Monitoring and Enforcement of Climate Policy

17 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2010 Last revised: 16 Sep 2010

See all articles by Hilary Sigman

Hilary Sigman

Rutgers University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2010


This chapter applies recent research on environmental enforcement to a potential U.S. program to control greenhouse gases, especially through emission trading. Climate policies present the novel problem of integrating emissions reductions that are relatively easy to monitor (such as carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels) with those that may be very difficult to monitor (such as some emissions of other greenhouse gases). The paper documents the heterogeneity in monitoring costs across different parts of current carbon markets. It argues that a broad emission trading system that includes more difficult-to-enforce components can provide less incentive to violate the law than a narrower program; thus, the government may not find it more costly to assure compliance with a broader program.

Suggested Citation

Sigman, Hilary A., Monitoring and Enforcement of Climate Policy (June 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16121. Available at SSRN:

Hilary A. Sigman (Contact Author)

Rutgers University - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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