Carbon pricing ethics

Philosophy Compass 17 (1):e12803 (2022)
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The three main types of policies for addressing climate change are command and control regulation, carbon taxes (or price instruments), and cap and trade (or quantity instruments). The first question in the ethics of carbon pricing is whether the latter two (price and quantity instruments) are preferable to command and control regulation. The second question is, if so, how should we evaluate the relative merits of price and quantity instruments. I canvass relevant arguments to explain different ways of addressing these important policy questions, suggesting that carbon pricing is preferable to command and control regulation, and that price instruments have the theoretical edge over quantity instruments. [Open access]

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Kian Mintz-Woo
University College, Cork