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Will Border Carbon Adjustments Work?

Author

Listed:
  • Winchester Niven

    () (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Paltsev Sergey

    () (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Reilly John M

    () (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Abstract

The potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) restrictions in some nations to increased emissions in other nations, or leakage, is a contentious issue in climate change negotiations. We evaluate the impact of border carbon adjustments (BCAs) outlined in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), using an economy-wide model. For 2025, we find that BCAs reduce leakage by up to two-thirds, but result in only modest reductions in global emissions and significantly reduce welfare. In contrast, BCA-equivalent leakage reductions can be achieved by very small emission charges or efficiency improvements in nations targeted by BCAs, which have negligible welfare effects. We conclude that BCAs are a costly method to reduce leakage, but may be an effective coercion strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Winchester Niven & Paltsev Sergey & Reilly John M, 2011. "Will Border Carbon Adjustments Work?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Zhong Xiang, 2012. "Competitiveness and Leakage Concerns and Border Carbon Adjustments," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 6(3), pages 225-287, December.
    2. Springmann, Marco, 2012. "A look inwards: Carbon tariffs versus internal improvements in emissions-trading systems," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 228-239.
    3. Alexeeva-Talebi, Victoria & Böhringer, Christoph & Löschel, Andreas & Voigt, Sebastian, 2012. "The value-added of sectoral disaggregation: Implications on competitive consequences of climate change policies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 127-142.
    4. Holland, Stephen P., 2012. "Emissions taxes versus intensity standards: Second-best environmental policies with incomplete regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 375-387.
    5. Leslie Shiell, 2014. "Who Cares About Carbon Leakage? The Economics Of Border Tax Adjustments Under Incomplete Climate Treaties," Working Papers 1403E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    6. Madison Condon & Ada Ignaciuk, 2013. "Border Carbon Adjustment and International Trade: A Literature Review," OECD Trade and Environment Working Papers 2013/6, OECD Publishing.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:1028-:d:101610 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Elliott, Joshua & Fullerton, Don, 2014. "Can a unilateral carbon tax reduce emissions elsewhere?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 6-21.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:wsi:apjorx:v:34:y:2017:i:01:n:s0217595917400048 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Ngo Van Long, 2015. "The Green Paradox in Open Economies: Lessons from Static and Dynamic Models," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 266-284.
    13. Kathy Baylis & Don Fullerton & Daniel H. Karney, 2014. "Negative Leakage," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 51-73.
    14. Xavier Timbeau, 2015. "A diverging Europe on the edge: The independent Annual Growth Survey 2015," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/4s2r6d8kua9, Sciences Po.
    15. Carol McAusland & Nouri Najjar, 2015. "Carbon Footprint Taxes," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(1), pages 37-70, May.
    16. Caron, Justin, 2012. "Estimating carbon leakage and the efficiency of border adjustments in general equilibrium — Does sectoral aggregation matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 111-126.
    17. Justin Caron, Gilbert E. Metcalf, and John Reilly, 2017. "The CO 2 Content of Consumption Across U.S. Regions: A Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) Approach," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    18. Li, Aijun & Zhang, Aizhen, 2012. "Will carbon motivated border tax adjustments function as a threat?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 81-90.
    19. Lanzi, Elisa & Chateau, Jean & Dellink, Rob, 2012. "Alternative approaches for levelling carbon prices in a world with fragmented carbon markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 240-250.
    20. Sakai, Marco & Barrett, John, 2016. "Border carbon adjustments: Addressing emissions embodied in trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 102-110.
    21. Wang, Mingzheng & Liu, Junling & Chan, Hau-Ling & Choi, Tsan-Ming & Yue, Xiaohang, 2016. "Effects of carbon tariffs trading policy on duopoly market entry decisions and price competition: Insights from textile firms of developing countries," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 181(PB), pages 470-484.

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