Dirty little secrets: Inferring fossil-fuel subsidies from patterns in emission intensities

Radek Stefanski 30 May 2014

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An astonishing feature of international energy and climate policy is that fossil fuels – often seen as the primary contributor to climate change – receive enormous government support (IMF 2013, IEA 2012). Surprisingly, no comprehensive database of directly measured, comparable fossil-fuel subsidies exists at the international level. This is both because of political pressure from the direct beneficiaries of subsidies and because of the immense complexity of the task given the profusion and diversity of subsidy programmes across countries (Koplow 2009, OECD 2012).

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Topics:  Energy Environment

Tags:  energy, emissions, pollution, subsidies, fossil fuels, energy subsidy, carbon

Climate policy targets revisited

Richard S J Tol 25 April 2014

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The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change is the most famous economic assessment of climate policy (Stern et al. 2006). The Stern Review puts the costs of unmitigated climate change at 5–20% of GDP (now and forever), it estimates that the cost of stabilising atmospheric concentrations around 525 ppm CO2e are 1% of GDP (in 2050), and recommends that concentrations be stabilised around 500 ppm CO2e.1

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  climate change, emissions, externalities, greenhouse gases, pollution, carbon, cost-benefit analysis

Breaking the climate stalemate?

Carlo Carraro, Valentina Bosetti, Massimo Tavoni, Thomas F. Rutherford, Richard Richels, Geoffrey Blanford 07 December 2009

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On the eve of the UN’s highly-anticipated Copenhagen meeting, international climate policy negotiations remain in gridlock. Many OECD countries insist on binding emissions limits for their economic competitors in the developing world, while countries such as China and India are unwilling to accept such responsibility. They argue that because they are poor, low per-capita emitters and have contributed relatively little to cumulative emissions, they should not be asked to forgo the use of cheap fossil fuels to drive their own industrialisation.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  climate change, emissions, Copenhagen Summit

Trade, pollution, and the environment: New international evidence

Jaime de Melo, Nicole A. Mathys, Jean-Marie Grether 28 November 2009

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Much concern has been raised that globalisation and trade liberalisation will lead to competition for investment and jobs, resulting in a worldwide degradation of environmental standards (the `race to the bottom´ effect) and /or in a delocalisation of heavy polluting industries in countries with lower standards (the `pollution havens´ effect – see Copeland and Taylor 2004).

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Topics:  Environment International trade

Tags:  emissions, race-to-the-bottom, pollution haven

How fast are CO2 emissions moving to Asia?

Jean-Marie Grether, Nicole A. Mathys 21 November 2009

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In the run-up to a post-Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gas emissions, a major concern is the inclusion of the most important sources of global CO2 emissions. As these sources are linked to economic activity, it is largely suspected that their distribution across the Earth’s surface has shifted over recent decades. But in the absence of an indicator that takes the geographical dimension into account, it is difficult to come up with orders of magnitude regarding the direction and the speed of this process.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  emissions, CO2, centre of gravity

Border measures in US climate policy options

Jisun Kim, Gary Clyde Hufbauer 17 October 2008

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Due to rising domestic and international pressures, several greenhouse gas (GHG) control bills have been introduced in the 110th Congress. Some states and regional groups have already enacted controls. Whether US climate policy takes the form of a carbon tax, a cap-and-trade system, performance standards, or some other method, serious greenhouse gas controls are likely to impose heavy costs on the US economy, concentrated in a small number of GHG-intensive industries and activities.

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Topics:  Energy International trade

Tags:  WTO, climate change, emissions

Climate policy uncertainty: Shall we hedge against it?

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Alessandra Sgobbi, Massimo Tavoni 14 October 2008

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Despite growing concerns about climate change, there is little consensus about the scale and timing of actions needed to respond to it. International negotiations on an effective climate policy have been stalling for almost a decade now, and those currently underway might fail to reach a comprehensive agreement in the near future. One reason for this slow progress is the global nature of the problem, whose solution requires a coordinated action.

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Topics:  Energy Environment

Tags:  climate change, emissions, global warming

What accounts for the clean-up of US manufacturing: technology or international trade?

Arik Levinson 02 January 2008

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Antiglobalisation protesters display signs denouncing international trade's role in polluting the environment.1 Pundits write Op-Ed pieces cautioning that increased trade has environmental costs.2 And a majority of Americans agree that "freer trade puts the United States at a disadvantage because of our high ... environmental standards".3

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Topics:  Environment International trade Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  US, emissions, manufacturing, pollution

Climate Change, ethics and the economics of the global deal

Sir Nicholas Stern 30 November 2007

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The problem of climate change involves a fundamental failure of markets: those who damage others by emitting greenhouse gases generally do not pay. Climate change is a result of the greatest market failure the world has seen. The evidence on the seriousness of the risks from inaction or delayed action is now overwhelming. We risk damages on a scale larger than the two world wars of the last century. The problem is global and the response must be a collaboration on a global scale.

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Topics:  Energy

Tags:  climate change, emissions, greenhouse gases

Next steps after the Kyoto Protocol: formulas for quantitative emission targets

Jeffrey Frankel 25 June 2007

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It is a sign of how resigned the world has become to an absence of enlightened leadership from the United States that some were prepared to receive positively President Bush’s new position on Global Climate Change at the recent G8 meeting in Germany. The President conceded that it is a problem that is worth addressing. It will take more than this, however, to begin genuine progress on the problem.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  Kyoto Protocol, climate change, emissions

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