Carbon Taxes: A Review of Experience and Policy Design Considerations

Jenny Sumner, Lori Bird, Hillary Dobos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus Citations


State and local governments in the USA are evaluating a wide range of policies to reduce carbon emissions, including carbon taxes, which have existed internationally for nearly 20 years. In this article, existing carbon tax policies, both internationally and in the USA, are reviewed, and carbon policy design and effectiveness are analysed. 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 that emissions reduction goals are achieved. Emissions reductions that are due to carbon taxes can be difficult to measure, although some jurisdictions quantify reductions in overall emissions, others examine impacts that are due to programmes funded by carbon tax revenues.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)922-943
Number of pages22
JournalClimate Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A2-49338


  • Carbon tax
  • Climate change policies
  • Domestic policy instruments
  • GHG reductions
  • Policy formation


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