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Intertemporal Emission Permits Trading Under Uncertainty and Irreversibility

Aude Pommeret and Katheline Schubert ()
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Aude Pommeret: City University of Hong Kong

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2018, vol. 71, issue 1, 73-97

Abstract: Abstract This paper analyzes the effect of emission permit banking on clean technology investment and abatement under conditions where the stringency of the future cap is uncertain. We examine the problem of heterogeneous firms minimizing the cost of intertemporal emission control in the presence of stochastic future pollution standards and emission permits that are tradable across firms and through time. A firm can invest in clean capital (an improved pollution abatement technology) to reduce its abatement cost. We consider two possibilities: that investment is reversible or irreversible. Uncertainty is captured within a two period model: only the current period cap is known. We show that if banking is positive and marginal abatement costs are sufficiently convex, there will be more abatement and investment in clean technology under uncertainty than there would be under certainty and no banking. These results are at odds with the common belief that uncertainty on future environmental policy is a barrier to investment in clean capital. Moreover, under uncertainty and irreversibility, we find that there are cases where banking enables firms to invest more in clean capital.

Keywords: Cap uncertainty; Abatement; Banking; Investment in clean capital; Irreversibility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Intertemporal emission permits trading under uncertainty and irreversibility (2018)
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