Enrica De Cian, Samuel Carrara, Massimo Tavoni, 22 December 2013

After the Fukushima incident in 2011, many countries decided to shrink their nuclear power programmes. This article presents recent research on the optimal role of nuclear power in reducing carbon emissions. Phasing out nuclear power would be costly, since it is currently the cheapest low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels. However, these costs would be largely offset by the implicit subsidy to R&D in renewables, which suffers from innovation externalities. Still, carbon pricing and explicit R&D subsidies would be a more efficient way of determining the future of nuclear power.

Carlo Carraro, Thomas Longden, Giacomo Marangoni, Massimo Tavoni, 27 November 2013

In recent years, European coal consumption has increased, while natural gas consumption has declined – despite Europe’s commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. This perverse scenario is partly attributable to EU policies. Subsidies to renewables and energy efficiency targets have the unfortunate side effect of lowering carbon prices, thus partially offsetting their environmental benefits. Raising the EU carbon price would be preferable to employing multiple policy instruments, since it would minimise distortions in energy markets, achieve cost efficiency, and raise fiscal revenues.

John Whalley, 23 December 2011

In terms of new emissions reductions, little materialised at the climate-change negotiations in Durban in November. This column argues that trade policy could widen the range of jointly beneficial potential outcomes and in this sense be a potential facilitator of an agreed global climate regime. Moreover, trade provides a mechanism for achieving an internalisation outcome for the global externality that climate change represents.

Matthew Kahn, 11 September 2010

Most scientists agree that climate change is underway or at least on the horizon. This column introduces the author's book 'Climatopolis: How Our Cities will Thrive in Our Hotter Future.' It outlines an optimism and an irony: Urban economic growth may have caused climate change, but through the free market, it will also help us to adapt to it.

Simon Dietz, Antony Millner, Geoffrey Heal, 01 September 2010

The answers to “How much should people sacrifice today for the benefit of those living several decades from now?” vary widely. This column suggests that people’s distaste for uncertainty – ambiguity aversion – favours immediate, rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Alessandra Sgobbi, Massimo Tavoni, 22 September 2008

The layers of uncertainty and complexity that surround the issue of climate change make for difficult mitigation policy design. The authors of DP6973 lend support to a more precautionary strategy, quantifying the economic cost of delay.

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti, Massimo Tavoni, 05 November 2007

The authors of CEPR DP6549 investigate the economic implications of carbon mitigation, and in particular they analyse the energy investment and R&D policies that optimally achieve the stabilisation of CO2 concentrations at two targets – 550 ppm (often advocated in the US) and 450 ppm (based on the EU’s objective of keeping future temperature changes to below 2 degrees Celsius).


CEPR Policy Research