Publications

Incentivizing the Reduction of Pollution at U.S. Dairies

This article examines the intricacies of environmental credit generation from concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) farm systems. This article describes the stacking problem and explores possible solu­tions, such as temporal constraints on credit issuance and discounting credits to account for additionality problems.

Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change of the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce

Nicholas Institute Executive Director Tim Profeta testifies before the Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change of the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce to suggest the best means by which to achieve economy-wide solutions to climate change. The central point of his testimony is that Congress should strongly consider a model that has been successfully proven through our nation’s history: the federal/state partnership.

Using the Old to Solve the New—Creating a Federal/State Partnership to Fight Climate Change

This policy brief proposes that there may be another way to solve the failure of federal solutions to fight climate change. Instead of attempting to settle all concerns about a program’s costs and impacts at the federal level, simply let Congress determine the level of ambition needed to achieve our climate goals. And then use the state governments, which are more in touch with the equitable tradeoffs of their populations and directly accountable to their communities, to execute plans to reach those goals. 

Getting to Yes: Internal Preparations—State Carbon Trading Checklist for a Meeting with the Governor

Public attention focuses on a policy once a governor makes a formal announcement and sets the debate in motion. However, much of the work happens before that moment, in conversations among state officials and their staff, and with key stakeholders. This memo is intended to support the work of “getting to yes” on a policy—in this case, a declining cap (and trade) program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions—once internal leadership has decided it is worth exploration.

Achieving the Mid-Century Strategy Goals for Deep Decarbonization in Agriculture and Forestry

The U.S. Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization, released in November 2016, calls for the United States to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. A significant portion of those reductions are to come from the forestry and agricultural sectors. Those reductions will be more difficult and more expensive to achieve if the current U.S. forest sink is not maintained and the greenhouse gas impacts of agriculture are not addressed. This working paper seeks to address those two tasks, first, by presenting a cost distribution of various climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices and an analysis of the geographic distribution of such activities in the United States, and second, by offering policy recommendations to achieve deep greenhouse gas reductions.

Business Sector Action to Drive Carbon Market Cooperation in Northeast Asia

The expansion of carbon markets in China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have laid the foundation for discussions on potential carbon market cooperation within Northeast Asia, and the role of the private sector is vital for achieving success in this space, according to a new Asia Society Policy Institute and KPMG Samjong report. The authors present how carbon market linkage within China, Japan, and Korea could take place in unison with industry preferences.

China’s New National Carbon Market

This article in the journal AEA Papers and Proceedings reviews the policy context and initial program design of China’s new national emissions trading system. It explains the design of China’s new carbon market, contrasts it with western markets, and highlights possible implications. The article reflects some of the findings in the working paper “China’s New National Carbon Market,” published by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Regional Implications of National Carbon Taxes

This analysis published in the journal Climate Change Economics examines impacts of nationally-imposed carbon taxes on different regions of the United States. The goal is to see what can be learned about the drivers of regional political support for and opposition to such measures. Whether at the state, regional or national levels, carbon taxes are one option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; several state and regional programs are already under way and lowering emissions. This analysis uses a U.S. regional version of the Dynamic Integrated Economy/Energy/Emissions Model (DIEM) computable general equilibrium model to explore relationships between carbon taxes, emissions, and economic growth.

The Future of the Electricity Industry: Implications of Trends and Taxes

This analysis published in the journal Energy Economics examines how changes in market trends and technology costs are likely to affect electricity generation in the United States in the context of possible future carbon taxes. It uses the Dynamic Integrated Economy/Energy/Emissions Model (DIEM) electricity-sector model to examine a wide range of sensitivity cases for technology and fuel costs under different economic conditions. The model finds that carbon taxes can be an effective way to quickly lower emissions. Shifts among natural gas and renewable generation can vary significantly, depending on capital and operating costs.

China's New National Carbon Market

On December 19, 2017, China announced the official start of its national emissions trading system (ETS) construction program. When fully implemented, this program could more than double the volume of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions covered by either tax or tradable permit policy. Many of program’s design features reflect those of China’s pilot programs but widely differ from those of emissions trading programs in the United States and Europe. For that reason, the workings of Chinese national carbon market are both intriguing and unfamiliar to those experienced with western markets. This paper explains the design of China’s new carbon market, contrasts it with western markets, and highlights possible implications. It also presents research questions raised by the design.