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How Realistic Are Expectations for the Role of Greenhouse Gas Offsets in U.S. Climate Policy? An Examination of Offset Supply Analyses

World Resources Institute Working Paper.

Author(s): Erickson, P. ; Lazarus, M. ; Kelly, A.
Year: 2009

Research Area(s): Emissions Trading & Offsets ; Climate Mitigation Policy

Description: A sound understanding of the economics of offsets - in particular, of the potential supply of offsets under future market conditions - is critically important for policymakers as they address major design decisions in crafting climate policy. The World Resources Institute, in conjunction with the Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI), is conducting a study to examine potential supplies of GHG offsets in a domestic cap and trade system. This analysis will first identify key findings and clarify some of the assumptions, discrepancies, and shortcomings of the various efforts to quantify potential offset supply completed to date. Based on that analysis, the WRI-SEI study will summarize existing data on the potential volume of GHG reductions that could be achieved from these sources, and present cost curves for those reductions taking into account various assumptions about key offset policy design decisions.

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