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Requiem for Kyoto: An Economic Analysis of the Kyoto Protocol

This paper uses the newly developed RICE-98 model to analyze the economics of the Kyoto Protocol. It analyzes versions of the Kyoto Protocol that have different approaches to trading emissions rights and compares these with efficient approaches. The major conclusions are: (a) the net global cost of the Kyoto Protocol is $716 billion in present value, (b) the United States bears almost two thirds of the global cost; and (c) the benefit-cost ratio of the Kyoto Protocol is 1/7. Additionally, the emissions strategy is highly cost-ineffective, with the global temperature reduction achieved at a cost almost 8 times the cost of a strategy which is cost-effective in terms of "where" and "when" efficiency. These conclusions assume that trading in carbon permits is allowed among the Annex I countries.

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Energy Specializations: Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases; Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation; Energy and the Economy – Energy as a Productive Input; Energy and the Economy –Economic Growth and Energy Demand; Energy and the Economy – Resource Endowments and Economic Performance; Energy and the Economy – Energy Shocks and Business Cycles

JEL Codes:
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General
O13 - Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Q34 - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
F44 - International Business Cycles

Keywords: Kyoto protocol, RICE-98 Model. Climate policy, emissions trading, Greenhouse gases, integrated assessment model

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol20-NoSI-5

Published in Volume 20, Special Issue - The Cost of the Kyoto Protocol: A Multi-Model Evaluation of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.