The Challenging Economic and Social Issues of Climate Change: Introduction

Energy Policy, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 443-446, March 2004

Posted: 29 Apr 2004

See all articles by ZhongXiang Zhang

ZhongXiang Zhang

Tianjin University - Ma Yinchu School of Economics


At first glance, climate change is an environmental issue. However, combating global climate change requires fundamental changes in the ways energy is used and produced. Given that energy is a prerequisite input to fuel economic growth and the necessity of all human beings, therefore, climate change is in reality an economic and social issue as well as an environmental issue. Dealing with such a challenging issue not only needs warm hearts, but even more importantly cool heads. It is in this spirit that, in this special issue of Energy Policy, twenty three eminent analysts at MIT, Stanford, Brookings Institution, Resources for the Future, the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and others from Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the US tackle the economic and social aspects of climate change and offer their views on some of the most difficult issues - economic and environmental implications of the US withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol, linkage of climate policy with technological innovations and trade policy, carbon taxes and their implications for environmental effectiveness, competitiveness and distribution of income, emissions trading, the discount rate, compliance, baseline setting for clean development mechanism projects, and ancillary benefits of carbon abatement - as well as the framework of encouraging wider participation and earlier reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

This guest editorial provides a summary of each contribution to the special issue (ZhongXiang Zhang (guest editor), Special Issue on An Economic Analysis of Climate Policy: Essays in Honour of Andries Nentjes, Energy Policy, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 467-479). The special issue is appealing not only for academic people but also policy makers, not only for people from the North but also for those from the South. We dedicate the issue to Prof. Andries Nentjes on the occasion of his retirement.

Keywords: Climate policy, clean development mechanism, emissions trading, carbon taxes, compliance, discounting, ancillary benefits

JEL Classification: Q54, Q58, Q52, Q48

Suggested Citation

Zhang, ZhongXiang, The Challenging Economic and Social Issues of Climate Change: Introduction. Energy Policy, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 443-446, March 2004, Available at SSRN:

ZhongXiang Zhang (Contact Author)

Tianjin University - Ma Yinchu School of Economics ( email )

92 Weijin Road, Nankai District
Tianjin 300072
+86 22 87370560 (Phone)


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