Pollution control under uncertainty and sustainability concern
We analyze the implications of environmental policy on pollution in a stochastic framework with finite horizon and sustainability concern. The social planner seeks to minimize the social (environmental and economic) costs associated with pollution. We allow for the planner to attach different relative weights to the discounted and end-of-planning-horizon costs in order to assess how sustainability concern might affect the optimal level of policy intervention. We show that the optimal environmental policy increases with the degree of sustainability concern, reducing thus the amount of pollution the society is forced to bear. A calibration based on world CO2 data supports our conclusions, further highlighting the importance of higher degrees of sustainability concern to achieve greener long run outcomes. It also allows us to show that under a realistic model's parametrization the optimal environmental policy tends to rise with higher degrees of uncertainty in a precautionary manner.
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