, Alan & Richels, Richard, 2004. "US rejection of the Kyoto Protocol: the impact on compliance costs and CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 447-454, March.
    28. Richard S.J. Tol, 2011. "The Social Cost of Carbon," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 419-443, October.
    29. Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
    30. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2004. "Optimal climate policy is a utopia: from quantitative to qualitative cost-benefit analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 385-393, April.
    31. Babiker, Mustafa H. & Metcalf, Gilbert E. & Reilly, John, 2003. "Tax distortions and global climate policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 269-287, September.
    32. Richard S J Tol, 2018. "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 4-25.
    33. Pearce, David, 1976. "The Limits of Cost-Benefit Analysis as a Guide to Environmental Policy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112.
    34. Kretschmer, Bettina & Narita, Daiju & Peterson, Sonja, 2009. "The economic effects of the EU biofuel target," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 32984, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    35. Bredin, Don & Muckley, Cal, 2011. "An emerging equilibrium in the EU emissions trading scheme," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 353-362, March.
    36. Christoph Bohringer, Andreas Loschel and Thomas F. Rutherford, 2006. "Efficiency Gains from "What"-Flexibility in Climate Policy An Integrated CGE Assessment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 405-424.
    37. Weyant, John P., 2004. "Introduction and overview," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 501-515, July.
    38. Roques, Fabien A. & Newbery, David M. & Nuttall, William J., 2008. "Fuel mix diversification incentives in liberalized electricity markets: A Mean-Variance Portfolio theory approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1831-1849, July.
    39. Chevallier, Julien, 2011. "Nonparametric modeling of carbon prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1267-1282.
    40. Marc D. Davidson, 2008. "Wrongful Harm to Future Generations: The Case of Climate Change," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 17(4), pages 471-488, November.
    41. Onno Kuik & Reyer Gerlagh, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Carbon Leakage," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 97-120.
    42. Henry J. Bruton, 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 903-936, June.
    43. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6791 is not listed on IDEAS
    44. Kuik, Onno & Brander, Luke & Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Marginal abatement costs of greenhouse gas emissions: A meta-analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1395-1403, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Robert Hahn & Robert Ritz, 2014. "Optimal Altruism in Public Good Provision," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1403, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Irz, Xavier & Leroy, Pascal & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2016. "Welfare and sustainability effects of dietary recommendations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 139-155.
    3. Kanellakis, M. & Martinopoulos, G. & Zachariadis, T., 2013. "European energy policy—A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1020-1030.
    4. Eliasson, Jonas & Proost, Stef, 2015. "Is sustainable transport policy sustainable?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 92-100.
    5. Nikodinoska, Natasha & Buonocore, Elvira & Paletto, Alessandro & Franzese, Pier Paolo, 2017. "Wood-based bioenergy value chain in mountain urban districts: An integrated environmental accounting framework," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 186(P2), pages 197-210.
    6. Devitt, Conor & Diffney, Seán & FitzGerald, John & Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura & Tuohy, Aidan, 2011. "Goldilocks and the Three Electricity Prices: Are Irish Prices "Just Right"?," Papers WP372, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Liobikienė, Genovaitė & Butkus, Mindaugas, 2017. "The European Union possibilities to achieve targets of Europe 2020 and Paris agreement climate policy," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 298-309.
    8. Anthoff, David & Rose, Steven K. & Tol, Richard S. J. & Waldhoff, Stephanie, 2011. "Regional and Sectoral Estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon: An Application of FUND," Papers WP375, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    9. Gorecki, Paul K. & Tol, Richard S. J., 2011. "The Climate Change Response Bill 2010: An Assessment," Papers WP371, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    10. Ortega, Margarita & del Río, Pablo & Montero, Eduardo A., 2013. "Assessing the benefits and costs of renewable electricity. The Spanish case," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 294-304.
    11. F. Zagonari, 2015. "Coherence, efficiency, and independence of the EU environmental policy system: results of complementary statistical and econometric analyses," Working Papers wp992, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Johansson, Per-Olov, 2015. "Tradable Permits in Cost-Benefit Analysis," SSE Working Paper Series in Economics 2015:3, Stockholm School of Economics.
    13. Brandão de Vasconcelos, Ana & Cabaço, António & Pinheiro, Manuel Duarte & Manso, Armando, 2016. "The impact of building orientation and discount rates on a Portuguese reference building refurbishment decision," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 329-340.
    14. Gawel, Erik & Strunz, Sebastian & Lehmann, Paul, 2014. "A public choice view on the climate and energy policy mix in the EU — How do the emissions trading scheme and support for renewable energies interact?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 175-182.
    15. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:487-502 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Manzone, Marco, 2015. "Energy consumption and CO2 analysis of different types of chippers used in wood biomass plantations," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 686-692.
    17. Sijm, Jos & Lehmann, Paul & Chewpreecha, Unnada & Gawel, Erik & Mercure, Jean-Francois & Pollitt, Hector & Strunz, Sebastian, 2014. "EU climate and energy policy beyond 2020: Are additional targets and instruments for renewables economically reasonable?," UFZ Discussion Papers 3/2014, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    18. Ortega-Izquierdo, Margarita & del Río, Pablo, 2016. "Benefits and costs of renewable electricity in Europe," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 372-383.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:49:y:2012:i:c:p:288-295. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.