Tax or Trade: Revisiting the Trade-Offs in Climate Policy Options

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On the heels of the Paris climate negotiations, carbon pricing policies—either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs—are receiving renewed attention across the globe. In the meantime, US federal climate policy is being driven by regulatory authority, but with a strong focus on program flexibility via credit trading. Similarly, the State of California’s climate program, AB 32, has embraced both a carbon cap-and-trade program and regulatory measures for emissions reductions.

Against this evolving background, the time is right to revisit the trade-offs among various carbon pricing and other climate policy options. At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, Tom Lawler of the International Emissions Trading Association will highlight the benefits of emissions trading programs, and Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen Center will present the case for a carbon tax. Both will then participate in a broader panel discussion on the interplay between carbon pricing and regulatory measures.


  • Raymond J. Kopp, Senior Fellow and Co-Director, RFF Center for Energy and Climate Economics, Resources for the Future
  • Tom Lawler, International Emissions Trading Association
  • Ian Parry, International Monetary Fund
  • Jerry Taylor, Niskanen Center
  • Roberton C. Williams III, Senior Fellow and Director, Academic Programs, Resources for the Future


Resources for the Future
1616 P Street NW
Washington DC 20036

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