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

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Ohndorf, 2010. "Optimal Monitoring for project-based Emissions Trading Systems under incomplete Enforcement," IED Working paper 10-13, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ied:wpsied:10-13
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    File URL: http://www.ied.ethz.ch/pub/pdf/IED_WP13_Ohndorf.pdf
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    5. Astrid Zabel & Karen Pittel & Göran Bostedt & Stefanie Engel, 2011. "Comparing Conventional and New Policy Approaches for Carnivore Conservation: Theoretical Results and Application to Tiger Conservation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(2), pages 287-301, February.
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    8. Rohling, Moritz & Ohndorf, Markus, 2012. "Prices vs. Quantities with fiscal cushioning," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 169-187.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hilary Sigman & Howard F. Chang, 2011. "The Effect of Allowing Pollution Offsets with Imperfect Enforcement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 268-272, May.
    2. Salvatore Falco & Marcella Veronesi, 2018. "Managing Environmental Risk in Presence of Climate Change: The Role of Adaptation in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia," Natural Resource Management and Policy, in: Leslie Lipper & Nancy McCarthy & David Zilberman & Solomon Asfaw & Giacomo Branca (ed.), Climate Smart Agriculture, pages 497-526, Springer.
    3. Julia Blasch & Mehdi Farsi, 2012. "Retail demand for voluntary carbon offsets - A choice experiment among Swiss consumers," IED Working paper 12-18, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
    4. Ian MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2012. "Optimal monitoring of credit-based emissions trading under asymmetric information," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 180-203, October.
    5. Justin Caron & Markus Ohndorf, 2010. "Irreversibility and Optimal Timing of Climate Policy," IED Working paper 10-14, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
    6. Ines Kapphan & Pierluigi Calanca & Annelie Holzkaemper, 2011. "Climate Change, Weather Insurance Design and Hedging Effectiveness," IED Working paper 11-17, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
    7. Salvatore Di Falco & Marcella Veronesi, 2011. "On Adaptation to Climate Change and Risk Exposure in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia," IED Working paper 11-15, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
    8. Michele Baggio, 2012. "The Optimal Management of a Natural Resource with Switching Dynamics," IED Working paper 12-19, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
    9. Thomas Epper & Helga Fehr-Duda & Renate Schubert, 2011. "Energy-Using Durables: The Role of Time Discounting in Investment Decisions," IED Working paper 11-16, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
    10. Salvatore Di Falco & Marcella Veronesi, 2011. "On Adaptation to Climate Change and Risk Exposure in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia," IED Working paper 11-15, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental regulation; emissions trading systems; audits and compliance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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