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[IWS] OECD: EFFECTIVE CARBON PRICES [4 November 2013]
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
EFFECTIVE CARBON PRICES [4 November 2013]
[read online, 100 pages]
The publication Effective Carbon Prices synthesises a number of case studies in selected countries and sectors and finds clear differences in effective carbon prices:
· within a given sector, across the countries covered;
· across the different sectors, within each country;
· across the different instrument types, across all the countries covered.
Economic textbooks predict that taxes and emission trading systems are the cheapest way for societies to reduce emissions of CO2. This book shows that this is also the case in the real world due to these instruments' cost effectiveness. Some of the other instrument types are simply not effective in reducing CO2 emissions, so costs measured per tonne of CO2 abated tend to be very high. Whilst some may argue that “judging” instruments' “performance” in terms of costs per tonne of CO2 abated can be “unfair” for some of the instruments covered, such as insulation of houses of low-income families (given that abating CO2 emissions may not be the main policy objective), carbon abatement has indeed been one of the main arguments used in public debates in favour of the introduction of other instruments with very high effective carbon prices (e.g. measures promoting biofuels and other renewable energy sources).
See also the Policy Perspectives on Pricing Carbon.
The book builds on the report Carbon Emission Policies in Key Economies (published by the Australian Productivity Commission in 2011), assessing the costs to society of the different policy measures, their (relatively short-term) impacts on carbon emissions, and calculates the costs per unit of CO2 abated. Emission changes are estimated in the latest year for which data are available – normally 2010.
The report by the Productivity Commission covered the effective carbon prices related to electricity generation and road transport in China, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The OECD has extended the country coverage to include Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, France, South Africa and Spain. It has also expanded the sectoral coverage to include effective carbon prices in the pulp & paper and the cement sectors, as well as in relation to household energy use.
Related links and publications
· "The Climate Challenge: Achieving Zero Emissions" - Lecture by OECD Secretary-General, Mr. Angel Gurría, LSE London, 9 October 2013
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