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Climate Change


Climate Conventions and Africa/Ethiopia

Climate change is one of the main problems affecting the global environment which is critical to human welfare. Although the least developed countries (LDCs) in general and Africa in particular contribute the least to the problem, they are the most affected, with reasons varying from lacking resources to cope, immense poverty, and that many LDCs are located in regions where severe weather will hit the most.


    The role of governance for improved environmental outcomes

    Climate change and escalating environmental degradation risk becoming key constraints to economic growth and human development. Poor women and men in developing and transitional countries are disproportionally affected by pollution, land degradation and other environmental problems due to high dependence on natural resources and high exposure to risks. Managing the environment is important for the well-being of all citizens, particularly for the least well-off.


    Discounting: Unbalanced Growth, Uncertainty, and Spatial Considerations

    The economics of climate change and the various measures that should be implemented to reduce future damages are highly tied to the use of cost-benefit analysis. Traditional approaches ignore the fact that environmental amenities do not experience the same growth rate as do most of the sectors in the economy, which leads to changing relative prices. Uncertainty should also be considered, especially when one is conducting cost-benefit analysis involving the long-run damages from climate change. This article reviews some theoretical approaches to the economics of discounting and discusses issues associated with unbalanced growth, uncertainty, and spatial discounting.


    China’s environmental challenges going rural and west

    China is increasingly suffering from ‘growing pains’ of severe environmental challenges arising during the past decades’ economic boom (Fu et al, 2007; Liu and Diamond, 2008). While this has been widely discussed, more attention and effort has been focused on the problems directly resulting from urbanization and industrialization, such as growing greenhouse gas emissions and worsening urban air and water quality


    Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica: from Rio to Rio and beyond

    Costa Rica has shown how a small developing country can reverse environmental degradation and one of the highest deforestation rates in Latin America. Key to its achievement has been the country’s PES programme, which began in 1997 and which many countries are now looking to learn from, especially as water markets and schemes to reward forest conservation and reduced deforestation (REDD+) grow.


    Adaptation to Climate Change by Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, climate change is set to hit the agricultural sector the most and cause untold suffering particularly for smallholder farmers. To cushion themselves against the potential welfare losses, smallholder farmers need to recognize the changes already taking place in their climate and undertake appropriate investments towards adaptation.


      Decoupling: is there a separate contribution from environmental taxation?

      The term decoupling refers to breaking the link between ‘environmental bads’ and ‘economic goods.’ Decoupling environmental pressures from economic growth is one of the main objectives of the OECD Environmental Strategy for the First Decade of the 21st Century, adopted by OECD Environment Ministers in 2001.


      Environmental information transparency and implications for green growth in China

      Environmental information transparency performs social and learning functions indispensable for green growth. Still facing the challenges of a lack of local commitment and less than optimal institutional capacity, there is no doubt that China has made substantial progress on granting and enforcing public right to environmental information.


      Greening growth through strategic environmental assessment of sector reforms

      Climate change and escalating degradation of ecosystem services place the need for greening economic growth on the international policy agenda. To make growth greener and more inclusive, it is crucial to change the institutions and incentive structures in national sector reforms and to involve poor and vulnerable groups in decision making.


      Policy Instruments for Sustainable Development at Rio +20

      Twenty years ago, governments gathered for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The “Rio Declaration” laid out several principles of sustainable development, including the central role of policy instruments. In this article, we take stock of where we stand today in implementing sound and effective environmental policy instruments throughout the world, particularly in developing and transitional economies.


      Trade policies for biofuels

      The purpose of the present article is to consider optimal trade policies for biofuels, taking into account the potential for carbon leakage and the complex set of policies used or discussed for biofuels. First, the authors consider the case of optimal trade policies and find that the combination of an import standard and a border carbon adjustment welfare dominates using only a border carbon adjustment (BCA).


      Climate Policy, Uncertainty, and the Role of Technological Innovation

      We study how uncertainty about climate change severity affects the relative benefits of early abatement and a portfolio of research and development (R&D) in lowering future abatement costs. Optimal early abatement depends on the curvature of the marginal benefit and marginal abatement cost (MAC) functions and how the uncertain parameter affects marginal benefits.


      How Should Support for Climate-Friendly Technologies Be Designed?

      Stabilizing global greenhouse gas concentrations at levels to avoid significant climate risks will require massive ‘‘decarbonization’’ of all the major economies over the next few decades, in addition to the reduced emissions from other GHGs and carbon sequestration. Achieving the necessary scale of emissions reductions will require a multifaceted policy effort to support a broad array of technological and behavioral changes. Change on this scale will require sound, well-thought-out strategies.


      Kenya State of Environment Report 2010

      EfD-Kenya actively participated in the preparation of the Kenya State of Environment (SoE) Report 2010. EfD-K Researchers Dr. Wilfred Nyangena and Geophrey Sikei were authors in the report. Dr. Nyangena was the Lead Author for Chapter 11 of the report which dealt with Policy options for action. Geophrey was a contributing author in Chapter 11 and Chapter 6 dealing with Land, Agriculture and Livestock.


      Green Growth in the Post-Copenhagen Climate Energy Policy

      Global climate change stands out from most environmental problems because it will span generations and force us to think in new ways about intergenerational fairness. It involves the delicate problem of complex coordination between countries on a truly global scale. As long as fossil fuels are too cheap, climate change policy will engage all major economies.


        Reconnecting to the Biosphere

        Humanity has emerged as a major force in the operation of the biosphere, with a significant imprint on the Earth System, challenging social–ecological resilience. This new situation calls for a fundamental shift in perspectives, world views, and institutions. Human development and progress must be reconnected to the capacity of the biosphere and essential ecosystem services to be sustained.


        Climate Change and Total Factor Productivity in the Tanzanian Economy

        The paper analyses the economic impacts of climate change-induced adjustments on the performance of the Tanzanian economy, using a country-wide CGE model. The general equilibrium framework enables comparison of the effects of climate change to the overall growth of the economy, as responsiveness to shocks is likely to depend on the macroeconomic structure of the economy.


        Distributional effects of taxing transport fuel

        This paper takes as its starting point the observation that fuel prices – and thus taxes – are important for good management of climate change and other environmental problems. To economists this should be no surprise yet it seems that the role of fuel taxation as an instrument of climate policy has not been fully appreciated. It is however one of the few policy instruments that, since several decades, has actually reduced fuel consumption appreciably.


          Advancing the diagnostic analysis of environmental problems

          Social-ecological systems exhibit patterns across multiple levels along spatial, temporal, and functional scales. The outcomes that are produced in these systems result from complex, non-additive interactions between different types of social and biophysical components, some of which are common to many systems, and some of which are relatively unique to a particular system. These properties, along with the mostly non-experimental nature of the analysis, make it difficult to construct theories regarding the sustainability of social-ecological systems. This paper builds on previous work that has initiated a diagnostic approach to the analysis of these systems.


          Taxes, permits and costly policy response to technological change

          In this paper, we analyze the effects of the choice of price (taxes) versus quantity (tradable permits) instruments on the policy response to technological change. We show that if policy responses incur transactional and political adjustment costs, environmental targets are less likely to be adjusted under tradable permits than under emission taxes. This implies that the total level of abatement over time might remain unchanged under tradable permits while it will increase under emission taxes.


          Fossil Fuels in Africa in the Context of a Carbon Constrained Future

          Africa has considerable reserves of fossil fuels of all kinds: oil, coal and natural gas. Much of this resource is either utilised outside of Africa or some of the resource is not developed at all for use within the continent. Meanwhile, there are concerns that the future of fossil fuel use will need to take place in the context of a low carbon development pathway.


          The Impact of Price on Residential Demand for Electricity and Natural Gas

          Climate change will affect the supply of many resources that households consume, including electricity, and natural gas. Although price is considered an effective tool for controlling demand for many resources that households consume, including electricity and natural gas, its impact is poorly understood. Part of the problem is that demand is confounded by block pricing and the interrelated consumption of electricity and natural gas, which prevent easy estimation of price impacts.


          The future of oil in a carbon constrained world

          Global climate is changing. This fact is supported by robust scientific evidence, and there is no real doubt that the main reason is the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by human activity, primarily related to the combustion of fossil fuels.


          Fuel Taxes and the Poor

          Fuel Taxes and the Poor,The Distributional Effects of Gasoline Taxation and Their Implications for Climate Policy, challenges the conventional wisdom that gasoline taxation, an important and much-debated instrument of climate policy, has a disproportionately detrimental effect on poor people.


          Should we tax or let firms trade emissions? An experimental analysis with policy implications for developing countries

          In this paper we use laboratory experiments to test the theoretical predictions derived by Villegas-Palacio and Coria (2010) about the effects of the interaction between technology adoption and incomplete enforcement. They show that under Tradable Emissions Permits (TEPs), and in contrast to taxes, the fall in permit price produced by adoption of environmentally friendly technologies reduces the benefits of violating the environmental regulation at the margin and leads firms to improve their compliance behavior. Moreover, when TEPs are used, the regulator can speed up the diffusion of new technologies since the benefits from adopting the new technology increase with the enforcement stringency.


          A Fair Share - Burden-Sharing Preferences in the United States and China

          Using a choice experiment, we investigated preferences for distributing the economic burden of decreasing CO2 emissions in the two largest CO2-emitting countries: the United States and China. We asked respondents about their preferences for four burden-sharing rules to reduce CO2 emissions according to their country’’s 1) historical emissions, 2) income level, 3) equal right to emit per person, and 4) current emissions.


          The Effect of Ambiguous Risk and Coordination on Farmer´s Adaptation to Climate Change-A Framed Field Experiment

          The risk of losses of income and productive means due to adverse weather can differ significantly among farmers sharing a productive landscape, and is of course hard to estimate, or even “guesstimate” empirically. Moreover, the costs associated with investments in reduced vulnerability to climatic events are likely to exhibit economies of scope. We explore the implications of these characteristics on farmer's decisions to adapt to climate change using a framed field experiment applied to coffee farmers in Costa Rica. As expected, we find high levels of risk aversion, but even using that as a baseline, we further find that farmers behave even more cautiously when the setting is characterized by unknown or ambiguous risk (i.e. poor or non-reliable risk information). Secondly, we find that farmers, to a large extent, coordinated their decisions to secure a lower adaptation cost, and that communication among farmers strongly facilitated coordination.


          Controlling Local Environmental Performance: an analysis of three national environmental management programs in the context of regional disparities in China

          Whether government has the political will and capacity to control pollution is crucial for environmental outcomes. A vast country such as China, with centralized policymaking but idiosyncratic local implementation of environmental regulations and drastic regional disparities in wealth, raises the question how does the central government stimulate local environmental commitment to accommodate such diversity?