The authors summarize the past thirty years of cap-and-trade programs throughout the world and explore future applications of market-based approaches to reducing emissions.
March 7, 2013
"The Sordid History of Congressional Acceptance and Rejection of Cap-and-Trade: Implications for Climate Policy"
Not so long ago, cap-and-trade mechanisms for environmental protection were popular in Congress. Now, such mechanisms are denigrated. What happened? This column tells the sordid tale of how conservatives in Congress who once supported cap and trade now lambast climate change legislation as 'cap-and-tax'. Ironically, conservatives are choosing to demonise their own market-based creation. The successful conservative campaign that disparaged cap-and-trade means it may now be politically impossible to promote it in the US. The good news? Elsewhere, cap and trade is now a proven, viable option for tackling large-scale environmental problems.
In a new discussion paper, authors Richard Schmalensee, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Robert N. Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, explore four ironic outcomes associated with the otherwise very successful sulfur-dioxide cap-and-trade system created by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
April 25, 2011
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
"Along with these health benefits, the largest shares of short-term improvements in employment and regional economies are likely to accrue to the regions that are most dependent on coal-fired power, as they invest in new pollution control equipment. Thus, while designed to help regions downwind of coal-fired power plants, the Transport Rule also offers substantial benefits to upwind states."
November 24, 2010
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
"It is often argued that if cap-and-trade is dead, enacting renewable or clean electricity standards is better than doing nothing at all about climate change. While that argument has some merit, since the risks of doing nothing are substantial, there is a real danger that enacting these standards will create the illusion that we have done something serious to address climate change. Worse yet, it could create a favored set of businesses that will oppose future adoption of more efficient, serious, broad-based policies — like cap-and-trade."
July 27, 2010
Op-Ed, The Boston Globe
"A price on carbon is the least costly way to provide meaningful incentives for technology innovation and diffusion, reduce emissions from fossil fuels, and drive energy efficiency. In the long run, it can reduce our use of oil and drive our transportation system toward alternative energy sources."