Carbon Taxes: A Review of Experience and Policy Design Considerations

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


State and local governments in the United States are evaluating a wide range of policies to reduce carbon emissions, including, in some instances, carbon taxes, which have existed internationally for nearly 20 years. This report reviews existing carbon tax policies both internationally and in the United States. It also analyzes carbon policy design and effectiveness. Design considerations include which sectors to tax, where to set the tax rate, how to use tax revenues, what the impact will be on consumers, and how to ensure emissions reduction goals are achieved. Emission reductions that are due to carbon taxes can be difficult to measure, though some jurisdictions have quantified reductions in overall emissions and other jurisdictions have examined impacts that are due to programs funded by carbon tax revenues.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages38
StatePublished - 2009

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A2-47312


  • carbon emissions
  • carbon policies
  • carbon policy
  • carbon policy design
  • carbon tax
  • carbon tax rates
  • carbon taxes
  • emission reductions
  • local governments
  • state government
  • states
  • tax rates
  • tax revenues
  • tax sectors
  • United States


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