Energy and Climate Change in China

34 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2012

See all articles by Carlo Carraro

Carlo Carraro

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Ca' Foscari University of Venice; CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (Climate Policy Division); IPCC; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels; Green Growth Knowledge Platform; International Center for Climate Governance

Emanuele Massetti

Georgia Institute of Technology; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change

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Date Written: March 2012

Abstract

This paper examines future energy and emissions scenarios in China generated by the Integrated Assessment Model WITCH. A Business-as-Usual scenario is compared with five scenarios in which Greenhouse Gases emissions are taxed, at different levels. The elasticity of China’s emissions is estimated by pooling observations from all scenarios and compared with the elasticity of emissions in OECD countries. China has a higher elasticity than the OECD for a carbon tax lower than 50$ per ton of CO2-eq. For higher taxes, emissions in OECD economies are more elastic than in China. Our best guess indicates that China would need to introduce a tax equal to about 750$ per ton of CO2-eq in 2050 to achieve the Major Economies Forum goal set for mid-century. In our preferred estimates, the discounted cost of following the 2°C trajectory is equal to 5.4% and to 2.7% of GDP in China and the OECD, respectively.

Keywords: China, climate change, energy, policy

JEL Classification: F5, Q1, Q54, Q58

Suggested Citation

Carraro, Carlo and Massetti, Emanuele, Energy and Climate Change in China (March 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8895. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2034113

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Emanuele Massetti

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