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Energy efficiency policies and the timing of action: An assessment of climate mitigation costs

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  • Ruben Bibas

    () (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)

  • Aurélie Méjean

    () (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)

  • Meriem Hamdi-Cherif

    () (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

This paper assesses the sensitivity of climate change mitigation costs to energy efficiency policies, and gives policy insights for the timing of climate action. A hybrid general equilibrium model (Imaclim-R) is used to investigate numerically the interaction between technical change and economic growth. Energy efficiency in productive sectors lowers energy prices. Lower energy prices increase demand due to lower prices of non-energy goods and higher household revenues. Energy efficiency lowers the carbon price, shifting the emission constraint away from household energy consumption. Energy efficiency policies drive economic growth and reduce policy costs, but only if energy efficiency policies in industrialised regions are combined with measures to accelerate technology transfers towards other regions. The timing of efforts reveals a trade-off between short and long term costs. Early action triggers energy efficiency but shows high short-term costs and should be considered in combination with policies to accelerate technology diffusion. Late action shows high long-term costs, even when combined with policies to enhance innovation and accelerate diffusion. Early action could reduce the cost uncertainty induced by the controversy surrounding the appropriate discount rate for policy assessment, while late action would require additional measures to reduce long term costs, notably in sectors with significant inertia.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruben Bibas & Aurélie Méjean & Meriem Hamdi-Cherif, 2015. "Energy efficiency policies and the timing of action: An assessment of climate mitigation costs," Post-Print hal-01086071, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01086071
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2014.05.003
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01086071
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    Cited by:

    1. Florian Leblanc & C. Cassen & Thierry Brunelle & Patrice Dumas & Aurélie Méjean, 2014. "Globis final report on Integrated Scenarios D30," CIRED Working Papers hal-01300545, HAL.
    2. Riahi, Keywan & Kriegler, Elmar & Johnson, Nils & Bertram, Christoph & den Elzen, Michel & Eom, Jiyong & Schaeffer, Michiel & Edmonds, Jae & Isaac, Morna & Krey, Volker & Longden, Thomas & Luderer, Gu, 2015. "Locked into Copenhagen pledges — Implications of short-term emission targets for the cost and feasibility of long-term climate goals," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 90(PA), pages 8-23.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Endogenous technical change; Climate policy; General equilibrium; Energy efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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