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

  • Robert N. Stavins

    (Harvard University)

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.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2008.82.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2008.82
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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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