This study shows potential cost savings by adoption of emission trading in India. At the Paris Agreement, India pledged to reduce CO2 emissions intensity by about 30–35% by 2030 relative to 2005. Applying joint production function of electricity and CO2 emissions, we find that India could have saved about US$ 5 to 8 billion, if she had constituted an emission trading system, with the provision of banking and borrowing over the study period of 5 years. To our knowledge, this is the first study measuring foregone gains due to absence of a nationwide carbon emission-trading program in coal fired thermal power sector, using an ex-post analysis.
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