Press Release: New Report Examines How Cimate Policies Affect the Cost of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

For Immediate Release: 
October 13, 2004     

Contact:
Katie Mandes 703-516-4146        

CLIMATE POLICY AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE

New Report Examines How Cimate Policies Affect the Cost of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Washington, DC — With Russian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol now likely, the development and deployment of technologies to reduce global emissions is more critical than ever. While technological change occurs naturally as companies compete in the marketplace, climate policies can spur additional or “induced” technological change (ITC).

Induced Technological Change and Climate Policy, by Larry Goulder of Stanford University, explores the use of ITC in climate policy, using state-of-the-art economic modeling and analysis. Goulder finds that models that include ITC produce lower cost estimates for GHG reductions, and that costs are lowest when climate policies are announced in advance.  Furthermore, he finds that to reduce greenhouse gas emissions most cost-effectively, both policies that boost technological innovation, such as R&D funding, and policies that limit emissions, such as a GHG cap-and-trade program, are required.

“This research shows us that the costs of meeting a long-term CO2 emissions target using both R&D subsidies and a carbon tax (or cap-and-trade) is roughly 10 times less than with R&D subsidies alone,” said Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

A crucial point is that although studies show different implications of ITC on the overall timing of climate policy, all find that some abatement must begin now in order to jumpstart the critical process of technological change.  “Timing is crucial for dealing with this issue in a cost-effective manner; the longer we wait, the more expensive it will be,” said the Pew Center’s Claussen.

The full text of this and other Pew Center reports is available at http://www.c2es.org.  


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The Pew Center was established in May 1998 by The Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the United States’ largest philanthropies and an influential voice in efforts to improve the quality of the environment.  The Pew Center is an independent, nonprofit, and non-partisan organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change.  The Pew Center is led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.