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International Tax and Public Finance

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 360–394

First Online: 23 May 2008


The countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol have pledged to limit global warming by reducing the demand for fossil fuels. But what about supply? If suppliers do not react, demand reductions by a subset of countries are ineffective. They simply depress the world price of carbon and induce the environmental sinners to consume what the Kyoto countries have economized on. Even worse, if suppliers feel threatened by a gradual greening of economic policies in the Kyoto countries that would damage their future prices; they will extract their stocks more rapidly, thus accelerating global warming. The paper discusses the remaining policy options against global warming from an intertemporal supply-side perspective.

KeywordsGlobal warming Kyoto protocol Carbon taxes Appeared as CESifo Working Paper No. 2087, August 2007 and NBER Working Paper 13454, September 2007.

JEL ClassificationO13 Q32 Q54 H23  Download to read the full article text

Author: Hans-Werner Sinn


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