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Who gains from technological advancement? The role of policy design when cost development for key abatement technologies is uncertain

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  • Matthias Weitzel

    () (National Center for Atmospheric Research
    Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

Abstract

A simple model is used to illustrate the effects of a reduction in (marginal) abatement cost in a two-country setting. It can be shown that a country experiencing a cost reduction can actually be worse off. This holds true for a variety of quantity and price-based emission policies. Under price-based policies, a country with lower abatement costs might engage in additional abatement effort for which it is not compensated. Under a quantity-based policy with a given allocation, a seller of permits can also be negatively affected by a lower carbon price. We also argue that abatement cost shocks to renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) are different in terms of their effects on international energy markets. A shock to renewable energy benefits energy importers because the value of fossil fuels is reduced. The opposite holds for a shock to CCS which benefits energy exporters. The channels identified in the theoretical model can be confirmed in a more complex global computable general equilibrium model. Some regions are indeed worse off from a shock that lowers their abatement costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Weitzel, 2017. "Who gains from technological advancement? The role of policy design when cost development for key abatement technologies is uncertain," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 19(1), pages 151-181, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:envpol:v:19:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10018-016-0142-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10018-016-0142-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessio D’Amato & Bouwe R. Dijkstra, 2018. "Adoption incentives and environmental policy timing under asymmetric information and strategic firm behaviour," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 20(1), pages 125-155, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Abatement cost; Carbon capture and storage; Climate policy; Renewable energy; Technological uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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