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Early Emission Reduction Programs: An Application to CO2 Policy

Ian W.H. Parry and Michael Toman

Year: 2002
Volume: Volume23
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol23-No1-4
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In the wake of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which if implemented would oblige industrialized countries to meet targets for greenhouse gases (GHGs) In 2008-2012, there have been several proposals to reduce emissions during the interim period. A concern for early reduction also arises in other policy contexts. This paper uses a series of simple models and numerical illustrations to analyze voluntary early reduction credits for GHGs. We examine several issues that affect the economic performance of these policies, including asymmetric information, learning-by-doing, and fiscal impacts, and we compare their performance with that of an early cap-and-trade program. We find that the economic benefits of early credit programs are likely to be limited, unless these credits can be banked to offset future emissions. Such banking was not allowed under the Kyoto Protocol. An early cap-and-trade program can avoid many of the problems of early credits, provided it does not require excessive abatement.

Should Automobile Fuel Economy Standards be Tightened?

Carolyn Fischer, Winston Harrington and Ian W.H. Parry

Year: 2007
Volume: Volume 28
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol28-No4-1
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This paper develops analytical and numerical models to explain and estimate the welfare effects of raising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for new passenger vehicles. The analysis encompasses a wide range of scenarios concerning consumers valuation of fuel economy and the full economic costs of adopting fuel-saving technologies. It also accounts for, and improves estimates of, CAFE's impact on externalities from local and global pollution, oil dependence, traffic congestion and accidents. The bottom line is that it is difficult to make an airtight case either for or against tightening CAFE on pure efficiency grounds, as the magnitude and direction of the welfare change varies across different, plausible scenarios.

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