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Optimal Monitoring for project-based Emissions Trading Systems under incomplete Enforcement

Project-based Emissions Trading Schemes, like the Clean Development Mechanism, are particularly prone to problems of asymmetric information between the project parties and the regulator. Given the specificities of these schemes, the regulator’s optimal monitoring strategy significantly differs from the one to be applied for capand- trade schemes or environmental taxes. In this paper, we extend the general framework on incomplete enforcement of policy instruments to reflect these specificities. The main focus of the analysis is to determine the regulator’s optimal spot-check frequency under the plausible assumption that the submitted projects vary with respect to their verifiability. We find that, given a limited monitoring budget, the optimal monitoring strategy is discontinuous, featuring a jump within the set of projects with lower verifiability. In this region, actual abatement is low and can fall to zero. For these cases, the sign of the slope of the strategy function depends on the actual relationship of the abatement cost and the penalty function. We conclude that, in a real-world context, project admission should ultimately be based on the criterion of verifiability.

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Paper provided by IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich in its series IED Working paper with number 10-13.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ied:wpsied:10-13
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  1. Astrid Zabel & Karen Pittel & Göran Bostedt & Stefanie Engel, 2009. "Comparing Conventional and New Policy Approaches for Carnivore Conservation – Theoretical Results and Application to Tiger Conservation," IED Working paper 09-06, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  2. Stefanie Engel & Charles Palmer, 2009. "The Complexities of Decentralization in a Globalizing World," IED Working paper 09-08, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  3. Ines Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo, 2004. "Optimal Enforcement Policy and Firms’ Emissions and Compliance with Environmental Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1193, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Stefanie Engel & Charles Palmer, 2008. "“Painting the Forest REDD?” Prospects for Mitigating Climate Change Through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation," IED Working paper 08-03, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  5. Robert Finger & Werner Hediger, 2008. "The Application of Robust Regression to a Production Function Comparison – the Example of Swiss Corn," IED Working paper 08-02, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  6. Julia Blasch & Renate Schubert & Birgit Soete, 2010. "Grün aus der Krise – Was können «grüne» Konjunkturpakete leisten?," IED Working paper 10-10, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  7. Astrid Zabel & Brian Roe, 2009. "Performance Payments for Environmental Services : Lessons from Economic Theory on the Strength of Incentives in the Presence of Performance Risk and Performance Measurement Distortion," IED Working paper 09-07, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  8. Inés Macho-Stadler, 2008. "Environmental regulation: choice of instruments under imperfect compliance," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, March.
  9. Moritz Rohling & Markus Ohndorf, 2010. "Prices vs. Quantities with Fiscal Cushioning," IED Working paper 10-11, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  10. Renate Schubert & Julia Blasch & Kristin Hoffmann, 2007. "Environmental Protection, Energy Policy and Poverty Reduction – Synergies of an Integrated Approach," IED Working paper 07-01, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
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