THIS RESEARCH PROJECT IS NOT CURRENTLY ACTIVE.
While nearly all the attention to climate mitigation policy has been focused at the international level, actual implementation will take place at the local and regional levels. Regional tensions within a country can significantly stifle forward movement towards ratification of the Kyoto Protocol or delay implementation of any agreements reached.
In collaboration with Adam Rose, Professor of Energy, Environmental, and Regional Economics, The Pennsylvania State University, this study has two major parts. The first part is to examine burden-sharing of greenhouse gas mitigation in the U.S., which aims to shed light on major aspects of policy design currently subject to much debate, such as emission permit allocations and their upstream vs. downstream application. It also reveals several ironies and idiosyncrasies regarding a system of tradable CO2permits within the U.S., such as the possibility of granting excess permits to several regions under most of the formulas, and the strong positive correlation between some reference bases (gross regional product and population), not found in the international context, and which results in a relatively small amount of interregional transfers and the highest burden-sharing by one of the least well-off regions. The analysis is performed with the aid of a nonlinear programming model for ten EPA Regions and for the following six alternative permit distribution formulas:
- Sovereignty (emissions based)
- Egalitarian (population based)
- Economic activity (gross regional product based)
- Ability to pay (inverse-gross regional product based)
- Sovereignty (energy-use based)
- Sovereignty (energy-production based)
The reason that various alternatives need to be considered is that there is no universal consensus on the best definition of equity.
The second part of the study aims to examine economic and environmental issues relating to current climate action coalitions in the U.S., potential coalitions among the states, and extension of these coalitions beyond the country’s boundaries.
This regional emissions trading scheme among U.S. states seeks to reverse the trend of doing nothing at the federal level. It hopes to demonstrate that the cost of cutting carbon emissions would be lower than many feared, and that this is a manageable problem. The leadership these states demonstrate may promote other states to follow suit and thus builds a foundation from which more dramatic progress can be realized in the U.S. This will help the federal government to make the informed decision on whether to rejoin international climate regimes.
Rose, A., and Z.X. Zhang (2004). Interregional Burden-Sharing of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in the United States. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 9(4): 477-500.