US Shale Gas Development in Review

The United States has seen rapid recent development of shale gas. What are the factors behind the notable growth in the past decade? And what does it mean for shale gas development elsewhere in the world? Alan Krupnick and I examine the history of the US shale gas boom in a new RFF discussion paper. […]

China’s Carbon Tax Plan

Xinhua reported recently that China will introduce a carbon tax. The actual announcement by Jia Chen from the Ministry of Finance buried the mention of the new carbon tax within a broader set of tax reform goals. Other reforms mentioned included the use of taxes to promote innovation and the development of small- and medium-sized businesses. This is […]

Would Coal Exports Reduce Emissions?

Persistent low natural gas prices and, to some extent, EPA regulation are driving fuel switching from coal to gas in the electric power sector, reducing domestic demand for U.S. coal. The U.S. already exports a lot of coal, but the trend toward gas has led some firms to more aggressively pursue export markets. Increasing exports, […]

Aiming Low: The Ambition Deficit in Global Emissions Reductions

As in Durban, a notable concern at this COP is the “ambition deficit”—that is, the significant gap between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommended level of emissions reductions—those required to limit global temperature rise to 2°C—and the level of emissions reductions currently committed to by countries worldwide. In other words, everyone is aiming low […]

RFF Feature: Tax Incentives for Developing Sewage Treatment Capacity in China

RFF’s Anthony Liu and coauthor Junjie Zhang examine the uneven development of sewage treatment plants throughout China and explore the relationship between tax incentives and investments in such infrastructure. To read the piece in its entirety, click here.

China Losing Money on Solar – a Good Thing, But Not For the Reason You Think

The NYT reports (h/t Alex Tabarrok) that Chinese subsidies for solar panel production via state-owned banks have led to huge overcapacity, with up to 33% losses on panel sales. Tabarrok points out the parallels between Chinese officials’ reactions and the political fallout from failed U.S. government investments in solar. The rhetoric is similar but there […]

Democracy and China: Help or Hindrance to Growth?

Over the past several years, China’s economy has grown by about nine percent on average, while India’s has grown by about eight percent. Both countries are taking ambitious steps to reduce their carbon emissions. India has established a program called Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) that will set efficiency levels for the country’s top polluters, […]

China’s Solar Feed-In Tariffs: One Technology’s Moment In The Sun?

In early August, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced the implementation of a national feed-in tariff for solar power, roughly equivalent to 15–18 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). China hopes these guaranteed subsidies will double its current solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity by the end of 2011. Such a goal might seem wildly ambitious, […]

Changes In Market Mechanisms: The CDM Without China

As the Kyoto Protocol nears its expiration date, the sometimes controversial Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is experiencing some dramatic shifts, making its future seem quite different than its past. The CDM was established under the Kyoto Protocol as a way in which developed nations could reduce their carbon emissions to meet the Kyoto targets by […]

Certainty In China’s Energy Consumption Cap

China is often viewed as an obstacle to progress in international climate negotiations, but its domestic action in transitioning to a low-carbon economy is very different. The country already leads the world in wind and solar production and has set carbon intensity targets at 17 percent from 2011 to 2015. By 2020, it plans to […]