Boyce to Speak on Economics of Carbon Pricing

James K. Boyce
James K. Boyce

Economist James K. Boyce, director of the environment program at the Political Economy Research Institute, will speak on “Carbon Pricing 101: Setting the Price and Allocating the Revenue” on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. in 162 Design Building.

The talk is part of the fall IGERT (National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program) Wind Energy Seminar Series.

Carbon pricing via a tax or a cap-and-permit system is an important instrument in the climate policy toolkit. Quantitative emission targets must be built into the price-setting process to ensure the desired levels of emission reductions. To achieve the goal of limiting the increase in global mean temperature to 1.5-2 °C above pre-industrial levels, prices considerably above the “social cost of carbon” prescribed by conventional cost-benefit analyses may be necessary.

The impact on households of carbon pricing at this level will be substantial and regressive, posing issues of political sustainability as well as distributional equity. The allocation of carbon revenue can help to address these issues.

Boyce’s most recent book, “Economics, the Environment, and Our Common Wealth” (2013) was selected by the American Library Association as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book. His previous books include “Reclaiming Nature: Environmental Justice and Ecological Restoration” (2007); “Natural Assets: Democratizing Environmental Ownership” (2003); and “The Political Economy of the Environment” (2002).

He served on the Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee of the California Air Resources Board and California Environmental Protection Agency for implementation of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, and is the author of the forthcoming book, “The Case for Carbon Dividends.” He received the 2017 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.