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Profitability of different instruments in international climate policies

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  • Finn Roar Aune

    ()

  • Snorre Kverndokk
  • Lars Lindholt
  • Knut Einar Rosendahl

    (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Finn Roar Aune & Snorre Kverndokk & Lars Lindholt & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2005. "Profitability of different instruments in international climate policies," Discussion Papers 403, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:403
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    File URL: https://www.ssb.no/a/publikasjoner/pdf/DP/dp403.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    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. Joseph E. Aldy & Scott Barrett & Robert N. Stavins, 2003. "Thirteen plus one: a comparison of global climate policy architectures," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(4), pages 373-397, December.
    4. Grubler, Arnulf & Messner, Sabine, 1998. "Technological change and the timing of mitigation measures," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5-6), pages 495-512, December.
    5. Morthorst, P. E., 2003. "A green certificate market combined with a liberalised power market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1393-1402, October.
    6. Elin Berg & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 1996. "Market Power, International CO2 Taxation and Petroleum Wealth," Discussion Papers 170, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
    10. Bjart Holtsmark, 2003. "Russian behaviour in the market for permits under the Kyoto Protocol," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(4), pages 399-415, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate policy; Energy markets; Technological change;

    JEL classification:

    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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