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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 5, MAY 1996

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
POLICY


Item #d96may8

"Environmental Taxes: Is There a Double Dividend?" R.D. Morgenstern, Environment, 38(3), 16-20, 32-34, Apr. 1996.

Explores new research on environmental taxes and examines recent experience implementing them in industrial countries. Reviews the evolution of thought on the issue, including the "double dividend" concept: such taxes can achieve environmental goals and at the same time reduce existing taxes on labor and capital. New research challenges this concept, because it shows that environmental taxes have their own distortions on the economy. Concludes that environmental taxes remain an attractive policy instrument even though there is no "free lunch" in environmental protection.


Item #d96may9

"Is There a Role for Benefit-Cost Analysis in Environmental, Health and Safety Regulation?" K.J. Arrow (Dept. Econ., Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), J.L. Cropper et al., Science, 272(5259), 221-222, Apr. 12, 1996.

Benefit-cost analysis has a potentially important role in regulatory decision-making, although it should not be the sole basis for such decision-making. Offers eight principles on the appropriate use of benefit-cost analysis.


Item #d96may10

"The Berlin Mandate: The Costs of Meeting Post-2000 Targets and Timetables," A. Manne (Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), R. Richels, Energy Policy, 24(3), 205-210, Mar. 1996.

The Berlin Mandate of the climate convention requires developed countries to set post-2000 targets and timetables for emissions, and several proposals are now on the table. This economic analysis shows that costs can be substantially reduced through international cooperation (making reductions where it is cheapest to do so) and flexible timing (making reductions when it is cheapest to do so). For instance, to achieve the same effect as the current AOSIS proposal, overall costs could be reduced by well over one-half. Policy gridlock may result from insistence on actions which are clearly inefficient from an economic perspective.


Item #d96may11

"Valuing the Impact of CO2 Emissions," C. Hope (Judge Inst. of Mgmt. Studies, Univ. Cambridge, U.K.), P. Maul, ibid., 211-219, Mar. 1996.

Various studies have suggested widely differing costs for the impact of CO2 emissions. This paper compares models based on two very different approaches, the PAGE and Intera models, which both treat uncertainty seriously, but from different viewpoints. Application of the models shows that what initially appear to be divergent estimates of the marginal impact of CO2 emissions can be reconciled. Discusses which marginal costs are appropriate for different policy decisions. The results have immediate policy relevance for the setting of emissions taxes.


Item #d96may12

"Net National Emissions, CO2 Taxation and the Role of Forestry," O. Tahvonen (Acad. Finland, Univ. Oulu, Linnanmaa 90570, Oulu, Finland), Resour. & Energy Econ., 17(4), 307-315, Dec. 1995.

Under any international agreement on emission taxes or markets for emission permits, there is the question of how different countries should control forest harvesting and the use of wood at the national level. Common arguments suggest that if forests are harvested at a sustainable level, the wood-based CO2 emissions need not be taxed. This analysis, using a dynamic general equilibrium model, shows that the reverse is true.


Item #d96may13

Correspondence in recent issues of Science between S.F. Singer and others concerning the IPCC second assessment. (See News article on the IPCC, Global Climate Change Digest, April 1996.)

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