Country-specific insights for implementing achievable and efficient climate change policies
Countries worldwide have pledged to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet real concerns exist that targets will not be met and aspirations for the 2015 Paris agreement will fall short. A new CEPR eBook, with contributions from economists working in more than 18 countries, provides timely and concise recommendations on achievable and efficient climate change policies that can be fast-tracked for implementation. The research makes clear that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Achievable objectives and ‘low-hanging fruit’ differ across countries, depending on political constraints, geography, natural-resource
endowment, industrial structure, government institutions and more. Crucially, in order to guarantee that world climate goals are achieved, and that the world economy thus reaches net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, effective and feasible policies must be implemented post haste.
This CEPR eBook, edited by Francesco Caselli, Alexander Ludwig, and Rick van der Ploeg, offers contributions to each of the featured nations’ debates over which climate change policies should be fast tracked. The authors discuss which policies will have the fastest and/or largest cumulative impact, which strategies are the most technically or financially feasible, and which are least likely to hit political-economy obstacles to their implementation.
Caselli, Ludwig and van der Ploeg
“Two things are clear: the arsenal of policies that can be called upon to achieve net zero emissions is rich and varied, and any delay in implementing these will invariably lead to much higher costs.”
It is also evident from the research that policymakers can learn from established and successful policies already in existence in other countries, and several common themes emerge which authors suggest must be capitalised on. These include, reforming policies on carbon taxation and regulations on carbon emissions, rethinking policies on the price mechanism and the elimination of energy subsidies, the use of retraining programmes aimed at increasing the supply of ‘green’ skills, increases in public investment in green infrastructure, better information provision on the climate risk involved in respective technologies, and others. Chapters within the eBook can serve as useful case studies for other countries, allowing them to identify similar low-hanging fruit – particularly at a point when some countries are further behind in their fight against carbon emissions than others. The authors also highlight general climate policy priorities, transcending the country specific research which forms the focus of this book. These include mandating the phasing-out of all fossil fuel extraction, ending subsidies for fossil fuel or carbon-intensive economic activities, pricing carbon as uniformly as possible for each country and each sector to internalise the global warming externalities resulting from emissions, subsidising renewable energy production to internalise learning-by-doing externalities, tree planting, and climate-friendly agricultural innovation. Time is running out in the global fight against climate change. This eBook contributes towards the growing discourse with comprehensive analysis and detailed appraisals on a range of practical and cost-effective policy actions that governments can implement in the short- and long-term, in order to work towards attaining their respective climate objectives.