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Historic versus output-based allocation of GHG tradable allowances: a comparison

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  • Philippe Quirion

    () (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Two ways of allocating greenhouse gas (GHG) allowances are compared: historic allocation (HA) based solely on past information, and output-based allocation (OBA) based on an allocation proportional to the current output level. The advantages and problems of each allocation method are considered and compared. It is essential to distinguish the sectors sheltered from international competition (e.g. power generation) from the exposed sectors. In the sheltered sectors, OBA entails a much higher overall cost because it provides too little incentive to reduce the production of the polluting goods. HA does not suffer from this drawback but its distributional impact is highly unfair. Hence in these sectors neither of these two ways of freely allocating allowances can be supported, and auctioning should be favoured. However, in the exposed sectors, OBA is an option worth considering because it reduces carbon leakage, although it also suffers from some drawbacks compared with auctioning.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Quirion, 2009. "Historic versus output-based allocation of GHG tradable allowances: a comparison," Post-Print hal-00715558, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00715558
    DOI: 10.3763/cpol.2008.0618
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00715558
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    1. Fischer, Carolyn, 2011. "Market power and output-based refunding of environmental policy revenues," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 212-230, January.
    2. James B. Bushnell & Yihsu Chen, 2009. "Regulation, Allocation, and Leakage in Cap-and-Trade Markets for CO2," NBER Working Papers 15495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Bharvirkar, Ranjit & Paul, Anthony, 2001. "The Effect of Allowance Allocation on the Cost of Carbon Emission Trading," Discussion Papers dp-01-30-, Resources For the Future.
    4. Reyer Gerlagh & Onno Kuik, 2007. "Carbon Leakage with International Technology Spillovers," Working Papers 2007.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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