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An Evaluation of Integrated Climate Protection Policies for the United States

Stephen Bernow, Tellus Institute
Max Duckworth, Tellus Institute

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Abstract

This paper presents and discusses an integrated set of policies designed to reduce U.S. carbon emissions over the next four decades. This innovation path also aims to promote environmental quality, particularly by reducing emissions of criteria air pollutants, to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil, and to induce technological innovation and diffusion in energy production and consumption. The innovation path would reduce economy-wide carbon emissions by 26% below baseline projections for 2010 and by 62% below baseline projections for 2030; this translates into 10% below 1990 levels in 2010 and 45% below 1990 levels in 2030. Emissions of criteria pollutants also would be significantly reduced, as would petroleum imports by the United States. Moreover, the innovation path would yield cumulative net savings for the United States of $218 billion (1993 dollars) through 2010, or $19 billion on a leveled annual basis, and would result in 800,000 additional jobs nationwide by 2010. Although the overall findings from the innovation path analysis are robust, the results should be taken as indicative, rather than precisely predictive, owing to uncertainties in future costs, prices, technology performance, and consumer behavior.

Key words

air pollutants, carbon emissions, climate change policy, costs and benefits, innovation path analysis, U.S. economy.
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087