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A Meaningful U.S. Cap-and-Trade System to Address Climate Change

Author

Listed:
  • Robert N. Stavins

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

There is growing impetus for a domestic U.S. climate policy that can provide meaningful reductions in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. In this article, I propose and analyze a scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically feasible approach for the United States to reduce its contributions to the increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. The proposal features an up-stream, economy-wide CO2 cap-and-trade system which implements a gradual trajectory of emissions reductions over time, and includes mechanisms to reduce cost uncertainty. I compare the proposed system with frequently discussed alternatives. In addition, I describe common objections to a cap-and-trade approach to the problem, and provide responses to these objections.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert N. Stavins, 2008. "A Meaningful U.S. Cap-and-Trade System to Address Climate Change," Working Papers 2008.82, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2008.82
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    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/Publication/NDL2008/NDL2008-082.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph E. Aldy & Scott Barrett & Robert N. Stavins, 2003. "Thirteen plus one: a comparison of global climate policy architectures," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(4), pages 373-397, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stocking, Andrew, 2012. "Unintended consequences of price controls: An application to allowance markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 120-136.
    2. repec:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:57-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Judson Jaffe & Robert N. Stavins, 2008. "Linkage of Tradable Permit Systems in International Climate Policy Architecture," NBER Working Papers 14432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bruno Lanz & Sebastian Rausch, 2013. "Cap-and-Trade Climate Policy, Free Allowances, and Price-Regulated Firms," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 13/178, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    5. Garth Heutel, 2012. "How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 244-264, April.
    6. Patrick Laurency & Dirk Schindler, 2011. "International Climate Agreements, Cost Reductions and Convergence of Partisan Politics," CESifo Working Paper Series 3591, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Garnache, Cloe & Merel, Pierre R., 2012. "Carbon market policy design: Investigating the role of payments aggregation," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124960, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Gary D. Libecap, 2014. "Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 424-479, June.
    9. James B. Bushnell & Stephen P. Holland & Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel, 2017. "Strategic Policy Choice in State-Level Regulation: The EPA's Clean Power Plan," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 57-90, May.
    10. Venmans, Frank, 2012. "A literature-based multi-criteria evaluation of the EU ETS," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 5493-5510.
    11. Cohen, Mark A. & Vandenbergh, Michael P., 2012. "The potential role of carbon labeling in a green economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S1), pages 53-63.
    12. Ghosh, Madanmohan & Luo, Deming & Siddiqui, Muhammad Shahid & Zhu, Yunfa, 2012. "Border tax adjustments in the climate policy context: CO2 versus broad-based GHG emission targeting," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 154-167.
    13. Gary D. Libecap, 2013. "Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations," NBER Working Papers 19501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Bruno Lanz and Sebastian Rausch, 2016. "Emissions Trading in the Presence of Price-Regulated Polluting Firms: How Costly Are Free Allowances?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    15. Zhang, Da & Rausch, Sebastian & Karplus, Valerie J. & Zhang, Xiliang, 2013. "Quantifying regional economic impacts of CO2 intensity targets in China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 687-701.
    16. Rausch, Sebastian & Mowers, Matthew, 2014. "Distributional and efficiency impacts of clean and renewable energy standards for electricity," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 556-585.
    17. Zhang, Bin & Xu, Liang, 2013. "Multi-item production planning with carbon cap and trade mechanism," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 118-127.
    18. Lanz, Bruno & Rausch, Sebastian, 2011. "General equilibrium, electricity generation technologies and the cost of carbon abatement: A structural sensitivity analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1035-1047, September.
    19. Garth Heutel, 2012. "How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 244-264, April.
    20. repec:spr:annopr:v:240:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10479-013-1514-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cap-and-Trade System; Carbon Dioxide; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Global Climate Change; Carbon Taxes;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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