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A border adjustment for the EU ETS: reconciling WTO rules and capacity to tackle carbon leakage

Author

Listed:
  • Stephanie Monjon

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Philippe Quirion

    () (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This article compares several configurations of a border adjustment (BA) to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) that are designed to maximize their World Trade Organisation (WTO) compatibility, either with the GATT general regime or with Article XX (its environmental exception rule). The different BAs are assessed quantitatively using the partial equilibrium model CASE II, which represents four sectors included in the EU ET'S (cement, aluminium, steel and electricity). The main findings indicate that the inclusion of imports and exports would reduce world emissions more than the inclusion of imports alone, that an obligation to buy EU allowances is more compatible with WTO rules than one based on a tax, and would be better at reducing world emissions. Moreover, if the BA is based on best available technologies, more precisely on the recently defined EU product-specific benchmarks, then the adjustment would only be partial and carbon leakage would nevertheless be significantly reduced. The popular view that a BA contributes to both carbon leakage limitation and to domestic production preservation is discussed, and it is argued on the contrary that although a BA would efficiently limit leakage, a decrease in European production of GHG-intensive products is to be expected. Industries that consume cement, aluminium and steel would pay more for these goods with a BA. Consequently, the price signal should be preserved and diffused in downstream sectors, an expected key result of climate policy. On the contrary, free allocation efficiently preserves domestic production, but does not preserve and diffuse the price signal and is less efficient in limiting leakage.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Monjon & Philippe Quirion, 2011. "A border adjustment for the EU ETS: reconciling WTO rules and capacity to tackle carbon leakage," Post-Print hal-00715462, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00715462
    DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2011.601907
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00715462
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    Cited by:

    1. Böhringer, Christoph & Rosendahl, Knut Einar & Briseid Storrøsten, Halvor, 2015. "Smart hedging against carbon leakage," Working Paper Series 14-2015, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:pubeco:v:149:y:2017:i:c:p:35-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Misato Sato, 2014. "Embodied Carbon In Trade: A Survey Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 831-861, December.
    5. Misato Sato & Karsten Neuhoff & Verena Graichen & Katja Schumacher & Felix Matthes, 2013. "Sectors under scrutiny � Evaluation of indicators to assess the risk of carbon leakage in the UK and Germany," GRI Working Papers 113, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    6. Alberto Gago & Xavier Labandeira & Xiral López Otero, 2014. "A Panorama on Energy Taxes and Green Tax Reforms," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 145-190, March.
    7. repec:spr:annopr:v:255:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2246-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ling Tang & Qin Bao & ZhongXiang Zhang & Shouyang Wang, 2015. "Carbon-based border tax adjustments and China’s international trade: analysis based on a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(2), pages 329-360, April.
    9. Marianne Fay & Stephane Hallegatte & Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Julie Rozenberg & Ulf Narloch & Tom Kerr, 2015. "Decarbonizing Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21842, September.
    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. Guy Meunier & Jean-Pierre Ponssard & Philippe Quirion, 2014. "Carbon Leakage and Capacity-Based Allocations. Is the EU right?," Working Papers hal-00672907, HAL.
    12. Sheldon, Ian & McCorriston, Steve, 2014. "Climate Policy and Border Measures: The Case of the US Aluminum Industry," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169544, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Christoph Böhringer & Knut Einar Rosendahl & Halvor Briseid Storrøsten, 2015. "Mitigating carbon leakage: Combining output-based rebating with a consumption tax," ZenTra Working Papers in Transnational Studies 54 / 2015, ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies.
    14. Hallegatte, Stephane & Fay, Marianne & Vogt-Schilb, Adrien, 2013. "Green industrial policies : when and how," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6677, The World Bank.
    15. Jared C. Carbone & Nicholas Rivers, 2014. "Climate policy and competitiveness: Policy guidance and quantitative evidence," Working Papers 2014-05, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    16. Fouré, Jean & Guimbard, Houssein & Monjon, Stéphanie, 2016. "Border carbon adjustment and trade retaliation: What would be the cost for the European Union?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 349-362.
    17. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhongXiang & Wang, Shouyang, 2013. "Impacts of border carbon adjustments on China's sectoral emissions: Simulations with a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 77-94.
    18. 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.
    19. Jean Fouré & Houssein Guimbard & Stéphanie Monjon, 2013. "Border Carbon Ajustment in Europe and Trade Retaliation: What would be the Cost for European Union?," Working Papers 2013-34, CEPII research center.
    20. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhingXiang & Qiao, Han & Wang, Shouyang, 2012. "Impact of Border Carbon Adjustments on China’s Sectoral Emissions: Simulations with a Dynamic Computable General Equilibirum Model," Working Papers 249391, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
    21. Sakai, Marco & Barrett, John, 2016. "Border carbon adjustments: Addressing emissions embodied in trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 102-110.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • 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
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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