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Seven Reasons to Use Carbon Pricing in Climate Policy


  • Andrea Baranzini

    () (Haute Ecole de Gestion Genève, University of Apllied Sciences Western Switzerland)

  • Jeroen van den Bergh

    () (Institute of Environmental Science annd Technology (UAB); ICREA; Institute of Environmental Studies & Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (LSE))

  • Stefano Carattini

    () (Haute Ecole de Gestion Genève, University of Apllied Sciences Western Switzerland; Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (LSE))

  • Richard Howarth

    () (Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth College)

  • Emilio Padilla

    () (Department of Applied Economics (UAB))

  • Jordi Roca

    () (Faculty of Economics and Business (UB))


The idea of a global carbon price has been a recurrent theme in debates on international climate policy. Discarded at the Conference of Parties (COP) of Copenhagen in 2009, it remained part of deliberations for a climate agreement in subsequent years. Unfortunately, there is still much misunderstanding about the reasons for implementing a global carbon price. As a result, ideological and political resistance against it prospers. Here we present the main arguments in favor of a carbon price to stimulate a fair and well-informed discussion about climate policy instruments. This includes arguments that have received surprisingly little attention so far. It is stressed that a main reason to use carbon pricing is environmental effectiveness, so not only economic efficiency (including the special case of cost-effectiveness). In addition, we provide ideas on how to implement a uniform global carbon price, whether using a carbon tax or emissions trading.

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  • Andrea Baranzini & Jeroen van den Bergh & Stefano Carattini & Richard Howarth & Emilio Padilla & Jordi Roca, 2015. "Seven Reasons to Use Carbon Pricing in Climate Policy," Working Papers wpdea1507, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  • Handle: RePEc:uab:wprdea:wpdea1507

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stefan Ambec & Mark A. Cohen & Stewart Elgie & Paul Lanoie, 2013. "The Porter Hypothesis at 20: Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(1), pages 2-22, January.
    2. Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
    3. Jaffe Adam B. & Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Dynamic Incentives of Environmental Regulations: The Effects of Alternative Policy Instruments on Technology Diffusion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 43-63, November.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Antoine Dechezleprêtre & David Hémous & Ralf Martin & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency, and Directed Technical Change: Evidence from the Auto Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-51.
    5. Don Fullerton, 2010. "Six Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3299, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
    7. Hoel, Michael, 1992. "Carbon taxes : An international tax or harmonized domestic taxes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 400-406, April.
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    9. William Nordhaus, 2015. "Climate Clubs: Overcoming Free-Riding in International Climate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1339-1370, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Carattini & Alessandro Tavoni, 2016. "How green are green economists?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(4), pages 2311-2323.
    2. Stefano Carattini & Andrea Baranzini & Philippe Thalmann & Frédéric Varone & Frank Vöhringer, 2017. "Green Taxes in a Post-Paris World: Are Millions of Nays Inevitable?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(1), pages 97-128, September.
    3. Stefano Carattini & Alessandro Tavoni, 2016. "How green are economists?," GRI Working Papers 247, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    4. Stefano Carattini & Simon Levin & Alessandro Tavoni, 2017. "Cooperation in the climate commons," GRI Working Papers 259, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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