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Profitability of different instruments in international climate policies

  • Finn Roar Aune
  • Snorre Kverndokk
  • Lars Lindholt
  • Knut Einar Rosendahl

    ()

    (Statistics Norway)

This article discusses how different climate policy instruments such as CO2 taxes and renewable energy subsidies affect the profitability of fossil fuel production, given that a fixed global climate target shall be achieved in the long term. Within an intertemporal framework, the model analyses show that CO2 taxes reduce the short-term profitability to a greater extent than technology subsidies, since the competition from CO2-free energy sources does not become particularly noticeable until decades later. Due to e.g. discounting of future revenues, most fossil fuel producers therefore prefer subsidies to their competitors above CO2 taxes. However, this conclusion does not apply to all producers. Oil producers outside OPEC lose the most on the subsidising of CO2-free energy, while CO2 taxes only slightly reduce their profits. This is connected to OPEC’s role in the oil market, as the cartel chooses to reduce its extraction significantly in the tax scenario. The results seem to be consistent with observed behaviour of important players in the climate negotiations.

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Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 403.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:403
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  1. Joseph E. Aldy & Scott Barrett & Robert N. Stavins, 2003. "Thirteen Plus One: A Comparison of Global Climate Policy Architectures," Working Papers 2003.64, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Berg, Elin & Kverndokk, Snorre & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2002. "Oil Exploration under Climate Treaties," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 493-516, November.
  3. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
  4. Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2004. "Cost-effective environmental policy: implications of induced technological change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1099-1121, November.
  5. Grubler, Arnulf & Messner, Sabine, 1998. "Technological change and the timing of mitigation measures," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5-6), pages 495-512, December.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521297615 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rosendahl, Knut Einar & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2004. "Climate policies and induced technological change: Impacts and timing of technology subsidies," Memorandum 05/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Morthorst, P. E., 2003. "A green certificate market combined with a liberalised power market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1393-1402, October.
  9. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
  10. Elin Berg & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 1996. "Market Power, International CO2 Taxation and Petroleum Wealth," Discussion Papers 170, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
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