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Comparing policies to combat emissions leakage: Border carbon adjustments versus rebates

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Author Info

  • Fischer, Carolyn
  • Fox, Alan K.

Abstract

We explore conditions determining which anti-leakage policies might be more effective complements to domestic greenhouse gas emissions regulation. We consider four policies that could be combined with unilateral emissions pricing to counter effects on international competitiveness: a border charge on imports, a border rebate for exports, full border adjustment, and domestic output-based rebating. Each option faces different potential legal hurdles in international trade law; each also has different economic impacts. While all can support competitiveness, none is necessarily effective at reducing global emissions. Nor is it possible to rank order the options; effectiveness depends on the relative emissions rates, elasticities of substitution, and consumption volumes. We illustrate these results with simulations for the energy-intensive sectors of three different economies, the United States, Canada and Europe. Although most controversial, full border adjustment is usually most effective, but output-based rebating for key manufacturing sectors can achieve many of the gains.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 64 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 199-216

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:64:y:2012:i:2:p:199-216

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

Related research

Keywords: Environmental tax; Rebate; Border adjustment; Emissions leakage; Climate;

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Cited by:
  1. Sarah Jacobson, 2010. "Temporal Spillovers in Land Conservation," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-17, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Feb 2014.
  2. Schmidt, Robert C. & Heitzig, Jobst, 2014. "Carbon leakage: Grandfathering as an incentive device to avert firm relocation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 209-223.
  3. Schinko, Thomas & Bednar-Friedl, Birgit & Steininger, Karl W. & Grossmann, Wolf D., 2014. "Switching to carbon-free production processes: Implications for carbon leakage and border carbon adjustment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 818-831.
  4. Branger, Frédéric & Quirion, Philippe, 2014. "Would border carbon adjustments prevent carbon leakage and heavy industry competitiveness losses? Insights from a meta-analysis of recent economic studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 29-39.
  5. Christoph Böhringer & Carolyn Fischer & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2011. "Cost-effective unilateral climate policy design: Size Matters," Discussion Papers 664, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  6. Christian Lininger, 2013. "Consumption-Based Approaches in International Climate Policy: An Analytical Evaluation of the Implications for Cost-Effectiveness, Carbon Leakage, and the International Income Distribution," Graz Economics Papers 2013-03, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
  7. Meunier, Guy & Ponssard, Jean-Pierre, 2014. "Capacity decisions with demand fluctuations and carbon leakage," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 436-454.
  8. repec:hal:ciredw:hal-00672907 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. repec:old:wpaper:355 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Christoph Böhringer & Knut Einar Rosendahl & Jan Schneider, 2013. "Unilateral Climate Policy: Can OPEC resolve the Leakage Probem?," Working Papers V-355-13, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2013.
  11. Christoph Böhringer & Carolyn Fischer & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2011. "Cost-Effective Climate Policy Design: Size Matters," Working Papers V-339-11, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2011.
  12. Guy Meunier & Jean-Pierre Ponssard & Philippe Quirion, 2012. "Carbon Leakage and Capacity-Based Allocations. Is the EU right?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4029, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Karl Steininger & Christian Lininger & Susanne Droege & Dominic Roser & Luke Tomlinson, 2012. "Towards a Just and Cost-Effective Climate Policy: On the relevance and implications of deciding between a Production versus Consumption Based Approach," Graz Economics Papers 2012-06, University of Graz, Department of Economics.

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