Designing Feasible and Efficient Climate Policies

Start date:  
End date:  31.12.2011

Project leader:
Kallbekken, Steffen

Project participants:
Kallbekken, Steffen
Mideksa, Torben Kenea
Sælen, Håkon
Aasen, Marianne
Korneliussen, Kristine
Moe, Thorvald

No policy can be implemented or sustained for any length of time without public support. Several important examples of failures to implement new Piougivan tax schemes bear testimony to this. In order to design Pigouvian taxes that are both efficient andfeasible we need to understand why it is so difficult to implement policies that could potentially increase overall welfare. A limited number of studies on public perceptions of environmental taxes and green tax reform help provide an answer to thispuzzle. They show that Pigouian taxes are viewed solely as a means or raising revenue, rather than in terms of their incentive effects, there is great distrust that governments willl do as promised with the revenues, and that there is a strong preferencefor earmarking the revenues for environmental purposes. The relatively few studies in this field leave many important questions unaddressed: - There is very little systematic knowledge about the Norwegian general public's perceptions of environmentalpolicy instruments. - Emissions trading schemes and personal carbon offsets have not been afforded the same attention as environmental taxes. - There has been no systematic comparison of the efficiency of policy options when there are constraints on whatis politically feasible due to public perceptions of the policy. The project will address this knowledge gap through 3 work packages: WP1: Public attitudes to climate change policies in Norway: A focus group study of public attitudes will be used todesign a representative telephone survey of the Norwegian general public's attitudes to the issue. WP2: An experimental investigation of the acceptability of environmental policy instruments: A lab experiment will be designed to test the acceptability ofalternative policy instruments. WP3: Implications for designing feasible and efficient mitigation policies: This WP will bring together the findings from the first two WPs to provide policy recommendations.

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