Resolving the Inherent Uncertainty of Carbon Taxes

Carbon taxes are a critical regulatory mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A carbon tax directly sets a price on emissions, either as an output tax on producers of fossil fuels (coal, petroleum products, and natural gas) or a tax on the purchase of fossil fuels. Such a tax makes the carbon price certain, but the total emissions that ultimately result from the policy are uncertain. This trade-off between price certainty and emissions certainty has important environmental, economic, and political economy implications for the design of climate policy.

The pieces in this Symposium describe the uncertainty inherent to carbon taxes, and propose regulatory and legislative solutions that would help mitigate this uncertainty.

Resolving the Inherent Uncertainty of Carbon Taxes: Introduction
Joseph E. Aldy, Marc Hafstead, Gilbert E. Metcalf, Brian C. Murray, William A. Pizer, Christina Reichert & Roberton C. Williams III

Increasing Emissions Certainty Under a Carbon Tax
Brian C. Murray, William A. Pizer, & Christina Reichert

Designing and Updating a U.S. Carbon Tax in an Uncertain World
Joseph E. Aldy

Adding Quantity Certainty to a Carbon Tax Through a Tax Adjustment Mechanism for Policy Pre-Commitment
Marc Hafstead, Gilbert E. Metcalf, & Roberton C. Williams III

Preferred Citation: Cite Symposium essays to 41 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. F. __ (2017).

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