Climat : papiers de recherche moissonnés (28/10/2019)

The Amazon Is a Carbon Bomb: How Can Brazil and the World Work Together to Avoid Setting It Off ? / Monica de Bolle. Peterson Institute for International Economics, October 2019, 8 p. (Policy Brief19-15) lien

The fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest in the summer of 2019 represent a government policy failure over many years, especially recently, as Brazilian public agencies that are supposed to curb man-made fires have been deliberately weakened. In keeping with his far-right nationalist campaign promises, President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has intentionally backed away from efforts to combat climate change and preserve the environment, which has emboldened farmers, loggers, and other players to engage in predatory activities in the rainforest. De Bolle calculates that if the current rate of deforestation is maintained over the next few years, the Amazon would be dangerously close to the estimated “tipping point” as soon as 2021, beyond which the rainforest can no longer generate enough rain to sustain itself. The tragic fires have demonstrated that protecting the Amazon rainforest is a global cause. The international attention provides an opportunity for the governments of Brazil and the United States to stop denying climate change and cooperate on strategies to preserve the rainforest and develop ways to sustainably use its natural resources. The international community should revive and expand the Amazon Fund to invest in ways to reduce deforestation through the possible use of payments for environmental services. Brazil should adopt and enforce regulations on land use in the Amazon region while cracking down on illegal uses, such as logging and mining, and should restore conditional rural credit policies to fight deforestation.

Rapport sur l’état de l’environnement en France – Édition 2019 : rapport de synthèse / France. Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire. paris : La Documentation française, octobre 2019, 220 p. lien

Le rapport de synthèse met en avant les messages clés, fournit une vision synthétique de l’état de l’environnement et propose des approches systémiques sur les grands enjeux. Pour la première fois depuis qu’il existe, il introduit notamment le concept scientifique des 9 limites de la planète. Cette approche innovante permet de mieux apprécier l’impact des modes de consommation et de production de la France au-delà de ses frontières. Le rapport examine également le bien-être des Français au travers de l’analyse des principales fonctions de vie (se loger, se nourrir, se déplacer) vue sous le prisme des limites planétaires.

Limit pricing, climate policies, and imperfect substitution / Gerard van der Meijden, Cees Withagen, July 2019, 32 p. (FAERE WP 2019.18) lien

The effects of climate policies are often studied under perfect competition and constant marginal extraction costs. In this paper, we allow for monopolistic fossil fuel supply and more general cost functions, which, in the presence of perfectly substitutable renewables, gives rise to limit-pricing behavior. Four phases of supply may exist in equilibrium: sole supply of fossil fuels below the limit price, sole supply of fossil fuels at the limit price, simultaneous supply of fossil fuels and renewables at the limit price, and sole supply of renewables at the limit price. The consequences of climate policies for initial extraction depend on the initial phase: in case of sole supply of fossil fuels at the limit price, a renewables subsidy increases initial extraction, where as a carbon tax leaves initial extraction unaffected. With simultaneous supply at the limit price or with sole supply of fossil fuels below the limit price, a renewables subsidy and a carbon tax lower initial extraction. Both policy instruments decrease cumulative extraction. If fossil fuels and renewables are imperfect but good substitutes, the monopolist will exhibit ‘limit-pricing resembling’ behavior, by keeping the effective price of fossil close to that of renewables for considerable time.

Effective Climate Policy Doesn’t Have to be Expensive / Klaus Gugler, Adhurim Haxhimusa & Mario Liebensteiner. Vienna University of Economics and Business, September 2019, 56 p. (Department of Economics Working Paper No. 293) lien

We compare the effectiveness of different climate policies in terms of emissions abatement and costs in the British and German electricity markets. The two countries follow different climate policies, allowing us to compare the effectiveness of a relatively low EU ETS carbon price in Germany with a significantly higher carbon price due to a unilateral top-up tax (the Carbon Price Support) in the UK. We first estimate the emissions offsetting effects of carbon pricing and of subsidized wind and solar feed-in, and then derive the abatement costs of one tonne of CO2 for the different policies. We find that a reasonably high price for emissions is the most cost-effective climate policy, while subsidizing wind is preferable to subsidizing solar power. A carbon price of around €35 is enough in the UK to induce vast short-run fuel switching between coal- and gas-fired power plants, leading to significant emissions abatement at low costs.


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