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Formulating Greenhouse Policies in a Sea of Uncertainty

Lester B. Lave

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-No1-2
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Abstract:
To prevent major global climate change all countries must begin to act now. However, there is no agreement on how rapidly greenhouse gases will be emitted over the next century, how rapidly they will accumulate in the atmosphere, what will be the cost of abatement, how large the climate change will be, or even whether the change will be predominantly beneficial or harmful. Beyond agreeing that greenhouse gases are likely to result in atmospheric warming, other factors held constant, there is no consensus on any of these questions.



The Cost of Slowing Climate Change: a Survey

William D. Nordhaus

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-No1-4
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Abstract:
Policies to deal effectively and efficiently with the threat of greenhouse warming must balance the costs of slowing climate change against the potential damages. This survey discusses one half of this question, the costs of slowing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The analysis provides estimates of the cost of reducing chlorofluorocarbon and CO2 emissions, and inquires into the costs of using forestry options to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. A promising new approach, the use ofgeoengineering, is discussed qualitatively.



EPA's Scenarios for Future Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Global Warming

Daniel A. Lashof

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-No1-8
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Abstract:
While it is not possible to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations immediately, a global commitment to reducing emissions would decrease the risks of global warming regardless of uncertainties about the response of the climate system. Scenario analyses conducted by EPA for a Report to Congress on Policy Options for Stabilizing Global Climate indicate that if no policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions are undertaken, the equivalent of a doubling of carbon dioxide would occur between 2030 and 2040, and the Earth might be committed to a global warming of 2-4�C(3-7�F) by 2025 and 3-6�C(4-10�F) by 2050. Early application of existingand emergingtechnologies designed among other things, to increase the efficiency of energy use, expand the use of non fossil energy sources, reverse deforestation, and phase out chlorofluorocarbons, could reduce the global warming commitment in 2025 by about one fourth, and the rate of climatic change during the next century by at least 60%. A global commitment to rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions could stabilize the concentrations of these gases by the middle of the next century, perhaps limiting global warming to less than 2�C(3�F).



Optimizing Tax Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Cases Without Curtailing Growth

Roger E. Brinner, Michael G. Shelby, Joyce M. Yanchar and Alex Cristofaro

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-No4-1
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Abstract:
Increasing federal gasoline taxes is one of the policy options available for reducing gasoline consumption and the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that contribute to global warming. At the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DRI/MeGraw-Hill (DRI) estimated the levels of gasoline tax that would be necessary to stabilize CO2 emissions from the light-vehicle fleet over a 20-year period, and the economic impacts of such a tax. Three options for utilizing the revenues generated are examined: a reduction of the federal budget deficit, a reduction in personal and corporate income taxes, and a reduction in the emnployer paid portion of payroll taxes. Each option would yield markedly different levels of economic performance: while the first two options would result in reductions in economic growth, the third option (a reduction in the employer-paid portion of payroll taxes) would result in relatively slight negative economic impacts in the short term and positive economic impacts in the long term.



The Trade-Off between Economic and Environmental Objectives in Japan's Power Sector

Hisashi Amagai and PingSun Leung

Year: 1991
Volume: Volume 12
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-No4-6
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Abstract:
The current concern about global warming has made it necessary for the electric power industry in Japan to reexamine its power generation mix plan. Past studies on the optimal power generation mix in Japan have only emphasized economic efficiency. Thermal power generation producing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has a lower generation cost than hydropower and new energy sources. Hence, there is a trade-off between generation-cost minimization (the economic objective) and COz emission minimization (the environmental objective). This paper presents a quantitative study of the trade-off between these two objectives in the year 2000, and discusses the nature of the trade-off curve and the extent of power generation by source.



Comparing the Effects of Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Global Warming

Richard S. Eckaus

Year: 1992
Volume: Volume 13
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol13-No1-2
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Abstract:
This paper analyses the usefulness as a policy tool of a physical index of radiative forcing of a greenhouse gas, the Global Warming Potential (GWP), as proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is shown that the economic opportunity costs of an increment in radiative forcing will vary over time, while the GWP implicitly sets these costs equal. The GWP can, therefore, play no role in policy making.



Comparing Greenhouse Gases for Policy Purposes

Richard Schmalensee

Year: 1993
Volume: Volume 14
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol14-No1-10
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Abstract:
In order to derive optimal policies for greenhouse gas emissions control, the discounted marginal damages of emissions from different gases must be compared. The greenhouse warming potential (GWP) index, which is most often used to compare greenhouse gases, is not based on such a damage comparison. This essay presents assumptions under which ratios of gas-specific discounted marginal damages reduce to ratios of discounted marginal contributions to radiative forcing, where the discount rate is the difference between the discount rate relevant to climate-related damages and the rate of growth of marginal climate-related damages over time. If there are important gas-specific costs or benefits not tied to radiative forcing, however, such as direct effects of carbon dioxide on plant growth, there is in general no shortcut around explicit comparison of discounted net marginal damages.



A Climate Treaty and the Norwegian Economy: A CGE Assessment

Anne Brendemoen and Haakon Vennemo

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume15
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-No1-5
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Abstract:
This paper examines the impact of an international climate treaty on 61 single country-Norway. A disaggregate computable general equilibrium (CGE), model is used. We discuss the treaty's effects on main macroeconomic indicators, economic growth, distributional impacts, the impact on pollutant emissions other than CO2 and the secondary benefits of this reduction. The results suggest that CO2 emissions will decrease compared to the current level, The distributional impacts are modest. Increases in secondary benefits recoup almost one half of the loss in private consumption. We characterize the uncertainty of this estimate.



Energy-Efficiency Investments and Public Policy

Adam B. Jaffe and Robert N. Stavins

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume15
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-No2-3
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Abstract:
Concern about carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas has focused renewed attention on energy conservation because fossil fuel combustion is a major source of CO2 emissions. Since it is generally acknowledged that energy use could be significantly reduced through broader adoption of existing technologies, policy makers need to know how effective various policy instruments might be in accelerating the diffusion of these technologies. We examine the factors that determine the rate of diffusion, focusing on (i) potential market failures: information problems, principal-agent slippage, and unobserved costs, and (ii) explanations that do not represent market failures: private information costs, high discount rates, and heterogeneity among potential adopters. Through a series of simulations we explore how alternative policy instruments--both economic incentives and more conventional, direct regulations-could hasten the diffusion of energy-conserving technologies.



Tradable Cumulative CO2 Permits and Global Warming Control

Richard F. Kosobud, Thomas A. Daly David W. South and Kevin G. Quinn

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume15
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-No2-11
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Abstract:
As an alternative to current global warming policy proposals to freeze greenhouse gas 'emissions' at their 1990 levels by the year 2000, this study examines the implications of a long-run objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas "concentrations" at low to moderate risk levels by the year 2100. The current proposals to control emissions slow but do not end the build-up of concentrations, and they could imply costly short-term adjustments of the energy industries. Our objective is to explore an alternative policy that could (1) stabilize induced climate change, (2) provide for the creation of international "property rights" in the stratosphere by means of tradable emission permits, and (3) be more intertemporally cost-effective. Our method for analyzing this effort is a tested, dynamic, price sensitive, global economic model to which is linked a climate change submodel. Together these models enable us to project price and quantity time paths of energy, climate, and tradable permit variables under alternative policy actions.




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