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A Smart Energy PolicyAn Economist's Rx for Balancing Cheap, Clean, and Secure Energy$
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James M. Griffin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780300149852

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300149852.001.0001

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Climate Change and the Difficult Search for Institutions and Policies

Climate Change and the Difficult Search for Institutions and Policies

(p.123) Chapter 5 Climate Change and the Difficult Search for Institutions and Policies
A Smart Energy Policy

James M. Griffin

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the political constraints to achieving international cooperation, the best institutional framework for achieving cooperation, and the policy options available, including the trading of carbon allowances. The Kyoto Protocol would function like the highly successful sulfur oxide (SOx) permit market in the United States, in which a specific number of emissions permits or allowances are issued. Because under conventional economic theory, the costs of the marginal supplier set the output price of the carbon-intensive good, incumbent carbon-intensive firms with free allowances stand to profit both from the sale of allowances and from the sale of their outputs at higher prices. The economists generally prefer carbon taxes not only because they are the best way to deal with the carbon problem but also because of their double dividend.

Keywords:   political constraints, policy options, Kyoto Protocol, market, economic theory, carbon taxes

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