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Climate change and carbon markets: a panoramic history

Calel, Raphael (2011) Climate change and carbon markets: a panoramic history. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, 52. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK.

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Abstract

International carbon markets have grown quickly in recent years, but have also experienced serious problems and faced harsh criticism. This paper looks at the history of climate science, at how the economics of emissions trading developed, and at the formation of international institutions to address climate change. From this historical perspective it appears that climate change was a problem in need of a solution, and that emissions trading was a solution in search of bigger and bigger problems to solve. The political pressure to reach an international climate agreement was building rapidly in the 1990s, and the resulting marriage of climate change and carbon markets occurred before the quality of the match could be adequately assessed. Many of the problems with international carbon markets can, at a fundamental level, be traced to this imperfect match. This panoramic historical perspective draws attention to the fact that climate change is a very different kind of pollution problem than emissions trading was originally designed to remedy. This helps shed light on recent experiences, and on how international carbon markets must change to provide the benefits they promise.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: H - Public Economics > H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue > H23 - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q4 - Energy > Q41 - Demand and Supply
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 52
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2011 14:30
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37397/

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