Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics
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Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics

Edited by Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

This major reference book comprises specially commissioned surveys in environmental and resource economics written by an international team of experts. Authoritative yet accessible, each entry provides a state-of-the-art summary of key areas that will be invaluable to researchers, practitioners and advanced students.
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Chapter 34: Tax Instruments for Curbing Co2 Emissions

S. Smith


34 Tax instruments for curbing CO, emissions Stephen Smith 1. Introduction At the Earth Summit in Rio in June 1992 more than 150 countries signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This commits the industrialized countries, in particular, to take actions to bring carbon dioxide emissions down to 1990 levels by the year 2000. This commitment responds, as Chapter 30 has discussed, to the accumulating scientific evidence, drawn together by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that human activity has been responsible for a substantial rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (IPCC First Assessment Report, 1990), and that this has had a discernible influence on global climate (IPCC Second Assessment Report, 1995). The policy instruments employed by countries in taking measures to meet these international commitments have been extremely varied: 0 0 0 0 0 regulations on fuel efficiency of vehicles, appliances, and so on, and other policy measures to stimulate greater energy efficiency; energy pricing measures, including carbon taxes in at least five European countries - Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Net herlands; voluntary agreements between industry and government; policies to stimulate research, development and diffusion of lowcarbon energy technologies (through R&D subsidies for renewables, and so on); joint implementation deals, to support emissions reductions in other countries where abatement is less costly. Not all countries may in practice meet the Rio target; some have not made the necessary policy effort, whilst adverse factors may prevent the attainment of the target in...

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