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Failings of Market Failure as a Guide to Policy

The orthodox economic framework for analysing climate policy in terms of correcting market failures contains important insights, but is too narrow to identify a complete set of policies. This post is a little more abstract than usual, with no...

Posted April 7, 2014    

The Case for the EUETS Market Stability Reserve Looks in Need of Further Evidence

The market stability reserve proposed for the EUETS would be a significant change to the world’s largest carbon market. It also raises wider question about attitudes to the efficiency of carbon markets over time.In response to the continuing...

Posted March 24, 2014    

Making a Low Carbon Future Better as Well as Cheaper

Framing of decarbonisation pathways needs to take the value in use of low carbon technologies into account.  This can provide a fuller and more positive guide to policy than analysis of marginal abatement costs alone.  Much analysis of...

Posted March 5, 2014    

The EU's Recent Proposal for a 2030 EUETS Target Does Not Look Very Ambitious

The EU’s recently announced greenhouse gas emissions target for 2030 looks like just enough to keep the 2050 target credible, but seems unlikely to be perceived as highly ambitious by other jurisdictions.   The European Commission has...

Posted February 18, 2014    

The Continuing Spread of Carbon Pricing

Carbon pricing continues to spread around the world, with major schemes in Chinese provinces now in place.For my first post this year it seems timely to review progress on implementing carbon pricing around the world.  As I’ve previously noted...

Posted January 17, 2014    

Early Reductions in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Remain Imperative

New analysis using simple and transparent assumptions shows clearly the importance of early reductions in CO2 emissions.Many studies have looked at the rates of emissions reduction necessary to meet certain targets, most commonly looking at limiting...

Posted December 9, 2013    

The UK Needs to Take a More Serious Look at Importing Renewable Electricity

Imported solar electricity looks likely to be cheaper than nuclear in the UK by the early 2020s when new nuclear is due to come on line. Solar and other imported renewables deserve a closer look as one means to decarbonising the UK power sector.The...

Posted November 18, 2013    

Can the EUETS Combine Intensity-Based and Absolute Emissions Caps?

An innovative reserve mechanism for the EUETS is being considered that moves allowances to and from the reserve based on the level of economic activity. This would give the EUETS elements of an intensity based cap (limiting emissions per unit of...

Posted October 28, 2013    

Why Have IEA Renewables Growth Projections Been So Much Lower Than the Out-Turn?

The IEA has greatly underestimated the growth of renewables for some years now. This illustrates how important it is to allow for unexpected outcomes if policy design is to be robust, as even well informed projections can be very different from the...

Posted October 14, 2013    

ETS Price Floors and Ceilings

Mechanisms that limit prices under an ETS (price floors and price ceilings) are already in operation in North America.  Similar arrangements can easily be adopted elsewhere, including in the EU.In previous posts I have alluded to the benefits...

Posted October 7, 2013    

The Social Cost of Carbon as a Marker for Price Floors

Estimates of the social cost of carbon can help set floor prices in emissions trading schemes.  Estimates are likely to suggest a floor price for the EUETS of around €20-30/tCO2, rising over time.  Those arguing against any price...

Posted October 2, 2013    

Solar Deployment: Are There Limits as Costs Come Down?

A kWh is a different product depending on when and where it is delivered. The rapid fall in the costs of solar PV implies that building grids, storage and commercial arrangements able to match supply and demand is much more urgent. This will require...

Posted September 27, 2013