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Assessing the sustainability of optimal pollution paths in a world with inertia

Listed author(s):
  • Marc Leandri

    ()

    (UniversitŽ de Versailles Saint Quentin Ð CEMOTEV)

  • Mabel Tidball

    ()

    (INRA-LAMETA)

Most formal optimal pollution control models assume a constant natural assimilative capacity, despite the biophysical evidence on feedback effects that can degrade this environmental function, as it is the case with the reduction of ocean carbon sinks in the context of climate change. The few models that do consider this degradation establish a bijective relation between the pollution stock and the assimilative capacity, thus ignoring the inertia mechanism at stake. Indeed the level of assimilative capacity is not solely determined by the current pollution stock but by the history of this stock and by the time the ecosystem remains above the degradation threshold. We propose an inertia assessment tool that tests the sustainability of any benchmark optimal pollution path when the inertia of the assimilative capacity degradation process is taken into account. Our simulations show a strong sensitivity to both the inertia degradation speed and the discount rate.

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File URL: http://faere.fr/pub/WorkingPapers/L%C3%A9andri_Tidball_FAERE_WP2017.10.pdf
File Function: First version, 2017
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its series Working Papers with number 2017.10.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:fae:wpaper:2017.10
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.faere.fr

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  1. Fabien Prieur, 2009. "The environmental Kuznets curve in a world of irreversibility," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(1), pages 57-90, July.
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