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Trade in'virtual carbon': empirical results and implications for policy

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Author Info

  • Atkinson, Giles
  • Hamilton, Kirk
  • Ruta, Giovanni
  • Van Der Mensbrugghe, Dominique

Abstract

The fact that developing countries do not have carbon emission caps under the Kyoto Protocol has led to the current interest in high-income countries in border taxes on the"virtual"carbon content of imports. The authors use Global Trade Analysis Project data and input-output analysis to estimate the flows of virtual carbon implicit in domestic production technologies and the pattern of international trade. The results present striking evidence on the wide variation in the carbon-intensiveness of trade across countries, with major developing countries being large net exporters of virtual carbon. The analysis suggests that tax rates of $50 per ton of virtual carbon could lead to very substantial effective tariff rates on the exports of the most carbon-intensive developing nations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5194.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5194

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Keywords: Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Environmental Economics&Policies; Climate Change Economics; Economic Theory&Research; Environment and Energy Efficiency;

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Cited by:
  1. Morihiro Yomogida & Nori Tarui, 2013. "Emission Taxes and Border Tax Adjustments for Oligopolistic Industries," Working Papers 201317, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  2. Aaditya Mattoo & Arvind Subramanian & Dominique Mensbrugghe & Jianwu He, 2013. "Trade effects of alternative carbon border-tax schemes," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 587-609, September.
  3. Misato Sato, 2012. "Embodied carbon in trade: a survey of the empirical literature," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 77, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  4. Nicole A. MATHYS & Jaime de MELO, 2011. "The Political Economy of Climate Change Policies: Political Economy Aspects of Climate Change Mitigation Efforts," Working Papers P24, FERDI.
  5. Kala Krishna, 2010. "Limiting Emissions and Trade: Some Basic Ideas," NBER Working Papers 16147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Youguo Zhang, 2012. "Scale, Technique and Composition Effects in Trade-Related Carbon Emissions in China," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(3), pages 371-389, March.
  7. Matthias Weitzel & Tao Ma, 2013. "Emissions embodied in Chinese exports taking into account the special export structure of China," Kiel Working Papers 1885, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Jan T. Mizgajski, 2013. "CO2 Embodied in Trade between Poland and Selected Countries," Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, Alliance of Central-Eastern European Universities, vol. 2(4), pages 48-60, September.
  9. Douglas, Stratford & Nishioka, Shuichiro, 2012. "International differences in emissions intensity and emissions content of global trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 415-427.
  10. Dieter Helm & Cameron Hepburn & Giovanni Ruta, 2012. "Trade, climate change and the political game theory of border carbon adjustments," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 80, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  11. Alessandro Antimiani & Valeria Costantini & Chiara Martini & Luca Salvatici, 2011. "Cooperative and non-cooperative solutions to carbon leakage," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0136, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.

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