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Fiddling while carbon burns: why climate policy needs pervasive emission pricing as well as technology promotion

  • John C. V. Pezzey

    ()

    (Australian National University,Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies)

  • Frank Jotzo

    ()

    (Australian National University, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies)

  • John Quiggen

    ()

    (University of Queensland, School of Economics and Political Science)

Effective climate policy requires global emissions of greenhouse gases to be cut substantially, which can be achieved by energy supply technologies with lower emissions, greater energy use efficiency, and substitution in demand. For policy to be efficient requires fairly uniform, fairly pervasive emission pricing from taxes, permit trading, or combinations of the two, as well as significant government support for low-emission technologies. We compare the technology-focused climate policies adopted by Australia and the 'Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate' (AP6), against this ideal policy yardstick. We find that such policies omit the need for emission pricing to achieve abatement effectively and efficiently; they over-prescribe which abatement actions should be used most; they make unrealistic assumptions about how much progress can be achieved by voluntarism and cooperation, in the absence of either adequate funding or mandatory policies; and they unjustifiably contrast technology-focused policy and the Kyoto Protocol approach as the only two policies worth considering, and thus ignore important combined policy options.

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File URL: http://een.anu.edu.au/download_files/een0611.pdf
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Paper provided by Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network in its series Economics and Environment Network Working Papers with number 0611.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anu:eenwps:0611
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://een.anu.edu.au/

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  1. Ford, Melanie & Matysek, Anna & Jakeman, Guy & Gurney, Andrew & Fisher, Brian S., 2006. "Perspectives on international climate policy," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 137963, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  2. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Dallas Burtraw, 1998. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Instruments for Environmental Protection in a Second-Best Setting," NBER Working Papers 6464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Warwick J. McKibbin & Peter J. Wilcoxen, 2002. "The Role of Economics in Climate Change Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 107-129, Spring.
  4. Sijm, J. & Neuhoff, K. & Chen, Y., 2006. "CO2 cost pass through and windfall profits in the power sector," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0639, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 2000. "Neutralizing the Adverse Industry Impacts of CO2 Abatement Policies: What Does it Cost?," NBER Working Papers 7654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
  8. Pezzey, John C.V., 2003. "Emission Taxes and Tradable Permits: A Comparison of Views on Long Run Efficiency," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 58198, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  9. Aldy, Joseph & Barrett, Scott & Stavins, Robert, 2003. "Thirteen Plus One: A Comparison of Global Climate Policy Architectures," Working Paper Series rwp03-012, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  10. Jacoby, Henry D. & Ellerman, A. Denny, 2004. "The safety valve and climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 481-491, March.
  11. Popp, David, 2006. "Innovation in climate policy models: Implementing lessons from the economics of R&D," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 596-609, November.
  12. Jakeman, Guy & Hanslow, Kevin & Hinchy, Mike & Fisher, Brian S. & Woffenden, Kate, 2004. "Induced innovations and climate change policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 937-960, November.
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