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Greenhouse Gas Reduction Policy in the United States: Identifying Winners and Losers in an Expanded Permit Trading System

Abstract:
We present an analysis of the economic impacts of marketable permits for greenhouse gas reduction across industries and income groups in the United States. A computable general equilibrium model is used to simulate permit markets under various assumptions about permit allocations, industry coverage, revenue recycling, sequestration, and the inclusion of multiple greenhouse gases. Our results indicate that a permit price of as much as $128 per ton carbon would be needed to comply with the full U.S. Kyoto commitment, and that this would lead to a slightly more than I percent reduction in GDP in the year 2010. Expansion of trading to include carbon sequestration and methane mitigation can significantly lower these impacts. However, all policy alternatives simulated are somewhat regressive in terms of income distribution, though to significantly different degrees depending on the policy design.

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Energy Specializations: Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases; Energy and the Environment – Environmental Market Design; Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
Q56 - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Kyoto protocol, climate policy, tradable permits, US., greenhouse gases, computable general equilibrium (CGE)

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol23-No1-1


Published in Volume23, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.