nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2012‒07‒01
fifteen papers chosen by
Francisco S.Ramos
Federal University of Pernambuco

  1. Greening China's rural energy : new insights on the potential of smallholder biogas By Christiaensen, Luc; Heltberg, Rasmus
  2. Prospects of Tools from Differential Games in the Study Of Macroeconomics of Climate Change By Engwerda, J.C.
  3. Ecological Macroeconomics: An application to climate change By Armon Rezai; Lance Taylor; Reinhard Mechler
  4. Multilateralism in Crisis By Peter Lloyd
  5. Regressivity of environmental taxation: myth or reality? By Katri Kosonen
  6. The Environmental Aspect of “Making People Rich as the Top Priority” in China: a Marxian Perspective By Faber, Malte; Petersen, Thomas
  7. Expanding Carbon Markets through New Market-based Mechanisms: A synthesis of discussions and submissions to the UNFCCC By Marcu, Andrei
  8. Option values of low carbon technology policies: how to combine irreversibility effects and learning-by-doing in decisions By Finon, D.; Meunier, G.
  9. Explaining wheat yields in eighteenth-century Spain By Carlos Santiago-Caballero
  10. The effects of EU fisheries partnership agreements on fish stocks and fishermen: The case of Cape Verde By Mundt, Matthias
  11. Gas Storage Valudation: A Comparative Simulation Studiy By Stephan Schaeffler
  12. Ambiguïté, identification partielle et politique environnementale By Alfred Galichon; Marc Henry
  13. The impacts of natural disasters on global supply chains By Masato Abe; Linghe Ye
  14. Endangering the natural basis of life is unjust. On the status and future of the sustainability discourse By Christian Becker; Dieter Ewringmann; Malte Faber; Thomas Petersen; Angelika Zahrnt
  15. Une analyse de l’application d’indicateurs de développement durable aux villes québécoises By Georges A. Tanguay; Juste Rajaonson

  1. By: Christiaensen, Luc; Heltberg, Rasmus
    Abstract: Clean, safe energy for rural areas is an important component of green growth and sustainable development. Biogas could be an important contributor, if its record in reality lives up to its expected potential. This paper provides a preliminary assessment of biogas use by smallholder farmers in rural China, using data collected from 2,700 households in five provinces. The authors find that user satisfaction is high, and environmental and economic benefits appear tangible. There are strong indications of reduced use of wood and crop residues for fuel. Less time is spent on collecting fuel wood and cooking, which is especially beneficial to women. Adopters also save on fertilizers, because of the use of biogas residues. Moreover, problems with suspension of biogas use, whether due to technical or human factors, remained limited. However, few tangible benefits to respiratory health were detected. Overall, these findings are grounds for optimism about the potential for of smallholder biogas to contribute to more sustainable development, in China and beyond.
    Keywords: Energy Production and Transportation,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Renewable Energy,Engineering,Energy and Environment
    Date: 2012–06–01
  2. By: Engwerda, J.C. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Abstract: In this note we sketch a dynamic framework within which the discussion on the macro economic effects of climate change take place. The problem setting is characterized by scientific uncertainties about the development of climate, potential large economic losses and human beings having their specific features. Some considerations about climate change, macroeconomics and their relationship are given. A characteristic feature of the problem setting is that there are multiple decision makers interacting in a dynamic world with large uncertainties. Problems of this type have been studied extensively by (dynamic) game theory. A rough literature review is provided and some items open for future research are indicated.
    Keywords: Climate change;environmental change;macro-economic effects;dynamic games.
    JEL: C7 D6 D8 E6 F I3 O44 Q
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Armon Rezai; Lance Taylor; Reinhard Mechler
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Peter Lloyd (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper examines multilateralism by looking at the two most important current efforts to devise new multilateral rules binding all nations; the negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) of trade rules and the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to devise rules restricting the annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Both negotiations have failed after several years of intensive effort.
    Keywords: Doha Development Round, Climate Change Negotiations, rationale for multilateral organisations, shared vision
    JEL: F02 F13
    Date: 2012–06
  5. By: Katri Kosonen (European Commission)
    Abstract: This paper first presents an overview of the various factors that in light of the economic literature should be taken into account in the analysis of tax incidence of environmental taxation. It then explores the main empirical findings, in particular those which make a distinction between the distributional effects of transport-related taxes and those of other environmental taxes. This includes also some less well-known evidence from the Nordic countries. In the final section it presents some recent evidence on the distributional impact of energy taxation in the EU member states included in the impact assessment of the revision of the European Union’s Energy Tax Directive.
    Keywords: European Union; taxation; environmental taxes, redistribution
    JEL: H23
    Date: 2012–06
  6. By: Faber, Malte; Petersen, Thomas
    Abstract: Income inequality in China is severe; measured by the Gini-coefficient it amounted to 0.46 in 2011; wealth distribution is even worse with 0.61. These disparities led to a major shift in emphasis of politics in general and of the Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development by the National People´s Congress in particular. While previously the strategy of the Five-Year Plans had been “Making the nation [our emphasis] rich as top priority”, this was changed to “Making people [our emphasis] rich as top priority” in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), enacted in March 2011.The strategic change from “nation” to “people” indicates that the political decision-makers in China accepted the aim of a fair income distribution as a political issue of great importance. In this paper, richness is defined in the political-philosophical tradition as the right measure for one’s own needs and wants; only its environmental aspect is focused on in this study. The development of the Chinese environmental conditions is compared with the German ones and the former’s future outlook is judged optimistically because of the achievements in the last five years. However, the complexity and fragility of the environmental system will within a decade confront Chinese politicians with the same problems as it does right now in Germany. In order to provide a solution addressing this development, this paper analyzes what Karl Marx had to say on the long-run dynamics of the economic system. He saw poverty as a necessary yet unintended consequence of the capitalistic system and used this insight as a “precision tool for the study of social change” (Elster 1986), which can also be employed to examine the unintended repercussions of economic activity on nature. Marx, who studied environmental and resource issues in detail, thought that the inventiveness of the capitalistic system would finally overcome all of them in the course of time. In view of the fact that three billion people on earth still have a backlog demand to satisfy basic needs and in addition a further three billion are expected to be born until 2050, the future of the natural environmental conditions looks somber. If it is not possible to decouple economic growth from ensuing environmental strain, Marx may well be right after all in his prediction that the capitalistic system will collapse, although in quite a different manner than he thought. This being the case we take recourse to the thoughts of one of the influential intellectual German figures, to Romano Guardini. He foresaw changes in the self-perception of humankind and in the comprehension of nature. These imply a shift in the ethos of government as well, which would in turn pose three great challenges to politics: (i) understanding nature in a new light, (ii) listening to what drives human hearts, and (iii) governing according to law.
    Keywords: Wealth; Distribution; PR China; Environment; Sustainabilit y
    JEL: Q56 B14 B51 D31 D63 D90 O13 P26
    Date: 2012–06–21
  7. By: Marcu, Andrei
    Abstract: At the Durban meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Parties to the Convention and observer organisations were invited to make submissions on a number of issues relevant to the discussions on various approaches, including opportunities for using markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of mitigation actions. This Special Report, produced by the newly created CEPS Carbon Market Forum (CMF), reviews the submissions by Parties and observer organisations, with a view to facilitating progress in the expansion of a global carbon market. In this context, the report aims to contribute to the European debate on the development of new market mechanisms and carbon markets, as well as to the UNFCCC negotiating process. It attempts to identify some of the main issues that will need to be addressed this year, leading to the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Doha, and discusses the various options proposed. As a first output of the CEPS CMF on this issue, and given the state of negotiations under the UNFCCC, it does not propose solutions.
    Date: 2012–05
  8. By: Finon, D.; Meunier, G.
    Abstract: In this paper, the political dilemma of the deployment of a large-size low carbon technology (LCT) is analyzed. A simple dynamic model is developed to analyze the interrelation between irreversible investments and learning-by-doing within a context of exogenous uncertainty on carbon price. Contrasting results are obtained. In some cases, the usual irreversibility effects hold, fewer plants of the LCT should be developed when information is anticipated. In other cases, this result is reversed and information arrival can justify an early deployment of the LCT. More precisely, it is shown that marginal reasoning is limited when learning by-doing, and more generally endogenous technical change, is considered. When information arrival is anticipated the optimal policy can move from a corner optimum with no LCT deployment to an interior optimum with a strictly positive development.
    Keywords: investment, option value, learning-by-doing
    JEL: D83 O33 Q55
    Date: 2012–06–19
  9. By: Carlos Santiago-Caballero
    Abstract: From an extensive dataset of wheat yields at municipal level in mid eighteenth-century Spain, a detailed statistical analysis indicates that the differences in wheat yields were mainly a consequence of different natural conditions, and that demand did not have a significant influence. Counterfactual exercises show that improvements in rainfall, altitude or roughness of terrain would have a significant impact on average yields. The paper concludes that, although grain markets in the mid-eighteenth century were well integrated, producers addressed the growing demand not by investing in increasing yields, but by extending the area of cultivated land using the still abundant pastures. The low grain yields in Spain were in part a consequence of the rational behaviour of producers who faced an economic environment characterized by an elastic supply of land
    Keywords: Yields, Land, Market, Climate
    JEL: N33 N34 N53 N54
    Date: 2012–06
  10. By: Mundt, Matthias
    Abstract: The viewpoints of 30 Cape Verdean fishermen are used together with an analysis of the state of tuna stocks in the Atlantic Ocean to question the EU's claim that their fleet only targets surplus species. Additionally, local marine catches of the artisanal and semi-industrial fleet are evaluated and the importance of the fisheries sector for the inhabitants of Cape Verde is shown. It is argued that even though the EU condemns illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU); their approach to stop IUU fails. In order to support this hypothesis, monitoring of the European fleet, movements of tuna fish and coverage of recent Fisheries Partnership Agreements (FPAs) are analysed. Finally, the prevalence of fisheries subsidies is discussed. Here, the focus is set on those subsidies embedded in two FPAs between the EU and Cape Verde. It is concluded that the subsidies provided by the EU to their fleet increase the problem of overfishing in Cape Verde. A theoretical solution is discussed and it is proposed that the external component of the European fisheries policy, namely Fisheries Partnership Agreements, has to change toward an association that deserves the name partnership. --
    Keywords: Cape Verde,artisanal fishing,overfishing,Fisheries Partnership Agreement,IUU,fisheries subsidies,Yellowin tuna,Bluefin tuna,Skipjack,European fishing policy
    JEL: O1 Q5 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Stephan Schaeffler (Chair for Management Sciences and Energy Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is the comparative analysis of four natural gas storage valuation approaches. In competitive natural gas markets the optimal valuation and operation of natural gas storages is a key task for natural gas companies operating storages. Within this paper, four spot based valuation approaches are analyzed regarding computational time and accuracy. In particular, explicit and implicit finite differences, multinomial recombining trees, and Least Squares Monte Carlo Simulation are compared. These approaches are applied to the valuation of a gas storage facility considering three different underlying price processes. Major characteristics of historical natural gas prices are: seasonality, mean reversion and jumps. Therefore, we consider a mean reversion process as underlying price process. In a first step, we extend this mean reversion process to a mean reversion jump diffusion process, to account for jumps, occurring in historical gas spot price time series. Moreover, we consider a more general price process accounting for mean reversion as well as seasonal patterns as observed in the historical time series. Besides the analysis of the numerical results, the benefits and drawbacks of the methodologies are discussed.
    Keywords: natural gas valuation, limited liquidity
    JEL: C61 L95 Q40
    Date: 2012–06
  12. By: Alfred Galichon; Marc Henry
    Abstract: Cet article illustre le lien entre identification partielle dans les modèles économétriques et critère de décision de Jaffray dans l'incertain non probabilisé à travers le problème du choix de niveau optimal d'émissions toxiques dans un lac partagé entre deux communes. <P>
    Keywords: Décision en environnement incertain, identification partielle, fonction de croyance, pollution, réchauffement climatique, taux d'escompte, valorisation des biens environnementaux,
    Date: 2012–06–01
  13. By: Masato Abe; Linghe Ye (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP))
    Abstract: This paper explores how global supply chains expand the risks of natural disasters and how natural disasters affect supply chain operations in the Asia-Pacific context.
    Keywords: Globalization, global supply chain, cross-border business and production networks, international logistics system, natural disaster risk, Japan, Thailand
    JEL: F2 F16
    Date: 2012–06
  14. By: Christian Becker; Dieter Ewringmann; Malte Faber; Thomas Petersen; Angelika Zahrnt
    Abstract: The paper critically examines the status of the sustainability discourse and sustainability politics against the backdrop of considerations about the meaning of justice in the context of sustainability. We argue that the preservation of the natural basis of life is by itself a requirement of justice. However, the crucial role of the ecological dimension of sustainability has been neglected due to a problematic interpretation of the economic dimension, a limited understanding of justice, and an overemphasis of economic growth and growth politics. We propose to reposition the sustainability discourse and sustainability politics by prioritizing the long-term protection of the natural basis of life as the essential foundation of future development, welfare, and justice.
    Keywords: Sustainability; justice; ethics; growth; welfare; ecological economy
    JEL: A13 A10 Q57 Q5 Q01 O40 I31
    Date: 2012–06–21
  15. By: Georges A. Tanguay; Juste Rajaonson
    Abstract: <P>Cette étude discute de l’application d’indicateurs et d’indices de développement durable dans le cadre de classements des 25 plus grandes villes québécoises. Notre analyse est basée sur l’utilisation d’indices construits à partir de 20 indicateurs socio-économiques et environnementaux et permettant de tenir compte des différents aspects du développement urbain. <p> Les performances relatives des villes sont analysées en fonction des avantages-désavantages associés à l’utilisation d’une grille commune d’indicateurs et d’indices de développement durable. Nous discutons de trois principaux enjeux : i) la comparabilité des villes; ii) les possibilités compensatoires entre indicateurs dans le calcul des indices et iii) la pondération des indicateurs dans le calcul des indices.
    Date: 2012–06–01

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