Depletion of fossil fuels and the impacts of global warming
This paper combines the theory of optimal extraction of exhaustible resources with the theory of greenhouse externalities, to analyse problems of global warming when the supply side is considered. The optimal carbon tax will initially rise but eventually fall when the externality is positively related to the stock of carbon in the atmosphere. It is shown that the tax will start falling before the stock of carbon in the atmosphere reaches its maximum. If, on the other hand, the greenhouse externality depends on the rate of change in the atmospheric stock of carbon, the evolution of the optimal carbon tax is more complex. It can even be optimal to subsidise carbon emissions to avoid future rapid changes in the stock of carbon, and therefore future damages. If the externality is related to the stock of carbon in the atmosphere and there exists a non-polluting backstop technology, it will be optimal to extract and consume fossil fuels even when the price of fossil fuels is equal to the price of the backstop. The total extraction is the same as when the externality is ignored, but in the presence of the greenhouse effect, it will be optimal to slow the extraction and spread it over a longer period.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nordhaus, William D, 1991. "To Slow or Not to Slow: The Economics of the Greenhouse Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 920-937, July.
- Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988.
"The Theory of Environmental Policy,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249.
- Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521311120, February.
- Stephen C Peck & Thomas J. Teisberg, 1992. "CETA: A Model for Carbon Emissions Trajectory Assessment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 55-78.
- Olli Tahvonen, 1995. "Dynamics of pollution control when damage is sensitive to the rate of pollution accumulation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 9-27, January.
- Farzin, Y H, 1992. "The Time Path of Scarcity Rent in the Theory of Exhaustible Resources," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 813-830, July.
- Nordhaus, William D., 1993. "Rolling the 'DICE': an optimal transition path for controlling greenhouse gases," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 27-50, March.
- William D. Nordhaus, 1992. "Rolling the 'Dice': An Optimal Transition Path for Controlling Greenhouse Gases," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1019, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Withagen, Cees, 1994. "Pollution and exhaustibility of fossil fuels," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 235-242, August.
- Samuel Fankhauser, 1994. "The Social Costs of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Expected Value Approach," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 157-184.
- Ulph, Alistair & Ulph, David, 1994. "The Optimal Time Path of a Carbon Tax," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 857-868, Supplemen. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:18:y:1996:i:2:p:115-136. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.