Examining the Market Structure of Shale Gas Drilling in the United States

Over the last decade, the shale gas boom has emerged as the biggest story in US energy. Gas extracted from shale formations accounted for only 1.6 percent of total US natural gas production in 2000, a share that ballooned to more than 40 percent by 2013. Its transformative influence on the American energy industry has […]

How Should the World Bank Estimate Air Pollution Damages?

One of the indicators the World Bank uses to measure the sustainability of a country’s growth is adjusted net savings (ANS), which includes an estimate of the costs of health damages from exposure to outdoor air pollution. This pollution damage indicator is published annually in the World Development Indicators, together with estimates of annual average […]

Taking Steps toward Green Growth in China

For decades, China’s government has focused on economic growth and has paid less attention to the associated environmental consequences. But today, the need for environmental regulation is more widely recognized as a critical ingredient for continued, sustainable growth in the world’s most populous country. In a new RFF discussion paper, Green Growth (for China): A Literature […]

A Tale of Two Parks (In One)

Without intending to, the team of civil servants that in 1990 created Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) launched a forest conservation policy experiment. In an ecologically rich region where ranchers and farmers were illegally clearing forests at an astounding clip, they established a huge (two million hectare) protected area with two distinct management regimes—a core […]

Ivory Stockpiles: Will Destroying Them Really Help Stop Poaching?

Just over five years ago, sanctioned auctions of ivory stockpiled in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe raised more than $15 million for elephant conservation. Now, Tanzania is set to destroy $50 million of ivory stockpile, following the lead of the US, France, Hong Kong, and China. The US is also taking steps to further […]

A Global Perspective on the Social Cost of Carbon

Some recent posts examining estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) noted that the SCC applies to the world as a whole: it is the global concentration of CO2—irrespective of the geographic origin of emissions—that prompts concern over climate change. How does that fact translate into costs facing one or another CO2-emitting country?

The Global Cost of Carbon Emissions: A Lingering Quandary For Policy

The federal government has a new estimate for the global social cost of carbon emissions. A recent “Technical Support Document” prepared by an interagency working group bears the more elaborate and dispassionate sub-title: “Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis—Under Executive Order 12866.” That Executive Order, among other things, allows “agencies […]

The Economics of Shame: A New RFF Press Book

Here’s a shameless plug for a new RFF Press book  about naming and shaming polluters. OK, the title, “Environmental Regulation and Public Disclosure: The Case of PROPER in Indonesia” is admittedly a bit owlish. But I think many will be quite interested in the contents—an in-depth case study of an innovative pollution control program in a […]

Paying Ecuador to Protect the Rainforest

A recent episode of NPR’s Planet Money discussed Ecuador’s proposed solution to a national dilemma: the fact that a massive oil discovery and a national park happen to be in the same place. Ecuador’s proposal is to forswear drilling – but only if other countries donate half the value of the oil in aid (about $3.6 […]

Does Eco-Certification Pay? Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Program

RFF Senior Fellow Allen Blackman and his colleagues present some of the first evidence that eco-certification programs in developing countries can have positive impacts for both the economy and environment. To read this piece in its entirety, click here.