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Implementing Cost-Effective Policies in the United States to Mitigate Climate Change

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  • David Carey


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    The consensus view of scientists is that the build-up of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere is causing global warming. To reduce the probability of severe climate-change impacts and costs occurring, global GHG emissions need to be reduced substantially over coming decades. The United States agreed to a global political agreement to reduce GHG emissions that was acknowledged at Copenhagen (COP15) in December 2009 and negotiations are continuing to work towards binding emissions-reduction commitments by all countries. In view of the scale of emission reductions called for, it is vital that the United States adopt a cost-effective and comprehensive climate change policy. The current Administration is endeavouring to put such a policy package in place. Its core elements are comprehensive pricing of GHG emissions and increased support for the development and deployment of GHG-emissions-reducing technologies. The alternative regulatory approach would be more costly and unlikely to deliver the required scale of reductions in emissions. Mettre en oeuvre des politiques efficaces par rapport à leur coût aux États-Unis pour atténuer le changement climatique Les scientifiques s’accordent globalement à considérer que l’accumulation de gaz à effet de serre (GES) dans l’atmosphère est à l’origine d’un réchauffement de la planète. Pour réduire le risque que le changement climatique ait des répercussions graves et des coûts élevés, il faudra diminuer sensiblement les émissions mondiales de GES dans les décennies à venir. Les États-Unis ont souscrit à l’économie d’un accord politique mondial axé sur cette diminution, dont il a été pris acte à Copenhague en décembre 2009 (CdP15). Les négociations se poursuivent en vue d’obtenir de tous les pays des engagements contraignants de réduction de leurs émissions. Compte tenu de l’ampleur des réductions nécessaires, il est vital que les États-Unis adoptent une politique globale de lutte contre le changement climatique qui soit efficace par rapport à son coût. Le gouvernement en place s’efforce d’agencer ce dispositif, dont les principaux éléments sont la tarification générale des émissions de GES et le renforcement du soutien apporté au développement et au déploiement des technologies qui font diminuer ces dernières. L’approche alternative par la voie réglementaire serait plus coûteuse et peu susceptible de fournir à l’échelle requise des réductions des émissions.

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 807.

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    Date of creation: 22 Oct 2010
    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:807-en
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