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Delayed Participation of Developing Countries to Climate Agreements: Should Action in the EU and US be Postponed?

  • Valentina Bosetti
  • Carlo Carraro
  • Massimo Tavoni

This paper analyses the cost implications for climate policy in developed countries if developing countries are unwilling to adopt measures to reduce their own GHG emissions. First, we assume that a 450 CO2 (550 CO2e) ppmv stabilisation target is to be achieved and that Non Annex1 (NA1) countries decide to delay their GHG emission reductions by 30 years. What would be the cost difference between this scenario and a case in which both developed and developing countries start reducing their emissions at the same time? Then, we look at a scenario in which the timing of developing countries’ participation is uncertain and again we compute the costs of climate policy in developed and developing countries. We findthat delayed participation of NA1 countries has a negative impact on climate policy costs. Economic inefficiencies can be as large as 10-25 TlnUSD. However, this additional cost wanes when developing countries are allowed to trade emission reductions from their baseline emission paths during the 30-year delay period. Thus, irrespective of whether NA1 countriesare immediately assigned an emission reduction target or not, they should nonetheless be included in a global carbon market. Technology deployment is also affected by the timing of developing countries’ mitigation measures. Delayed NA1-country participation in a climateagreement would scale down the deployment of coal with CCS throughout the century. Onthe other hand, innovation in the form of energy R&D investments would be positivelyaffected, since it would become crucial in developed countries. Finally, uncertainty about the timing of NA1-country participation does not modify the optimal abatement strategy for developed countries and does not alter policy costs as long as a global carbon market is in place.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2445.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2445
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  1. Valentina Bosetti & Carlo Carraro & Emanuele Massetti, 2008. "Banking Permits: Economic Efficiency and Distributional Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 2214, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bosetti, Valentina & Tavoni, Massimo, 2009. "Uncertain R&D, backstop technology and GHGs stabilization," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(Supplemen), pages S18-S26.
  3. Valentina Bosetti & Carlo Carraro & Emanuele Massetti, 2007. "International Energy R&D Spillovers and the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Atmospheric Stabilization," Working Papers 2007_11, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  4. Warwick J. McKibbin & Martin T. Ross & Robert Shackleton & Peter J. Wilcoxen, 1999. "Emissions Trading, Capital Flows and the Kyoto Protocol," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 287-333.
  5. Tavoni, Massimo & Sohngen, Brent & Bosetti, Valentina, 2007. "Forestry and the carbon market response to stabilize climate," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5346-5353, November.
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