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Optimal Emission Policy under the Risk of Irreversible Pollution

Author

Listed:
  • Alain Ayong Le Kama

    (EQUIPPE, Université de Lille)

  • Aude Pommeret

    (Université de Lausanne and IREGE, Université de Savoie)

  • Fabien Prieur

    (INRA-LAMETA, Université Montpellier I)

Abstract

We consider an optimal consumption and pollution problem that has two important features. Environmental damages due to economic activities may be irreversible and the level at which the degradation becomes irreversible is unknown. Particular attention is paid to the situation where agents are relatively impatient and/or do not care a lot about the environment and/or Nature regenerates at low rate. We show that the optimal policy of the uncertain problem drives the economy in the long run toward a steady state while, when ignoring irreversibility, the economy follows a balanced growth path accompanied by a perpetual decrease in environmental quality and consumption, both asymptotically converging toward zero. Therefore, accounting for the risk of irreversibility induces more conservative decisions regarding consumption and polluting emissions. In general, however, we cannot rule out situations where the economy will optimally follow an irreversible path and consequently, will also be left, in the long run, with an irreversibly degraded environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Ayong Le Kama & Aude Pommeret & Fabien Prieur, 2011. "Optimal Emission Policy under the Risk of Irreversible Pollution," Working Papers 2011.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.14
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    File URL: https://www.feem.it/m/publications_pages/NDL2011-014.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Alain Ayong Le Kama, 2001. "Preservation and exogenous uncertain future preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 18(3), pages 745-752.
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    Cited by:

    1. Prieur, Fabien & Tidball, Mabel & Withagen, Cees, 2013. "Optimal emission-extraction policy in a world of scarcity and irreversibility," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 637-658.
    2. Brausmann, Alexandra & Bretschger, Lucas, 2018. "Economic development on a finite planet with stochastic soil degradation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-19.
    3. Prudence Dato, 2017. "Energy Transition Under Irreversibility: A Two-Sector Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(3), pages 797-820, November.
    4. Fouad El Ouardighi & Hassan Benchekroun & Dieter Grass, 2016. "Self-regenerating environmental absorption efficiency and the $$\varvec{ soylent~green~scenario}$$ s o y l e n t g r e e n s c e n a r i o," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 238(1), pages 179-198, March.
    5. Anne‐Sophie Crépin & Eric Nævdal, 2020. "Inertia Risk: Improving Economic Models of Catastrophes," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 122(4), pages 1259-1285, October.
    6. Guo, Jian-Xin & Zhu, Kaiwei, 2021. "Implications for enterprise to adopt cleaner technology: From the perspective of energy market and commodity market," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).
    7. Alain Ayong Le Kama & Aude Pommeret, 2017. "Supplementing Domestic Mitigation and Adaptation with Emissions Reduction Abroad to Face Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(4), pages 875-891, December.
    8. Aznar-Márquez, J. & Ruiz-Tamarit, J.R., 2017. "Sustainable growth and environmental catastrophes," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 83-91.
    9. Aznar-Márquez, J. & Ruiz-Tamarit, J.R., 2016. "Environmental pollution, sustained growth, and sufficient conditions for sustainable development," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 439-449.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal Control; Irreversibility Threshold; Uncertainty; Optimal Reversible; Irreversible Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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