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Combining Multiple Climate Policy Instruments: How Not To Do It

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  • SAMUEL FANKHAUSER

    () (Grantham Research Institute and Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, London School of Economics, United Kingdom)

  • CAMERON HEPBURN

    (Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment and New College, Oxford, United Kingdom)

  • JISUNG PARK

    (Oxford Department of International, Development and Magdalen College, Oxford University, United Kingdom)

Abstract

Putting a price on carbon is critical for climate change policy. Increasingly, policymakers combine multiple policy tools to achieve this, for example by complementing cap-and-trade schemes with a carbon tax, or with a feed-in tariff. Often, the motivation for doing so is to limit undesirable fluctuations in the carbon price, either from rising too high or falling too low. This paper reviews the implications for the carbon price of combining cap-and-trade with other policy instruments. We find that price intervention may not always have the desired effect. Simply adding a carbon tax to an existing cap-and-trade system reduces the carbon price in the market to such an extent that the overall price signal (tax plus carbon price) may remain unchanged. Generous feed-in tariffs or renewable energy obligations within a capped area have the same effect: they undermine the carbon price in the rest of the trading regime, likely increasing costs without reducing emissions. Policymakers wishing to support carbon prices should turn to hybrid instruments — that is, trading schemes with price-like features, such as an auction reserve price — to make sure their objectives are met.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Fankhauser & Cameron Hepburn & Jisung Park, 2010. "Combining Multiple Climate Policy Instruments: How Not To Do It," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(03), pages 209-225.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:ccexxx:v:01:y:2010:i:03:n:s2010007810000169
    DOI: 10.1142/S2010007810000169
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    Cited by:

    1. de Perthuis, Christian & Trotignon, Raphael, 2014. "Governance of CO2 markets: Lessons from the EU ETS," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 100-106.
    2. Todd Gerarden & W. Spencer Reeder & James H. Stock, 2016. "Federal Coal Program Reform, the Clean Power Plan, and the Interaction of Upstream and Downstream Climate Policies," NBER Working Papers 22214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lehmann, Paul & Gawel, Erik, 2013. "Why should support schemes for renewable electricity complement the EU emissions trading scheme?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 597-607.
    4. Lawrence H. Goulder, 2013. "Markets for Pollution Allowances: What Are the (New) Lessons?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 87-102, Winter.
    5. Strunz, Sebastian & Gawel, Erik & Lehmann, Paul, 2016. "The political economy of renewable energy policies in Germany and the EU," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 33-41.
    6. repec:kap:iecepo:v:15:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10368-016-0370-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Usubiaga, Arkaitz & Acosta-Fernández, José & McDowall, Will & Li, Francis G.N., 2017. "Exploring the macro-scale CO2 mitigation potential of photovoltaics and wind energy in Europe's energy transition," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 203-213.
    8. Grischa Perino, 2015. "Climate Campaigns, Cap and Trade, and Carbon Leakage: Why Trying to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Can Harm the Climate," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 469-495.
    9. Newbery, D. & Reiner, D. & Ritz, R., 2018. "When is a carbon price floor desirable?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1833, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    10. Krahé, Max & Heidug, Wolf & Ward, John & Smale, Robin, 2013. "From demonstration to deployment: An economic analysis of support policies for carbon capture and storage," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 753-763.
    11. Marc Gronwald & Janina Ketterer, 2012. "What Moves the European Carbon Market? - Insights from Conditional Jump Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 3795, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:7:p:2390-:d:157042 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Carbon trading; Carbon tax; climate change policy;

    JEL classification:

    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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