Michael Spence, 11 September 2009

In fifty years, 3.4 billion people in developing countries will approach advanced country income levels with consumption, energy use, and emissions patterns to match. In this column, Nobel Laureate Michael Spence argues that advanced countries should lead the way with technology and a global strategy to reduce the carbon intensity of their economies. That will lay the groundwork for developing economies to follow a sustainable path as they graduate to higher income levels.

Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti, 03 September 2009

Mitigating global warning is a pressing and daunting task for the world’s major economies. This column says that the 2°C target set by G8 leaders is both politically and technologically unrealistic. It argues they must adopt more realistic targets and long-term commitments to adaptation plans.

Charles Kolstad, Corbett Grainger, 29 August 2009

Opponents of US climate change legislation voice concerns about its effect on consumers in coal-reliant states, industries’ competitiveness, and regressive distributional consequences. This column argues that these concerns are either unfounded or have been addressed fairly. It says the conflict is more about ideology than distributional issues.

Declan Costello, Gert Koopman, Kieran Mc Morrow , Gilles Mourre, István Székely, Alexandr Hobza, 15 July 2009

The crisis may reduce the EU’s potential output by 5% of GDP or more. This column warns that the crisis may permanently reduce the EU’s supply-side capacity unless policymakers respond with reforms. It outlines measures to address the crisis and address long-run concerns about demographic shifts, public finances, and climate change.

Matthew Kahn, Michael Cragg, 10 June 2009

What influences climate change policy? This column shows that a congressional district’s per capita carbon emissions and conservative ideology lower the probability that a representative votes in favour of a pro-environment bill, while county per capita income increases it.

Benjamin Jones, Benjamin Olken , Melissa Dell, 06 June 2009

Hot countries tend to be poorer, but debate continues over whether the temperature-income relationship is simply a happenstance association. This column uses within-country estimates to show that higher temperatures have large, negative effects on economic growth – but only in poor countries. The findings are big news for future global inequality.

Raymond Riezman, John Whalley, Yuezhou Cai, 09 April 2009

This column explains how damage from global temperature increases needs to be large before countries reduce carbon emissions. It shows, using simulations, that larger countries should be more willing to participate in cooperative arrangements and countries adopting a longer-term view will be more inclined to reduce carbon emissions. It also argues that international trade is largely a positive force in reducing carbon emissions.

Ralf Martin, 10 December 2008

The current crisis offers an opportunity to set the world on the right track for addressing climate change. This column suggests governments should seize this chance to promote pro-environment fiscal stimuli and to embrace future pollution taxes to pay for them.

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Alessandra Sgobbi, Massimo Tavoni, 06 December 2008

Policymakers need to agree to the post-Kyoto climate architecture soon to implement it in 2012. Using a set of quantitative indicators, this column assesses a number of proposed international climate policy architectures and evaluates their economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness, distributional implications, and enforceability. Unfortunately, the most effective policies are the most costly and hardest to enforce.

John Whalley, Yan Dong, 25 November 2008

Trade and environmental regimes may need to be more closely linked in a post-Kyoto world. This column discusses trade policy initiatives’ potential contribution to global carbon emissions reduction and the potential impacts of proposals for carbon-reduction-motivated geographical trade arrangements. It suggests that the need to link environmental and trade policy may render the WTO obsolete.

David von Below, Torsten Persson, 21 November 2008

What will the climate be like in a hundred years’ time? The answer depends on both how human activity affects climate change and how a warming climate alters the economy’s productive capacity and human welfare. There is uncertainty about those links, but this column shows that, absent policy action, global warming will be a major problem even under very optimistic circumstances.

Hans-Werner Sinn, 24 October 2008

According to Hans-Werner Sinn of CESifo, public policy discussion of climate change has focused only on the reduction of demand for fossil fuel, neglecting the supply side. In an interview with Romesh Vaitilingam, recorded at the annual congress of the European Economic Association in Milan in August 2008, he explains his view.

Nebojsa Nakicenovic, 24 October 2008

At the Global Economic Symposium in Schleswig-Holstein in September 2008, Nebojsa Nakicenovic of the Vienna Institute of Technology and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis spoke at a session on energy versus climate change. Afterwards, he talked to Romesh Vaitilingam about the options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions – improved energy efficiency; renewables; nuclear energy; and carbon capture and storage.

Jisun Kim, Gary Hufbauer, 17 October 2008

US climate change policy seems likely to include border measures to address competitiveness concerns. This column warns against such measures, arguing that they will do little to protect US industries, expose the US to retaliatory trade restrictions, and significantly burden the global trading system. The US would be better served by addressing its competitiveness concerns in international negotiations.

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Alessandra Sgobbi, Massimo Tavoni, 14 October 2008

The future of climate change policy is very uncertain due to economic, environmental, and political complexities. This column quantifies the economic cost of delaying action to reduce carbon emissions and argues that the best strategy is to hedge our bets by adopting a mild emissions reduction policy now rather than naïvely waiting for the uncertainties to be resolved.

Carlo Carraro, Valentina Bosetti, Massimo Tavoni, 01 October 2008

Policymakers seeking to fight global warming need to reach an international agreement for post-2012 climate change policy, but developing countries seem unlikely to immediately participate. This column explains the importance of full global participation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and proposes means of inducing developing countries, most notably China, to participate in an international agreement.

Lans Bovenberg, Herman Vollebergh, 17 September 2008

The EU plans to auction permits for the next phase of emissions trading, rather than giving them away for free as in the past. This column explains why the new scheme is a significantly better policy and proposes compensation measures to redress the complaints of industries opposed to the new climate change policy. Harmonised EU action may be required.

Simon Evenett, 01 August 2008

The breakdown of the Doha Round this week makes a deal implausible for another year or two. This column argues that this is an opportunity for world trade powers to identify ways to adapt the WTO to the needs of the 21st Century. Although difficult, the outcome of such talks could hardly be worse than the fear-driven, adrenalin rush that the WTO membership embarked upon seven years ago in Doha.

Ben Lockwood , John Whalley, 28 July 2008

Business worries that leading on climate change means lagging on competitiveness and propose linking carbon-cutting policies to tariffs. This column argues that lessons from the 1960s debate over VAT rates and border adjustments suggest that carbon-linked border adjustments may be ineffective and unnecessary.

Robert Stavins, 18 July 2008

Robert Stavins of Harvard University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about what should follow the Kyoto Protocol – the potential architectures for a new international agreement on tackling global climate change; lessons from previous international agreements on a range of issues; and the main stumbling blocks to an agreement. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in New Orleans in January 2008.

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