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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Climate Change: A Compendium

For decision-makers considering climate change legislation, an assortment of policy instruments is available; studies suggest that a combination could be most effective in achieving various climate policy objectives. Current policy attention has focused on “cap and trade” strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with additional policy tools aimed at promoting the technology development considered necessary to slow climate change significantly.

In parallel, growing attention is being given to supporting adaptations to expected future changes, as well as to strategies to gain effective international engagement in reducing greenhouse gas. One significant obstacle to consensus is concern about the potential costs of abating greenhouse gas emissions, since deep reductions would require extraordinary changes in energy use and technologies. Studies suggest that efficiently designed programs could moderate the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; technically and politically, though, an “efficiently designed” program may not be realistic.

Policy options can ease the adjustments required and modify the distribution of costs—or potential wealth embodied in distribution of emission allowances—across specific sectors or populations. A core challenge of policy design, then, is balancing the climate effectiveness of a policy, the economic costs, and its distributional effects.

Date of Report: January 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 353
Order Number: C12033
Price: $79.95

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