Firms'And States'Responses to Laxer Environmental Standards
16 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 14, 2019
On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced the United States' withdrawal from the Paris agreement on climate change. Despite this decision, American firms continued investing in low-carbon technologies and some states committed to tougher environmental standards. To understand this apparent paradox, this paper studies how a weakening of environmental standards affects the behavior of profit-maximizing firms. It finds that a relaxation of emission standards (i) may increase firms' incentives to adopt clean technologies, but not to pollute less; (ii) may negatively affect industry profitability if it is perceived as temporary; and, when this is the case, (iii) the unilateral adoption of stricter standards by large states may increase the expected profitability of every firm.
Keywords: Global Environment, Private Sector Economics, Climate Change and Health, Science of Climate Change, Climate Change and Environment, Energy and Mining, Energy Demand, Energy and Environment, Regulatory Regimes, Environmental Strategy, Environmental & Natural Resources Law, Judicial System Reform, Legal Reform, Legal Products, Social Policy, Legislation, Environmental Management
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