Leveling the Carbon Playing Field: International Competition and US Climate Policy Designby Trevor Houser
As the US Congress takes up domestic climate legislation and the administration reengages in multilateral climate negotiations, policymakers are particularly concerned about the effect of climate policy on US carbon-intensive manufacturing industries such as iron and steel, cement, paper, and chemicals. Many of these industries are already under pressure from
As the US Congress takes up domestic climate legislation and the administration reengages in multilateral climate negotiations, policymakers are particularly concerned about the effect of climate policy on US carbon-intensive manufacturing industries such as iron and steel, cement, paper, and chemicals. Many of these industries are already under pressure from foreign competition, particularly large emerging economies like China, India, and Brazil that are not bound to reduce emissions under the current international climate framework. US policymakers are looking for ways to avoid putting US industry at a competitive disadvantage lest a decline in industrial emissions at home is simply replaced by increases in emissions abroad. While this would be best achieved through harmonized international climate policy, the differences between countries in levels of economic development, historic emissions, and responsibilities arising from future emissions mean harmonization is still a long way off. How can we level the playing field for US carbon-intensive industries during a period of transition, where trading partners are moving at different speeds and adopting a variety of policies to reduce emissions? Can this be done in a way that does not threaten the prospects of broader international agreement down the road? This book evaluates a wide range of policy options, including trade measures on foreign-produced goods (currently included in draft US legislation and under consideration in the European Union).
- Peterson Institute for International Economics
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Meet the Author
Trevor Houser, visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics during 2009–15, is partner at the Rhodium Group, where he leads the firm's energy and natural resources practice. He also codirects the Climate Impact Lab, a collaboration of leading research institutions combining climate, economic, and data science to quantify the risks climate change presents. During 2009, he served as senior advisor to the US State Department, where he worked on a broad range of international energy and environmental policy issues.
Rob Bradley is director of the International Climate Policy Institute Initiative at the World Resources Institute (WRI). He has published research on international climate agreements, emissions trading, biofuels, rural electrification, adaptation, forests and climate and developing country policies. Before joining WRI, he worked on European and international climate and energy policy and was a member of the working group to design the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
Britt Childs is a research analyst with the international climate policy team at the World Resources Institute.
Jacob Werksman is an international lawyer specializing in environmental and economic law, and directs the Institutions an dGovernance Program at WRI. He served as associate director inthe Global Inclusion Program of the Reckefeller Foundation. From 2002 to 2004, he was environmental institutions and and governance adviser to the United Nations Development Programme in New York.
Robert Heolmayr is a research assistant at WRI. His work focuses on federal climate change policy and corporate deployent of renewable energy. As part of the Green Power Market Development Group, he draws on his experience in the private sector to develop innovative green power products and strategies for corporate consumers.
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