Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Managing Price and Targets: Why a Hybrid Policy is Better for Australia

Author:Pete Wilcoxen with Warwick J. McKibbin
Date: 2007
Publication:Climate Change: Getting It Right, Committee for the Economic Development of Australia, pp. 76-85

Promising to reach an emissions target on a precise timetable is a popular approach to climate policy - indeed it underlies the Kyoto Protocol. Despite its popularity, there are many problems with this strategy. A better approach is to specify a target but to allow costs to determine the speed at which the target is approached. This can be achieved using a hybrid of targets and emission fees. This paper summarises the targets and timetables approach to climate policy and how it is usually implemented in cap-and-trade permit markets. However, as a basis for domestic policy or for an international climate regime there are major flaws in this approach. We then present the McKibbin Wilcoxen hybrid approach and compare it to the approach proposed by the Prime Minister's Emissions Trading Task Group.


Peter J Wilcoxen
Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 11/30/2010 21:42:06