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Ups and downs: How economic growth affects policy interactions

  • Flues, Florens
  • Löschel, Andreas
  • Lutz, Benjamin Johannes
  • Schenker, Oliver

Current climate and energy policy has to operate under an ex-ante unforeseen economic crisis. An obvious consequence is the collapse of prices for carbon emission allowances as, for example, seen in the European Union. However, this price collapse may be amplified by the interaction of a carbon emission cap and supplementary policy targets such as the minimum shares for renewables in the power sector. The static interaction between climate and renewable policies has been discussed extensively. This paper extends this debate by analysing how uncertain differences in medium to long-run growth rates affect the effciency and effectiveness of a policy portfolio containing an emission trading scheme and a target for a minimum renewable share. Making use of a simple partial equilibrium model we identify an asymmetric interaction of emissions trading and renewable quotas with respect to different growth rates of an economy. The results imply that unintended consequences of the policy interaction may be particularly severe and costly when economic growth is low and that carbon prices are more sensitive to changes in economic growth if they are applied in combination with renewable energy targets. Our main example for the policy interaction is the EU, yet our research also relates particularly well to the uncertainty of economic growth in fast growing emerging economies like China.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 13-066.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13066
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  1. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard G., 2008. "Environmental and technology policies for climate mitigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 142-162, March.
  2. Samuel Fankhauser & Cameron Hepburn & Jisung Park, 2011. "Combining multiple climate policy instruments: how not to do it," GRI Working Papers 38, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  3. Garth Heutel, 2012. "How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 244-264, April.
  4. Lawrence H. Goulder, 2013. "Markets for Pollution Allowances: What Are the (New) Lessons?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 87-102, Winter.
  5. Fischer, Carolyn & Springborn, Michael, 2011. "Emissions targets and the real business cycle: Intensity targets versus caps or taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 352-366.
  6. Boeters, Stefan & Koornneef, Joris, 2011. "Supply of renewable energy sources and the cost of EU climate policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1024-1034, September.
  7. Narayan, Paresh Kumar & Narayan, Seema & Smyth, Russell, 2011. "Energy consumption at business cycle horizons: The case of the United States," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 161-167, March.
  8. Lori Bennear & Robert Stavins, 2007. "Second-best theory and the use of multiple policy instruments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 111-129, May.
  9. Delarue, E.D. & Ellerman, A.D. & D'haeseleer, W.D., 2010. "Robust MACCs? The topography of abatement by fuel switching in the European power sector," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1465-1475.
  10. Christoph Böhringer & Knut Rosendahl, 2010. "Green promotes the dirtiest: on the interaction between black and green quotas in energy markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 316-325, June.
  11. Otto, Vincent M. & Löschel, Andreas & Reilly, John, 2008. "Directed technical change and differentiation of climate policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2855-2878, November.
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