Carbon pricing and deep decarbonisation

Endre Tvinnereim, Michael Mehling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Experts frequently point to carbon pricing as the most cost-effective tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Empirical studies show that carbon pricing can successfully incentivise incremental emissions reductions. But meeting temperature targets within defined timelines as agreed under the Paris Agreement requires more than incremental improvements: it requires achieving net zero emissions within a few decades. To date, there is little evidence that carbon pricing has produced deep emission reductions, even at high prices. While much steeper carbon prices may deliver greater abatement, political economy constraints render their feasibility doubtful. An approach with multiple instruments, including technology mandates and targeted support for innovation, is indispensable to avoid path dependencies and lock-in of long-lived, high-carbon assets. We argue that carbon pricing serves several important purposes in such an instrument mix, but also that the global commitment to deep decarbonisation requires acknowledging the vital role of instruments other than carbon pricing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-189
Number of pages5
JournalEnergy Policy
Early online date27 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018


  • global warming
  • climate change
  • emissions
  • carbon prices
  • mitigation


Dive into the research topics of 'Carbon pricing and deep decarbonisation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this