nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2016‒10‒02
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Electricity Markets and the Clean Power Plan By Hogan, William W.
  2. Lessons Learned from Three Decades of Experience with Cap-and-Trade By Schmalensee, Richard; Stavins, Robert
  3. London: A Multi-Century Struggle for Sustainable Development in an Urban Environment By Clark, William C.
  4. Better Predictions, Better Allocations: Scientific Advances and Adaptation to Climate Change By Freeman, Mark C.; Groom, Ben; Zeckhauser, Richard

  1. By: Hogan, William W. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that defines a broad and complicated set of standards for controlling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from affected electricity generating units. (Environmental Protection Agency, 2015b) The proposed national average reduction by 2030 is 32% from the 2005 level of emissions, about half of which has already occurred. (Environmental Protection Agency, 2015j) The rules for new power plants are relatively straightforward and imply little more than reinforcing the current economic choice of natural gas over coal fired generation, given current projections for the price of natural gas. The Clean Power Plan rules for existing power plants arise under a different section of the Clean Air Act and present a more complicated picture. The result has implications for the nature and degree of future limitations on carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector. In addition, some versions of the possible implementation plans could have material implications for the operations of Regional Transmission Organizations under the regulations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The purpose here is to highlight some of the possible directions for relevant policies of electricity system operators.
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Schmalensee, Richard (MIT); Stavins, Robert (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This essay provides an overview of the major emissions trading programs of the past thirty years on which significant documentation exists, and draws a number of important lessons for future applications of this environmental policy instrument. References to a larger number of other emissions trading programs that have been implemented or proposed are included.
    JEL: Q40 Q48 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Clark, William C. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: In this paper I sketch key episodes in the two thousand year history of interactions between society and environment that have shaped the City of London and its hinterlands. My purpose in writing it has been to provide an empirical puzzle for use in teaching and theorizing about the long term coevolution of social-environmental systems and the potential role of policy interventions in guiding that coevolution toward sustainability. I undertook it because while a lively body of theory has begun to emerge seeking to explain such coevolution, rich descriptive characterizations of how specific social-environmental systems have in fact changed over the long time periods (multi-decade to multi-century) relevant to sustainable development remain relatively rare. One result is that the field of sustainability science lacks a sufficient number of the rich empirical puzzles that any field of science needs to challenge its theorizing, modeling and predictions. This paper reflects the beginning of an effort to provide one such characterization on a topic central to sustainability: The long term development of cities and their hinterlands.
    Date: 2015–08
  4. By: Freeman, Mark C. (Loughborough University); Groom, Ben (London School of Economics and Political Science); Zeckhauser, Richard (Harvard Univesrity)
    Abstract: The initial hope for climate science was that an improved understanding of what the future might bring would lead to appropriate public policies and effective international climate agreements. Even if that hope is not realized, as now seems likely, scientific advances leading to a more refined assessment of the uncertainties surrounding the future impacts of climate change would facilitate more appropriate adaptation measures. Such measures might involve shifting modes or locales of production, for example. This article focuses on two broader tools: consumption smoothing in anticipation of future losses, and physical adaptation measures to reduce damages. It shows that informative signals on climate-change effects lead to better decisions in the use of each tool.
    Date: 2015–08

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