Emerging Tech

Carbon Markets And Technological Innovation

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Executive Summary

This paper examines the effects of firm-level innovation in carbon-abatement technologies on optimal cap-and-trade schemes with and without price controls. The authors characterize optimal cap-and-trade regulation with a price cap and price floor, and compare it to the individual cases of pure taxation and simple emissions cap. Innovation shifts the trade-off between price- and quantity-based instruments towards quantity-based emissions trading schemes. More specifically, an increase in innovation effectiveness lowers the optimal emissions cap, and leads to relaxed price controls unless the slope of the marginal environmental damage cost curve is small.

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