Paying Canadians to keep their oil sands in the ground to curb climate change might not sound like an obvious vote winner to a cash-strapped European government.
But it makes more economic sense than people realise, according to Bård Harstad, a Norwegian academic who has just won a prestigious environmental economics prize for a provocative paper suggesting just such a move.
Mr Harstad, 40, has been awarded the Erik Kempe prize, worth SKr100,000, by the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists for a study called “Buy Coal! A Case for Supply-Side Environmental Policy”.
The FT article is here, and you may recall an earlier MR suggestion that sealing or blowing up especially dirty fuel sources, in a Hotelling intertemporal resource extraction model, is more likely to be effective than many kinds of tax.