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The Polluter Pays Principle and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change: An Application of Fund

  • Richard S.J. Tol

    (Hamburg University, Vrije Universiteit and Carnegie Mellon University)

I compare and contrast five climate scenarios: (1) no climate policy; (2) non-cooperative cost-benefit analysis (NC CBA); (3) NC CBA with international permit trade; (4) NC CBA with joint and several liability for climate change damages; and (5) NC CBA with liability proportional to a country’s share in cumulative emissions. As estimates of the marginal damage costs are low, standard NC CBA implies only limited emission abatement. With international permit trade, emission abatement is even less, as the carbon tax is reduced in countries with fast-growing emissions, and because a permit market ignores the positive, dynamic externalities of abatement. Proportional liability shifts abatement effort towards the richer countries, but away from the fast-growing economies; again, long-term, global emission abatement is reduced. Joint and several liability would lead to more stringent climate policy. These findings are qualitatively robust to the size and accounting of climate change impacts, to the definition of liability, and to the baseline scenario

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2006.88.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.88
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  7. Pearce, David, 1976. "The Limits of Cost-Benefit Analysis as a Guide to Environmental Policy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112.
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  14. P. Michael Link & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "Possible Economic Impacts of a Shutdown of the Thermohaline Circulation: an Application of FUND," Working Papers FNU-42, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2004.
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  18. Jean-Charles Hourcade & Philippe Ambrosi & Stéphane Hallegatte & Franck Lecocq & Patrice Dumas & Minh Ha-Duong, 2003. "Optimal control models and elicitation of attitudes towards climate damages," Post-Print halshs-00000966, HAL.
  19. Tol, Richard S. J. & Verheyen, Roda, 2004. "State responsibility and compensation for climate change damages--a legal and economic assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1109-1130, June.
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