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Addressing climate change with a comprehensive US cap-and-trade system

  • Robert N. Stavins

There is growing impetus for a domestic U.S. climate policy that can provide meaningful reductions in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. I describe and analyze an up-stream, economy-wide CO2 cap-and-trade system which implements a gradual trajectory of emissions reductions (with inclusion over time of non-CO2 greenhouse gases), and includes mechanisms to reduce cost uncertainty. Initially, half of the allowances are allocated through auction and half through free distribution, with the share being auctioned gradually increasing to 100 percent over 25 years. The system provides for linkage with emission reduction credit projects in other countries, harmonization over time with effective cap-and-trade systems in other countries and regions, and appropriate linkage with actions taken in other countries, in order to establish a level playing field among domestically produced and imported products.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oxrep/grn017
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Pages: 298-321

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:24:y:2008:i:2:p:298-321
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  1. Farrell, Alex & Carter, Robert & Raufer, Roger, 1999. "The NOx Budget: market-based control of tropospheric ozone in the northeastern United States," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 103-124, May.
  2. Stavins, Robert, 2005. "Vintage-Differentiated Environmental Regulation," Discussion Papers dp-05-59, Resources For the Future.
  3. Kerr, Suzi & Newell, Richard, 2001. "Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S. Lead Phasedown," Discussion Papers dp-01-14, Resources For the Future.
  4. Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Costs of Carbon Sequestration: A Revealed-Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 994-1009, September.
  5. Gillingham, Kenneth & Newell, Richard G. & Palmer, Karen, 2009. "Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy," Discussion Papers dp-09-13, Resources For the Future.
  6. Newell, Richard G & Stavins, Robert N, 2003. "Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 43-59, January.
  7. Lubowski, Ruben N. & Plantinga, Andrew J. & Stavins, Robert N., 2006. "Land-use change and carbon sinks: Econometric estimation of the carbon sequestration supply function," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 135-152, March.
  8. Curtis Carlson & Dallas Burtraw & Maureen Cropper & Karen L. Palmer, 2000. "Sulfur Dioxide Control by Electric Utilities: What Are the Gains from Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1292-1326, December.
  9. Pizer, William, 2005. "Climate Policy Design Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp-05-44, Resources For the Future.
  10. Burtraw, Dallas & Krupnick, Alan & Austin, David & Farrell, Deirdre & Mansur, Erin, 1997. "The Costs and Benefits of Reducing Acid Rain," Discussion Papers dp-97-31-rev, Resources For the Future.
  11. Jaffe, Adam B. & Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2005. "A tale of two market failures: Technology and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 164-174, August.
  12. Stavins, Robert, 2007. "A U.S. Cap-and-Trade System to Address Global Climate Change," Working Paper Series rwp07-052, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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