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On the Potential Economic Costs of Cutting Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Portugal

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  • Alfredo M. Pereira

    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • Rui Manuel Marvão Pereira

    (Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, College of William and Mary)

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to estimate the impact of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion activities on economic activity in Portugal. We find that energy consumption has a significant impact on macroeconomic activity. In fact, a one ton of oil equivalent permanent reduction in aggregate energy consumption reduces output in the long term by €6,340. More importantly, and since carbon dioxide emissions are linearly related to the amounts of fuel consumed, our results allow us to estimate the costs of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. We estimate that a uniform standard for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion activities would lead to a marginal abatement cost of €95.74 per ton of carbon dioxide. This is a first rough estimate of the potential economic costs of policies designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. At this level one may conclude that uniform, across the board reductions in carbon emissions would have a clear negative effect on economic activity. Hence, at the aggregate level there is clear evidence for a trade-off between economic performance and a reduction in carbon emissions. This opens the door to the investigation of the scope for policy to minimize the costs of environmental policy and regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfredo M. Pereira & Rui Manuel Marvão Pereira, 2008. "On the Potential Economic Costs of Cutting Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Portugal," Working Papers 79, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary, revised 15 Sep 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:79
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon dioxide emissions; energy and the economy; environmental policy; vector autoregressive model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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