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Climate Policy Design with Correlated Uncertainties in Offset Supply and Abatement Cost

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  • Fell, Harrison

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Burtraw, Dallas

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Morgenstern, Richard

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Palmer, Karen

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Current and proposed greenhouse gas cap-and-trade systems allow regulated entities to offset abatement requirements by paying unregulated entities to abate. These offsets from unregulated entities are believed to contain system costs and stabilize allowance prices. However, the supply of offsets is highly uncertain and may be correlated with other sources of uncertainty in emissions trading systems. This paper presents a model that incorporates both uncertainties in the supply of offsets and in abatement costs. We numerically solve a dynamic stochastic model, with parameters relevant to the U.S. climate debate, under a variety of parameter settings, including a system that includes allowance price controls, risk aversion, and competitive offset purchasing. We find that as uncertainty in offsets and uncertainty in abatement costs become more negatively correlated, expected abatement plus offset purchase costs increase, as does the variability in allowance prices and emissions from the regulated sector. These results are amplified with risk sensitivity, larger annual offset limits, and competitive offset purchasing. Imposing an allowance price collar substantially mitigates cost increases as well as the variability in prices, while roughly maintaining expected environmental outcomes. In contrast with previous literature we find a collar may also mitigate emissions variability.

Suggested Citation

  • Fell, Harrison & Burtraw, Dallas & Morgenstern, Richard & Palmer, Karen, 2011. "Climate Policy Design with Correlated Uncertainties in Offset Supply and Abatement Cost," Discussion Papers dp-10-01-rev, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-01-rev
    as

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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-10-01-REV.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Urvashi Narain & Klaas Veld, 2008. "The Clean Development Mechanism’s Low-hanging Fruit Problem: When Might it Arise, and How Might it be Solved?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(3), pages 445-465, July.
    2. Brian C. Murray & Richard G. Newell & William A. Pizer, 2009. "Balancing Cost and Emissions Certainty: An Allowance Reserve for Cap-and-Trade," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 84-103, Winter.
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    7. Cronshaw, Mark B & Brown-Kruse, Jamie, 1996. "Regulated Firms in Pollution Permit Markets with Banking," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 179-189, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stocking, Andrew, 2012. "Unintended consequences of price controls: An application to allowance markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 120-136.
    2. Andrew Yates, 2012. "On a Fundamental Advantage of Permits Over Taxes for the Control of Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(4), pages 583-598, April.
    3. repec:eee:resene:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:33-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fell, Harrison, 2016. "Comparing policies to confront permit over-allocation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 53-68.
    5. Jimena González-Ramírez & Catherine L. Kling & Adriana Valcu, 2012. "An Overview of Carbon Offsets from Agriculture," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 145-160, August.
    6. Claassen, Roger & Duquette, Eric & Horowitz, John & Kohei, Ueda, 2014. "Additionality in U.S. Agricultural Conservation and Regulatory Offset Programs," Economic Research Report 180414, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Heather Klemick, 2012. "What is the Optimal Offsets Discount under a Second-Best Cap & Trade Policy?," NCEE Working Paper Series 201204, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jul 2012.
    8. Horowitz, John & Ueda, Kohei, 2013. "Paying Farmers to Reduce Nitrogen Application on Corn: The Baseline Approach," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150561, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:397-417 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Suzi Kerr & Adam Millard-Ball, 2012. "Cooperation to Reduce Developing Country Emissions," Working Papers 12_03, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    11. Bento, Antonio M. & Kanbur, Ravi & Leard, Benjamin, 2015. "Designing efficient markets for carbon offsets with distributional constraints," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 51-71.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; offsets; cap-and-trade; price collars; stochastic dynamic programming;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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