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Unilateral Climate Policy, Asymmetric Backstop Adoption, and Carbon Leakage in a Two-Region Hotelling Model

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  • Edwin van der Werf

Abstract

We study backstop adoption and carbon dioxide emission paths in a two-region model with unilateral climate policy and non-renewable resource consumption. The regions have an equal endowment of the internationally tradable resource and a backstop technology. We first study the case of a unilateral stock constraint (e.g. a 450 ppmv carbon dioxide concentration target), and show that the non-abating region makes the final switch to the backstop before the abating region does, though the latter region has two disjoint phases of backstop use if its marginal cost is sufficiently low. Furthermore, we show that the abating region has an inverse N-shaped emission path, with growing emissions in the period for which the ceiling is binding. In addition, there is a phase in which this region has a positive carbon price, but higher emissions than the non-abating region. With a global intertemporal carbon budget instead of a stock constraint, the order of definite backstop adoption is reversed and the abating region’s emissions are always lower. We also show that unilateral climate policy does not lead to international carbon leakage.

Suggested Citation

  • Edwin van der Werf, 2010. "Unilateral Climate Policy, Asymmetric Backstop Adoption, and Carbon Leakage in a Two-Region Hotelling Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 2907, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2907
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bohm Peter, 1993. "Incomplete International Cooperation to Reduce CO2 Emissions: Alternative Policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 258-271, May.
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    3. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Magne, Bertrand & Moreaux, Michel, 2006. "A Hotelling model with a ceiling on the stock of pollution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2875-2904, December.
    4. Hoel, Michael, 1991. "Global environmental problems: The effects of unilateral actions taken by one country," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 55-70, January.
    5. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Public Policies against Global Warming," NBER Working Papers 13454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2011. "Carbon Leakage, The Green Paradox, And Perfect Future Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 767-805, August.
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    8. Corrado Di Maria & Sjak Smulders & Edwin van der Werf, 2008. "Absolute Abundance and Relative Scarcity: Announced Policy, Resource Extraction, and Carbon Emissions," Working Papers 2008.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Léonard,Daniel & Long,Ngo van, 1992. "Optimal Control Theory and Static Optimization in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521331586, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2015. "Efficient Management of Insecure Fossil Fuel Imports through Taxing Domestic Green Energy?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(5), pages 724-751, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate policy; non-renewable resources; backstop technology; carbon leakage; unilateral climate policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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