Comparison of different climate regimes: the impact of broadening participation
Several studies have shown that international climate policy can only be effective and cost-efficient if all major emitting countries at some point of time participate in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As illustration, even if the emissions of all OECD countries are reduced to zero over the next few decades, the more ambitious greenhouse gas concentration stabilization targets cannot be reached. Broadening participation is therefore an important priority for post-2012 climate policy agreement. Such participation does not necessarily need to take the same form and/or timepath for all countries. It may change dynamically over time, and linked to ongoing stringent reduction commitments with the aim of being able to ensure long-term concentration stabilization or temperature targets. From the outset, it has been acknowledged in the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) that countries have "common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities"
So-far, most climate mitigation studies look at climate policy strategies in a so-called first-best world, i.e. using the least expensive emission reduction options in all world regions and sectors. To explore the impact of limited participation of countries, we have run a set of scenarios that explore the impact of introducing a carbon tax in OECD, the BRIC countries (Brazil Russia, India and China) and the rest of the world. The results show that carbon taxes can effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, if low greenhouse gas concentration levels are to be achieved, early participation (in some form) of large developing countries is important to increase reduction potential. It should be noted that global carbon taxes (without additional assumptions) lead to relatively high costs in low-income regions. Cap-and-trade regimes have more flexibility to create a comparable distribution of costs amongst countries.
|Author(s)||Vuuren DP van ; Elzen MGJ den ; Vliet J van ; Kram T ; Lucas P ; Isaac M|
|Publication||Energy Policy 2009; 37(12):5351-62|