Draft submission on climate bill
This post was written by Richard Tol
As the introduction of the climate bill may be imminent, I thought it would be appropriate to make public at least part of the consultation. Our latest draft is here. It omits one crucial part as we’re still trying to get our heads around estimating the costs of the proposed targets.
All comments are welcome.
This is the summary: [W]e are grateful for the opportunity to comment on the draft Climate Change Response Bill 2010. There are a few ambiguous statements in the draft bill that will need to be clarified in the next version, particularly with regard to the emissions target for 2020 and the definition of carbon sinks. A unilateral adoption of a 30% emission reduction target for 2020, as proposed in the draft bill, would be problematic, as EU legislation would oblige Ireland to bridge the gap between the EU target (-20%) and the Irish target (-30%) through emission reduction in the domestic non-ETS sectors (mostly agriculture, households, small and medium-sized enterprises, and transport). The proposed targets for 2030 and 2050 are extraordinarily ambitious. The draft bill omits to introduce an appropriate framework for policy measures to meet the proposed targets. The establishment of a National Climate Change Expert Advisory Body is a welcome proposal but the climate bill should guarantee that the people on the body are indeed experts and that the body is independent. The Regulatory Impact Assessment adds little to our understanding of the impact of the proposed climate bill.
We recommend the following changes to the Climate Change Response Bill 2010:
- Adopt the EU target of a 20% emission reduction by 2020.
- After 2020, the target should be to intensify climate policy such that the (nominal) marginal abatement costs of emission reduction increases with the rate of discount (i.e., the nominal interest rate) until carbon dioxide emissions are zero.
- Create a framework for policy interventions of greenhouse gas emissions, with single regulation and equalization of marginal abatement costs as important criteria.
- Guarantee that the National Climate Change Expert Advisory Body is independent and has the required expertise.
Furthermore, we recommend that the impacts of the proposed climate bill will be assessed before the bill is introduced.
UPDATE: Interesting comments in today’s Irish Times. Ciaran Cuffe may need to check his math.