IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A dynamic and continuous allowances allocation methodology for the prevention of carbon leakage: Emission control coefficients


  • Sun, YongPing
  • Xue, JinJun
  • Shi, XunPeng
  • Wang, KeYing
  • Qi, ShaoZhou
  • Wang, Lei
  • Wang, Cheng


Carbon leakage has become the core issue of emission trading systems. Using data from Hubei Province, this paper identifies the drawbacks of the prevailing methods for preventing carbon leakage and proposes a new methodology to overcome them, namely, Emission Control Coefficients. In contrast to the common tiered structure method, the Emission Control Coefficients generate a dynamic and continuous emission control coefficient for each industry which will improve the effectiveness and fairness of allowance allocation, set aside sufficient time for the low carbon transformation of industries, and balance the needs to protect competitiveness and decarbonize and are particularly suitable for the emission trading systems of developing counties. This paper makes three main academic contributions: Firstly, it proposes a new indicator, the abatement potential for more effective determining allowance allocation than the prevailing method. Secondly, it better distinguishes industrial differences. Thirdly, it can better respond to the problem of excess allowances that is due to technological advances and trade pattern changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Sun, YongPing & Xue, JinJun & Shi, XunPeng & Wang, KeYing & Qi, ShaoZhou & Wang, Lei & Wang, Cheng, 2019. "A dynamic and continuous allowances allocation methodology for the prevention of carbon leakage: Emission control coefficients," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 236(C), pages 220-230.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:236:y:2019:i:c:p:220-230
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.11.095

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Perthuis, Christian & Trotignon, Raphael, 2014. "Governance of CO2 markets: Lessons from the EU ETS," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 100-106.
    2. Meunier, Guy & Ponssard, Jean-Pierre & Quirion, Philippe, 2014. "Carbon leakage and capacity-based allocations: Is the EU right?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 262-279.
    3. Rocchi, Paola & Serrano, Mònica & Roca, Jordi & Arto, Iñaki, 2018. "Border Carbon Adjustments Based on Avoided Emissions: Addressing the Challenge of Its Design," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 126-136.
    4. Meunier, Guy & Ponssard, Jean-Pierre & Quirion, Philippe, 2014. "Carbon leakage and capacity-based allocations: Is the EU right?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 262-279.
    5. Fischer, Carolyn & Greaker, Mads & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2017. "Robust technology policy against emission leakage: The case of upstream subsidies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 44-61.
    6. Monjon, Stéphanie & Quirion, Philippe, 2011. "Addressing leakage in the EU ETS: Border adjustment or output-based allocation?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1957-1971, September.
    7. Jos Sijm & Karsten Neuhoff & Yihsu Chen, 2006. "CO 2 cost pass-through and windfall profits in the power sector," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 49-72, January.
    8. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Hafstead, Marc A.C. & Dworsky, Michael, 2010. "Impacts of alternative emissions allowance allocation methods under a federal cap-and-trade program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 161-181, November.
    9. 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.
    10. Böhringer, Christoph & Bye, Brita & Fæhn, Taran & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2017. "Targeted carbon tariffs: Export response, leakage and welfare," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 51-73.
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7346 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13539 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Xiong, Ling & Shen, Bo & Qi, Shaozhou & Price, Lynn & Ye, Bin, 2017. "The allowance mechanism of China’s carbon trading pilots: A comparative analysis with schemes in EU and California," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 185(P2), pages 1849-1859.
    14. Zhou, P. & Delmas, M.A. & Kohli, A., 2017. "Constructing meaningful environmental indices: A nonparametric frontier approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 21-34.
    15. Zhang, Lirong & Li, Yakun & Jia, Zhijie, 2018. "Impact of carbon allowance allocation on power industry in China’s carbon trading market: Computable general equilibrium based analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 229(C), pages 814-827.
    16. Tan, Xiujie & Liu, Yu & Cui, Jingbo & Su, Bin, 2018. "Assessment of carbon leakage by channels: An approach combining CGE model and decomposition analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 535-545.
    17. Sakai, Marco & Barrett, John, 2016. "Border carbon adjustments: Addressing emissions embodied in trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 102-110.
    18. 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.
    19. Burtraw, Dallas & McCormack, Kristen, 2017. "Consignment auctions of free emissions allowances," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 337-344.
    20. Martin, Ralf & Muûls, Mirabelle & de Preux, Laure B. & Wagner, Ulrich J., 2014. "On the empirical content of carbon leakage criteria in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 78-88.
    21. Qi, Shaozhou & Wang, Banban & Zhang, Jihong, 2014. "Policy design of the Hubei ETS pilot in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 31-38.
    22. Shi, Xunpeng & Rioux, Bertrand & Galkin, Philipp, 2018. "Unintended consequences of China’s coal capacity cut policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 478-486.
    23. Bednar-Friedl, Birgit & Schinko, Thomas & Steininger, Karl W., 2012. "The relevance of process emissions for carbon leakage: A comparison of unilateral climate policy options with and without border carbon adjustment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 168-180.
    24. 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.
    25. Crossland, Jarrod & Li, Bin & Roca, Eduardo, 2013. "Is the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) informationally efficient? Evidence from momentum-based trading strategies," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 10-23.
    26. Antimiani, Alessandro & Costantini, Valeria & Martini, Chiara & Salvatici, Luca & Tommasino, Maria Cristina, 2013. "Assessing alternative solutions to carbon leakage," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 299-311.
    27. Zhang, Zengkai & Zhu, Kunfu, 2017. "Border carbon adjustments for exports of the United States and the European Union: Taking border-crossing frequency into account," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 201(C), pages 188-199.
    28. Antimiani, Alessandro & Costantini, Valeria & Kuik, Onno & Paglialunga, Elena, 2016. "Mitigation of adverse effects on competitiveness and leakage of unilateral EU climate policy: An assessment of policy instruments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 246-259.
    29. Santamaría, Alberto & Linares, Pedro & Pintos, Pablo, 2014. "The effects of carbon prices and anti-leakage policies on selected industrial sectors in Spain – Cement, steel and oil refining," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 708-717.
    30. Zhu, Lei & Zhang, Xiao-Bing & Li, Yuan & Wang, Xu & Guo, Jianxin, 2017. "Can an emission trading scheme promote the withdrawal of outdated capacity in energy-intensive sectors? A case study on China's iron and steel industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 332-347.
    31. Falbo, Paolo & Felletti, Daniele & Stefani, Silvana, 2013. "Free EUAs and fuel switching," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 14-21.
    32. Xin Wang & Fei Teng & Shaojie Zhou & Bofeng Cai, 2017. "Identifying the industrial sectors at risk of carbon leakage in China," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 443-457, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Emissions trading system; Competitiveness; Carbon leakage; Allowance allocations; Developing countries;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:236:y:2019:i:c:p:220-230. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.