Climat : papiers de recherche moissonnés (15/11/2016)

Plaidoyer pour une autre approche des politiques climatiques : De la poursuite de l’intérêt propre à l’introduction du principe de responsabilité / Etienne Billette de Villemeur, Faculté des Sciences Economiques et Sociales de Lille, et Justin Leroux, Département d’économie appliquée, HEC Montréal, CIRANO et CRÉ. 1/11/2016, 11 p. (MPRA Paper No. 74998)

Nous explorons une alternative aux instruments économiques existants pour lutter contre les changements climatiques : la création de créances carbone. Par ces dernières, les différents pays sont rendus responsables des dommages climatiques avérés, pour lesquels ils sont amenés à payer au rythme de leur occurrence. La perspective de ces paiements futurs suffit à discipliner les différents acteurs et conduit à l’efficience. Le contournement de la problématique du taux d’escompte et le fait que les paiements soient uniquement basés sur des dommages avérés pourrait faciliter les accord internationaux et conduire à une répartition plus équitable des coûts et des risques.

The impact of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) on domestic decision-making processes – Lessons from three countries / M. Argyriou, C. Bataille, M. Colombier, P. Criqui, A. Denis, S. Mathy, D. Sawyer &  H. Waisman. Paris: Iddri, 8 p. (Issue brief n°11/16 November 2016)

This brief focuses on the engagement strategy developed by the DDPP teams to have an impact on the domestic processes. It takes the examples of three countries (Australia, Canada and France), reflecting a diversity of institutional circumstances, for which we present the context of domestic climate discussions and how the DDPP studies have been useful to affect policy debates.

International market mechanisms after Paris / M Cames, S. Healy, D. Tänzler, L. LI, J. Melnikova, C. Warnecke, M. Kurdziel. German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt)
at the German Environment Agency, Nov. 2016, 30 p. (discussion paper)

The Paris Agreement includes Article 6 with several provisions, which allow for the use of the international carbon market. The purpose of this paper is to identify the main goals and aims of the international carbon market, take into account the general context and environment for carbon markets under the Paris Agreement, identify and discuss the main issues of the relevant paragraphs and analyse issues of the interaction and relationship of the provisions including synergies and conflicts.

Our analysis suggests that the purpose of international carbon markets has changed. While increasing economic efficiency was more prominent during the first development phase of international carbon markets, raising mitigation ambition may become more important in the phase to come. In terms of the design of the two market mechanisms pursuant to Art. 6.2 and 6.4, negotiations have just started. Many fundamental or more technical questions still have to be negotiated and it is not yet clear which positions individual parties will take. Some of these questions are overarching and are similar for both mechanisms, e.g. the relationship to Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) or procedures to ensure robust accounting. Others, such as the nature of the Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) or governance issues are quite different and very specific for each of the mechanisms.

 The Economics of Climate Change in the Asia-Pacific region. Bangkok : ESCAP, Nov. 2016, 44 p. (working paper)

Higher temperatures, sea level rise, and extreme weather events linked to climate change are having a major impact on the Asia-Pacific region, harming its economies, natural and physical assets, and compounding developmental challenges, including poverty, food and energy security and health. Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region are geographically vulnerable and highly exposed to the damaging impacts of climate change. Without climate-driven development, climate change could force more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030, wiping out the gains in poverty reduction achieved over the last decades. Climate change is the result of a massive market failure. Taking into account the urgency of the climate change challenge and the focus on implementation now that the Paris Agreement (PA) has entered into force, this paper identifies the five key priority areas for the Asia-Pacific region, and the economic policies and instruments that can be used to achieve them.

DDPP Network. 2050 low-emission pathways: domestic benefits and methodological insights – Lessons from the DDPP. Paris: Iddri, 8 p. (Issue brief n°15/16 November 2016)

This Issue Brief examines the benefits that can be derived from the establishment of long-term decarbonization strategies at the national level.  Such national strategies are essential facilitators of international dialogue towards more ambitious and effective action at domestic level.

The Social Cost of Carbon Revisited / Robert S. Pindyck. NBER, November 2016 (NBER Working Paper No. 22807)

An estimate of the social cost of carbon (SCC) is key to climate policy. But how should we estimate the SCC? A common approach is to use an integrated assessment model (IAM) to simulate time paths for the atmospheric CO2 concentration, its impact on global mean temperature, and the resulting reductions in GDP and consumption. I have argued that IAMs have serious deficiencies that make them poorly suited for this job, but what is the alternative? I present a more transparent approach to estimating an average SCC, which I argue is a more useful guide for policy than the marginal SCC derived from IAMs. I rely on a survey through which I elicit expert opinions regarding (1) the probabilities of alternative economic outcomes of climate change, including extreme outcomes such as a 20% or greater reduction in GDP, but not the particular causes of those outcomes; and (2) the reduction in emissions required to avert an extreme outcome. My estimate of the average SCC is the ratio of the present value of damages from an extreme outcome to the total emission reduction needed to avert such an outcome. I discuss the survey instrument, explain how experts were identified, and present results. I obtain SCC estimates of $200/mt or higher, but the variation across experts is large. Trimming outliers and focusing on experts who expressed a high degree of confidence in their answers yields lower SCCs, $80 to $100/mt.

On a World Climate Assembly and the Social Cost of Carbon / Martin Weitzman. NBER, November 2016, 33 p. (NBER Working Paper No. 22813)

This paper postulates the conceptually useful allegory of a futuristic “World Climate Assembly” (WCA) that votes for a single worldwide price on carbon emissions via the basic democratic principle of one-person one-vote majority rule. If this WCA framework can be accepted in the first place, then voting on a single internationally- binding minimum carbon price (the proceeds from which are domestically retained) tends to counter self-interest by incentivizing countries or agents to internalize the externality. I attempt to sketch out the sense in which each WCA-agent’s extra cost from a higher emissions price is counter-balanced by that agent’s extra benefit from inducing all other WCA-agents to simultaneously lower their emissions in response to the higher price. The first proposition of this paper derives a relatively simple formula relating each emitter’s single-peaked most-preferred world price of carbon emissions to the world “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC). The second and third propositions relate the WCA-voted world price of carbon to the world SCC. I argue that the WCA-voted price and the SCC are unlikely to differ sharply. Some implications are discussed. The overall methodology of the paper is a mixture of mostly classical with some behavioral economics.

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