We investigate the current use of public revenues which are generated through both carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems. More than $28.3 billion in government “carbon revenues” are currently collected each year in 40 countries and another 16 states or provinces around the world. Of those revenues, 27% ($7.8 billion) are used to subsidize “green” spending in energy efficiency or renewable energy; 26% ($7.4 billion) go toward state general funds; and 36% ($10.1 billion) are returned to corporate or individual taxpayers through paired tax cuts or direct rebates. Cap-and-trade systems ($6.57 billion in total public revenue) earmark a larger share of revenues for “green” spending (70%), while carbon tax systems ($21.7 billion) more commonly refund revenues or otherwise direct them towards government general funds (72% of revenues). Drawing from an empirical dataset, we also identify various trends in systems’ use of “carbon revenues” in terms of the total revenues collected annually per capita in each jurisdiction and offer commensurate qualitative observations on carbon policy design choices.
Energy policy design; Carbon tax; Cap-and-trade; Public revenue; Fiscal policy; Energy politics
The importance of renewable energy as a response to climate change is universally acknowledged. However, its successful implementation requires public approval and cooperation. This study aims to identify the level of renewable energy acceptance in Korea by estimating Korean consumers’ additional willingness to pay (WTP) using the contingent valuation (CV) method, which is the most widely used to analyze consumer preferences. The estimation results indicate that Korean consumers are willing to pay an additional USD 3.21 per month for electricity generated with renewable energy. However, WTP in Korea is low relative to other advanced nations, indicating that these values could be influenced through policies aimed at improving knowledge and acceptance of renewable energy sources among Korean consumers.
A decision-making model was constructed to assist remote Australian Indigenous communities select appropriate climate change mitigation programs. The Resilient Community and Livelihood Asset Integration Model (ReCLAIM) comprises six steps that focus on community assets and aspirations. The second of these steps is to determine the baseline carbon profiles of communities based on six sources of carbon emissions: materials, construction processes, stationary energy, transport, water systems and waste. The methodology employed an annualised lifecycle analysis of housing materials and construction, and an annual inventory of other emission sources. Profiles were calculated for two remote communities and compared to the Australian average and also average electricity consumption by remote communities in the Northern Territory.
The results, expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e), showed that average household carbon profiles of the two communities (6.3 and 4.1 tCO2-e/capita/yr) were generally lower than the Australian average (7.3 tCO2-e/capita/yr). The stationary energy results revealed that infrastructure and building design could raise fuel consumption and costs, and therefore carbon emissions, despite modest lifestyles. The carbon emission categories differed between the two communities highlighting the need for an individualised approach to understanding the drivers of carbon emissions and mitigation responses.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Energy Agency (IEA), and several nations suggest that energy efficiency is an effective strategy for reducing energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Skeptics contend that because efficiency lowers the price of energy and energy services, it may actually increase demand for them, causing total emissions to rise. While both sides of this debate have researched the magnitude of these so-called rebound effects among end-use consumers, researchers have paid less attention to the conditions under which direct rebounds cause CO2 emissions to rise among industrial producers. In particular, researchers have yet to explore how organizational and global factors might condition the effects of efficiency on emissions among power plants, the world's most concentrated sources of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Here we use a unique dataset containing nearly every fossil-fuel power plant in the world to determine whether the impact of efficiency on emissions varies by plants' age, size, and location in global economic and normative systems. Findings reveal that each of these factors has a significant interaction with efficiency and thus shapes environmentally destructive rebound effects.