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Climate Risk Price and Carbon Price

Christian Gollier * Toulouse School of Economics, Université Toulouse-1. Contact : christian.gollier@tse-fr.eu. Cet article est basé sur le dernier chapitre de mon livre « Le climat après la fin du mois » publié par PUF en mai 2019. Je remercie l'ANR pour son financement ANR-17-EURE-0010 (Investissements d'Avenir program).


Faced with the global externality of climate change, there is a strong consensus among academic economists in favor of the price instrument to internalize an externality and to support by means of a tax a universal carbon price, because of the global nature of the climate externality. However, given the very strong long-term uncertainties on climate dynamics, on green technological progress, on the credibility of the commitments of the different countries, on economic growth and therefore on the evolution of emissions, the determination of this price is still a huge challenge for climate economists today. It is a question of valuing present actions generating a flow of economic and environmental benefits, which is very complicated in this context. In this article, I offer a synthesis of my recent work on the subject by presenting the two possible methods: the cost-benefit approach in which the price of carbon is the present value of the flow of damage avoided by reducing the current emissions of ‘a tonne of CO2 and the cost-effectiveness approach in which a CO2 budget for the century is fixed a priori, the price of carbon being the dual variable of this climate constraint.


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Footnotes

1   Voir néanmoins sur ce sujet l'article de Philippe Trainar dans ce numéro. Mon analyse est ici normative et je maintiens en accord avec la théorie moderne de l'évaluation des actifs financiers qu'il n'est pas socialement désirable de récompenser la détention de risques diversifiables.

2   Il s'agit ici du CCAPM-bêta des dommages climatiques, c'est-à-dire l'élasticité-revenu de ces dommages. CCAPM est l'abréviation de Consumption-Based Capital Asset Pricing Model.

3   Pour une analyse politique et économique de la fiscalité écologique en France et dans le monde, voir Gollier (2019b).


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