How Much Carbon Pricing is in Countries' Own Interests? The Critical Role of Co-Benefits
37 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2014
Date Written: September 2014
This paper calculates, for the top twenty emitting countries, how much pricing of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is in their own national interests due to domestic co-benefits(leaving aside the global climate benefits). On average, nationally efficient prices are substantial, $57.5 per ton of CO2 (for year 2010), reflecting primarily health co-benefits from reduced air pollution at coal plants and, in some cases, reductions in automobile externalities (net of fuel taxes/subsidies). Pricing co-benefits reduces CO2 emissions from the top twenty emitters by 13.5 percent (a 10.8 percent reduction in global emissions). However, co-benefits vary dramatically across countries (e.g., with population exposure to pollution) and differentiated pricing of CO2 emissions therefore yields higher net benefits(by 23 percent) than uniform pricing. Importantly, the efficiency case for pricing carbon’s co-benefits hinges critically on (i) weak prospects for internalizing other externalities through other pricing instruments and (ii) productive use of carbon pricing revenues.
Keywords: Greenhouse gas emissions, Fossil fuels, Energy pricing policy, Energy taxes, Climate policy, carbon pricing, co-benefits, air pollution, fuel taxes, top twenty emitters, natural gas, air emissions, fuel price, health benefits, congestion costs, nitrogen oxide, fuel consumption, fine particulate matter, fuel economy, vehicle use, carbon dioxide, diesel fuel, gas prices, clean fuel, wage, fuel burning, payrolls, emission levels, vehicle emission, emission rate, fuel alternatives, ambient pollution concentrations, fuel storage, labor income, air pollutants, gasoline price, gas consumption
JEL Classification: H23, Q48, Q54, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation