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Strategic climate policy with offsets and incomplete abatement : carbon taxes versus cap-and-trade, Volume 1
Author:Strand, Jon; Country:World;
Date Stored:2011/06/02Document Date:2011/06/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Energy Production and Transportation; Markets and Market Access; Environment and Energy Efficiency; Climate Change Economics; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases
Language:EnglishRegion:The World Region
Report Number:WPS5675Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5675
Volume No:1  

Summary: This paper provides a first analysis of optimal offset policies by a "policy bloc" of fossil fuel importers implementing a climate policy, facing a (non-policy) fringe of other importers, and a bloc of fuel exporters. The policy bloc uses either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade scheme, jointly with a fully efficient offset mechanism for reducing emissions in the fringe. The policy bloc is then shown to prefer a tax over a cap-and-trade scheme, since 1) a tax extracts more rent as fuel exporters reduce the export price, and more so when the policy bloc is larger relative to the fringe; and 2) offsets are more favorable to the policy bloc under a tax than under a cap-and-trade scheme. The optimal offset price under a carbon tax is half the tax rate; under a cap-and-trade scheme the quota and offset price are equal. The domestic carbon and offset price are both higher under a tax than under a cap-and-trade scheme when the policy bloc is small; when it is larger the offset price can be higher under a cap-and-trade scheme. Fringe countries gain by mitigation in the policy bloc, and more under a carbon tax since the fuel import price is lower, and since the price obtained when selling offsets is often higher (always so for a large fringe).

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