nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2010‒01‒23
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Carbon capture and storage technologies in the European power market By Rolf Golombek, Mads Greaker, Sverre A.C Kittelsen, Ole Røgeberg and Finn Roar Aune
  2. Global Carbon Pricing: A Better Climate Commitment By Peter Cramton; Steven Stoft
  3. Linkages between Environmental Policy and Competitiveness By OECD
  4. Welfare Measures and Ecological Footprint as Spatial Sustainability Indicators By Kurt Kratena; Gerhard Streicher
  5. Is there any Relationship between Environment, Human Development, Political and Governance Regimes? Evidences from a Cross-Country Analysis By Mukherjee, Sacchidananda; Chakraborty, Debashis

  1. By: Rolf Golombek, Mads Greaker, Sverre A.C Kittelsen, Ole Røgeberg and Finn Roar Aune (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We examine the potential of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies in the European electricity markets, assessing whether CCS technologies will reduce carbon emissions substantially in the absence of investment subsidies, and how the availability of CCS technologies may affect electricity prices and the amount of renewable electricity. To this end we augment a multi-market equilibrium model of the European energy markets with CCS electricity technologies. The CCS technologies are characterized by costs and technical efficiencies synthesized from a number of recent cost estimates and CCS technology reviews. Our simulations indicate that with realistic values for carbon prices, new CCS coal power plants become profitable, totally replacing non-CCS coal power investments and to a large extent replacing new wind power. New CCS gas power also becomes profitable, but does not replace non-CCS gas power fully. Substantially lower CCS costs, through subsidies on technological development or deployment, would be necessary to make CCS modification of old coal and gas power plants profitable.
    Keywords: Carbon capture and storage; fossil fuels; energy; carbon emissions; abatement.
    JEL: H23 Q40 Q54
    Date: 2009–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ssb:dispap:603&r=res
  2. By: Peter Cramton (Economics Department, University of Maryland); Steven Stoft
    Abstract: Developing countries reject meaningful emission targets (recent intensity caps are no exception), while many industrialized countries insist that developing countries accept them. This impasse has prevented the Kyoto Protocol from establishing a global price for greenhouse gas emissions. This paper presents a solution to this dilemma—allow countries to commit to a binding global carbon-price target. This commitment could be met by cap and trade, a carbon tax, or any combination. This would allow developing countries to accept the same carbon price as the most advanced countries instead of accepting a cap that is as low as U.S. emissions in the 1800s. And it would allow the U.S. and the E.U. to keep their cap and trade schemes. The paper defines a carbon-price target, and shows how compliance could be induced using both carrots and sticks. We also demonstrate that carbon pricing can be guaranteed to be inexpensive under a carbon-price target. A Green Fund is suggested that reinforces rather than subverts cooperation on global carbon pricing. The combined cost of a $30/ton price target and the Green Fund is only 23 cents per person per day for the United States and is negative for India. Together, these advantages should greatly increase the chance that developing countries will commit to a substantial carbon price, and this should increase the chance of cap and trade passing the U.S. Senate. Such a policy would also reduce the world oil price. For China and the United States, this savings might well cover the full cost of the proposed initial climate agreement.
    Keywords: Climate change, carbon pricing, cap and trade, carbon auctions
    JEL: Q54
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pcc:pccumd:09gcp&r=res
  3. By: OECD
    Abstract: Debates exist between those who claim that environmental policy will impose additional burdens and costs on industries, thus impairing their competitiveness, and those who claim that improved environmental performance can spur competitiveness. These arguments often surface when new environmental policy regulation are considered, e.g. when the REACH Directive was introduced in Europe, or when a government is considering the introduction of a carbon tax.<p> The report develops a conceptual framework to shed some light on this difficult debate. Competitiveness impacts of environmental policies may derive from the policy itself, or from the improvements of the environmental performance that derives from the policy. These impacts can be analysed at either firm or industry levels; they may differ over the short and long term. Globalisation, with the increasing role of MNEs and mobile capital and labour, is adding more complexity.<p>This framework is used to decipher some of the messages that come out of empirical studies on these issues. Empirical evidence is mixed, and the paper identifies methodological and substantive reasons why empirical research fails to determine the relationship between environmental policy and competitiveness.<p>Lessons derive from this literature review. Typically, even when implementing the environmental policy is clearly in the overall interest of society, the costs and benefits of the policy are unlikely to be equally shared among economic agents. While some win, individual firms or industries may stand to lose. Policy design should make sure that the adverse competitiveness impacts are not unnecessarily large, for example by paying attention to predictability, transition periods, and transaction costs. Specific measures to support the losers in their adjustment can also be developed. Sometimes measures to mitigate the adverse competitiveness impacts of an environmental policy are necessary to achieve political support for the policy. In those instances, the planned measures should be carefully analysed from several angles to ensure that they do not inadvertently hurt the efficiency and effectiveness of the original policy. More work is required to further explore these issues, which are consequential for the design, the implementation and the enforcement of environmental policies.</p><BR>Il y a souvent débat entre ceux qui pensent que les politiques environnementales vont imposer des charges supplémentaires aux entreprises et ainsi détériorer leur compétitivité, et d’autres qui pensent qu’une meilleure performance environnementale est un facteur de compétitivité. Ces débats affleurent en particulier quand de nouvelles réglementations environnementales sont débattues, par exemple lorsque la directive REACH a été mise en œuvre en Europe, ou quand des gouvernements réfléchissent à l’introduction d’une taxe carbone.<p> Dans ce rapport, un cadre conceptuel est proposé, pour tirer des enseignements de ces débats. Les impacts d’une politique environnementale sur la compétitivité peuvent découler de la politique elle-même, ou des conséquences de la politique sur les performances environnementales. Ces impacts se mesurent au niveau des firmes ou des secteurs économiques ; ils peuvent être différents à court ou à long terme. La globalisation rend ces mécanismes encore plus complexes, avec le rôle accru des multinationales et la mobilité du capital et de l’emploi.<p> Le cadre conceptuel est utilisé pour donner un sens aux résultats des études empiriques sur ces thèmes. Ces résultats sont ambigus et le rapport propose des raisons à la fois méthodologiques et de fond qui expliquent pourquoi les recherches empiriques ne parviennent pas à comprendre la relation entre les politiques environnementales et la compétitivité.<p> L’analyse des sources documentaires fait ressortir quelques messages. Par exemple, même quand une politique environnementale a des effets positifs clairs sur l’ensemble de la collectivité, il est probable que les coûts et les bénéfices de cette politique soient inégalement répartis entre les agents économiques. Il se peut que certaines entreprises ou certains secteurs gagnent alors que d’autres perdent. La politique doit être conçue de sorte que les coûts ne soient pas indûment élevés, par exemple en annonçant à l’avance, en prévoyant des périodes de transition, et en étant attentifs aux coûts de transaction. Il est possible de prévoir des mesures dédiées aux perdants afin d’accompagner leurs ajustements. Dans certains cas, des mesures qui limitent les impacts négatifs d’une politique sur la compétitivité sont utiles pour susciter une adhésion à cette politique. Dans ces cas, les mesures envisagées doivent être analysées sous différents angles pour s’assurer qu’elles ne restreignent pas l’efficacité et l’efficience du projet initial. Des travaux complémentaires sont nécessaires pour étudier ces sujets qui sont importants pour la conception, la mise en œuvre et le respect des politiques environnementales.</p>
    Keywords: competitiveness, eco-innovation, environmental policy, globalisation, pollution haven, Porter hypothesis, resource efficiency, supply chain, circuits d’approvisionnement, compétitivité, éco-innovation, efficacité en ressources, hypothèse de Porter, mondialisation
    JEL: O31 O33 O38
    Date: 2010–01–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oec:envaaa:13-en&r=res
  4. By: Kurt Kratena (Austrian Institute of Economic Research); Gerhard Streicher (Joanneum Research GmbH)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to compare a social welfare (SW) indicator for sustainability with the ecological footprint (EF) indicator for measuring spatial sustainability. The framework applied follows the line of a core-periphery model of "new economic geography" as put forward in Grazi, van den Bergh and Rietveld, EnvironResourceEcon, 2007, (38) with interregional trade, agglomeration advantages and resource (land) use or environmental externalities. Welfare or sustainability indicators rely on quantitative relations between economic welfare, externalities and the integrity of (global) natural capital. We argue that these relationships, in order to be comparable, should be specified in a similar way in both indicator concepts (SW function and EF). The main difference between the two indicators is that the EF concept works with a binding resource constraint ("biocapacity") and therefore exclusively represents strong sustainability, while the SW indicator can be specified in a way to represent strong as well as weak sustainability. If the SW function is specified and parameterised as an indicator for strong sustainability, we get similar results for the welfare ranking of different land use configurations. If the SW function is specified and parameterised as an indicator for weak sustainability, we replicate the results of Grazi, van den Bergh and Rietveld (2007) that EF and SW lead to completely different welfare rankings of different land use configurations.
    Keywords: ecological footprint, social welfare measures, weak and strong sustainability
    Date: 2009–10–20
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2009:i:349&r=res
  5. By: Mukherjee, Sacchidananda; Chakraborty, Debashis
    Abstract: The current study attempts to understand the relationships among Environmental Quality (EQ), Human Development (HD) and political and governance regime in a cross-country framework. The underlying hypothesis is that in addition to income, as reflected from the literature on Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis, several other factors, including social and political ones, may influence environmental decision making, and thereby environmental sustainability, in a country. The EQ of the countries in the current study is denoted by their Environmental Performance Index (2008). Human development is represented by Human Development Index (2007) and Human Poverty Index (2006). Democracy Index (2008) and Corruption Perceptions Index (2008) are considered as proxies for political transparency in a country and its susceptibility to rent-seeking activities respectively. The regression results confirm the closer association between the socio-economic and socio-political factors in a country and its environmental performance.
    Keywords: environmental quality; human development; economic growth; democracy; corruption; environmental Kuznets curve (EKC)
    JEL: D73 O15 Q56 Q01 D72 O4 P28
    Date: 2010–01–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:19968&r=res

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