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The Private Provision of International Impure Public Goods: the Case of Climate Policy

Keywords:

Author(s): Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher, Anil Markandya and Dirk T.G. Rübbelke

Date: 2011-09-05

Issue: 2011-09

  Download this working paper (711 KB.)


We discuss a tax-transfer scheme that aims at addressing the under-provision problem associated with the private supply of international public goods and at bringing about Pareto optimal allocations internationally. In particular, we consider the example of the global public good ‘climate stabilisation’, both in an analytical and a numerical simulation model. The proposed scheme levies Pigouvian taxes globally, while international sidepayments are employed in order to provide incentives to individual countries for not taking a free-ride from the international Pigouvian tax scheme. The side-payments, in turn, are financed via the environmental taxes. As a distinctive feature we take into account ancillary benefits that may be associated with local public characteristics of climate policy. We determine the positive impact that ancillary effects may exert on the scope for financing side-payments via environmental taxation. A particular attractive feature of ancillary benefits is that they arise shortly after the implementation of climate policies and therefore yield an almost immediate payback of investments in abatement efforts. Especially in times of high public debt levels, long periods of amortisation would tend to reduce political support for investments in climate policy.

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