Cap and Trade Policy Paper

3353 WordsJan 24, 201314 Pages
Introduction: The issue of carbon emissions is an important one not only from an environmental perspective but also an economic one. While reducing carbon emissions is an important one for the health of human beings as well as that of the environment, the larger question is what type of policy strategy is best for both reducing such emissions which might have an impact on efforts to mitigate the effects of pollution on climate change. While ther are options to consider which does not rely on economics-- technological or output standards achieved by command and control regulations--they are often fraught with political resistance by industry because they do not allow industry to make any choices or play a role in solving the problem of…show more content…
One way of obtaining individual caps is for the government to auction off emission permits that total the pre-set amount of emissions that it feels is optimal. Firms with higher costs of reducing emissions will bid higher than firms with lower cost structures. Again, the only problem is determining what the total amount of emissions should be reflecting all social costs and benefits of reducing carbon emissions. 3) A Cap-and-Trade Policy An added twist on the cap policy allows firms to trade emission allotments between themselves based on the buyer of allotment bargaining with the seller over the proper price to pay for the extra allotment. A two-panel diagram is needed to better understand the logic of trading emission allotments. Figure 4 illustrates the marginal cost of reducing emissions of two firms. One firm is run on older technology with high abatement costs that goes from right to left with zero costs represented at the lower right-hand corner of the diagram. The other firm has newer technology in its plant with lower abatement costs that goes left to right with zero costs represented at the lower left-hand corner of the diagram. The width of the horizontal axis is the reduction in emissions that must be achieved overall to an efficient level. The intersection of the two marginal cost curves is where economic efficiency is achieved. That is,
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