In recent years, European coal consumption has increased, while natural gas consumption has declined – despite Europe’s commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. This perverse scenario is partly attributable to EU policies. Subsidies to renewables and energy efficiency targets have the unfortunate side effect of lowering carbon prices, thus partially offsetting their environmental benefits. Raising the EU carbon price would be preferable to employing multiple policy instruments, since it would minimise distortions in energy markets, achieve cost efficiency, and raise fiscal revenues.
Recent work on forecasting oil prices raises the question of whether oil industry analysts know something about forecasting the price of oil that academic economists have missed. This column presents evidence that they do, but economists know how to improve further on these practitioners’ insights.
Oil has often been linked to interstate wars. This column argues that asymmetries in endowments of natural resources are important determinants of territorial conflict. When one country has oil near its border with an oil-less country, the probability of conflict is between three and four times as large as when neither country has oil. In contrast, when the oil is very far from the border, the probability of conflict is not significantly higher than between countries with no oil.
Global climate cooperation has collapsed but the need for action has not disappeared. This column argues that only radical technological progress can reconcile climate-change goals with development. It argues that four changes in WTO trade rules could facilitate climate-change action and technological advances without unduly damaging trade.
Energy-subsidy reform is notoriously difficult. This column argues that the environmental and social payoff from a concerted worldwide effort to replace these subsidies with better targeted measures would be substantial. Subsidy reform is an especially attractive option for countries under pressure to bring public debt to more prudent levels. The success of reform in several countries shows that the challenge is not insurmountable.
Other Recent Articles:
- Commodity prices and growth: A changing relationship?
- Financialisation in oil markets: Lessons for policy
- Managing and harnessing volatile oil windfalls
- Why do we see unilateral action on climate change?
- Oil exporters’ dilemma
- Oil price risk, expropriation and bilateral investment treaties
- Property prices and groundwater contamination
- Policies to harness the power of natural resources
- Do oil prices help forecast real GDP?
- Institutional reform and the so-called resource curse
- Greasing the wheel: Oil’s role in the global crisis
- Resource trade: Policy and policy reform
- Speculation in oil markets? What have we learned?
- The oil curse: How petroleum wealth shapes the development of nations
- Are commodity derivatives good or bad? New evidence from high-frequency data
- Shock ‘n’ oil
- Pricing climate change
- Oil and democracy: New insights
- Do giant oil field discoveries fuel internal armed conflicts?
- Green growth? Evidence from energy taxes in Europe
- A tale of two depressions: What do the new data tell us? February 2010 updateEichengreen, O’Rourke
- The ECB’s stealth bailoutSinn
- Educated in America: College graduates and high school dropoutsHeckman, LaFontaine
- Eurozone breakup would trigger the mother of all financial crisesEichengreen
- Panic-driven austerity in the Eurozone and its implicationsDe Grauwe, Ji
Adelman, 28 October 2013
Reichlin, Giugliano, 7 November 2013
Holmes, McGrattan, Prescott
Beck, De Haas, Ongena
CEPR Policy Research
- The buyer margins of firms' exportsCarballo, Ottaviano, Volpe
- Commodity and Equity Markets: Some Stylized Facts from a Copula ApproachDelatte, Lopez
- Ethnic Unemployment Rates and Frictional MarketsGobillon, Rupert, Wasmer
- Finance and Poverty: Evidence from IndiaAyyagari, Beck, Hoseini
- The Manipulation of Basel Risk-WeightsMariathasan, Merrouche
- What’s wrong with Europe?Baldini, Manasse
- How the EZ crisis is permanently changing EU institutionsMicossi
- WTO 2.0: Global governance of supply-chain tradeBaldwin
- Is US economic growth over? Faltering innovation confronts the six headwindsGordon
- The economic crisis: How to stimulate economies without increasing public debtWood