Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Closing Coal: Economic and Moral Incentives

OxCarre WP: Climate policy requires that much of the world’s reserves of fossil fuels remain unburned. This paper makes the case for implementing this directly through policy to close the global coal industry. Coal is singled out because of its high emissions intensity, low rents per unit value, local environmental costs and sheer scale. Direct supply policy – such as the sequenced closure of countries’ coal mines – may lead to less
policy leakage (across countries and time) than other policies based on demand or price management. It also has the advantage of involving relatively few players and leading to clear-cut and observable outcomes. It is therefore better able to create the moral force needed to mobilize the collective international action that is required.

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