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Fossil Fuel Extraction and Climate Policy: A Review of the Green Paradox with Endogenous Resource Exploration

Author

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  • Ines Österle

    (Centro di Economia Regionale, dei Trasporti e del Turismo CERTeT - Bocconi)

Abstract

Policies aimed at reducing emissions from fossil fuels may increase climate damages. This “Green Paradox” emerges if resource owners increase near-term extraction in fear of stricter future policy measures. Hans-Werner Sinn (2008) showed that the paradox occurs when increasing resource taxes are applied within a basic exhaustible resource model. This article highlights that the emergence of the Green Paradox within this framework relies on the non-existence of a backstop technology and fixed fossil fuel resources. In doing this, it initially presents a basic exhaustible resource model which includes a backstop technology and shows that the implementation of a specific sales tax path is effective in mitigating global warming. Secondly, it considers the case of costly exploration activities being introduced within the basic model and accounts for the real world condition that the location of fossil fuels is unknown. Under this condition, an increasing cash flow tax is effective in dealing with climate change if policy makers commit to a high initial tax level and to a specific range of growth rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Ines Österle, 2012. "Fossil Fuel Extraction and Climate Policy: A Review of the Green Paradox with Endogenous Resource Exploration," Working Papers 2012.13, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2012.13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frederick Van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2011. "Optimal Carbon Tax with a Dirty Backstop - Oil, Coal, or Renewables?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3334, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Edwin van der Werf & Corrado Di Maria, 2011. "Unintended Detrimental Effects of Environmental Policy: The Green Paradox and Beyond," CESifo Working Paper Series 3466, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Deacon Robert T., 1993. "Taxation, Depletion, and Welfare: A Simulation Study of the U.S. Petroleum Resource," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 159-187, March.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: a supply side approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 360-394, August.
    5. Yucel, Mine Kuban, 1986. "Dynamic analysis of severance taxation in a competitive exhaustible resource industry," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-218, September.
    6. Corrado Di Maria & Sjak Smulders & Edwin van der Werf, 2008. "Absolute Abundance and Relative Scarcity: Announced Policy, Resource Extraction, and Carbon Emissions," Working Papers 2008.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    7. Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Livernois, John R & Uhler, Russell S, 1987. "Extraction Costs and the Economics of Nonrenewable Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 195-203, February.
    9. Livernois, John R., 1987. "Empirical evidence on the characteristics of extractive technologies: The case of oil," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 72-86, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Taran Fæhn, Cathrine Hagem, Lars Lindholt, Ståle Mæland, and Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2017. "Climate policies in a fossil fuel producing country demand versus supply side policies," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Green Paradox; Supply-side dynamics; Climate Policy; Exhaustible Resources; Fossil Fuels; Exploration;

    JEL classification:

    • Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • 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
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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