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Automobile Pollution Control in Brazil


  • Claudio Ferraz
  • Ronaldo Seroa da Motta


Air pollution concentrations have been rapidly increasing in the major urban areas of Brazil caused mainly by the increasing use of vehicles. In the presence of this negative externality, environmental regulation is required. Car emission control policies in Brazil have relied basically on mandatory emission standards and subsidies for specific cleaner technology resulting in substantial decrease of car emission rates. Nevertheless, car sale taxes, differentiated by vehicles’ size and fuel, have also influenced car emission patterns. This paper analyzes the compliance trend of the Brazilian fleet with environmental standards between 1992 and 1997. We find that larger automobiles had the fastest compliance schedule while popular models adjusted very slowly. Also gasoline-fueled models had a faster adjustment pattern than ethanol cars. Additionally, we analyze the current relationship between pollution emissions and car characteristics in order to orient policy formulation. We find a positive relationship between emissions rates and horse power, concluding that although the current value added-sale car tax is not environmental harmful, a tax differentiating clean from dirty models, within each tax bracket, could create substantial incentives for emission control in the future. A concentração da poluição do ar tem crescido rapidamente nas grandes regiões metropolitanas do Brasil devido, principalmente, ao crescente uso de veículos automotivos. Na presença desta externalidade negativa, a regulação ambiental faz-se necessária. A política de controle de emissões de poluentes automotivos no Brasil, implementada basicamente com uso de mecanismos de comando e controle e incentivo fiscal, resultou em redução significativa na emissão média de poluentes nos carros novos. Não obstante, o imposto (IPI) sobre a venda de automóveis, diferenciado por combustíveis e potência, também influenciou na evolução das emissões de poluentes. Este trabalho analisa a evolução do atendimento às metas de emissão de poluentes veiculares da legislação ambiental entre 1992 e 1997. Os resultados indicam que os carros grandes, que obtiveram incentivo fiscal, tiveram ajuste mais rápido enquanto os carros populares realizaram ajuste mais lento. Além disso, carros a gasolina ajustaram sua tecnologia mais rápido do que os carros a álcool. Adicionalmente, analisamos a relação entre emissões e características dos automóveis novos vendidos em 1997. Os resultados indicam a existência de uma relação positiva entre taxas de emissão e potência. Concluímos que, embora a atual estrutura do IPI não esteja em oposição aos carros mais limpos, a adoção de alíquotas diferenciadas dentro de cada categoria, menor para os mais limpos e maior para os mais sujos, criaria incentivos para que o controle das emissões de poluentes veiculares fosse realizado de forma mais custo-efetiva.

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  • Claudio Ferraz & Ronaldo Seroa da Motta, 2015. "Automobile Pollution Control in Brazil," Discussion Papers 0086, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipe:ipetds:0086

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eskeland, Gunnar S, 1994. "A Presumptive Pigovian Tax: Complementing Regulation to Mimic an Emissions Fee," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 373-394, September.
    2. Matthew E. Kahn, 1996. "New Evidence on Trends in Vehicle Emissions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 183-196, Spring.
    3. Innes, Robert, 1996. "Regulating Automobile Pollution under Certainty, Competition, and Imperfect Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 219-239, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Grieg-Gran, Maryanne, 2000. "Fiscal Incentives for Biodiversity Conservation: The ICMS Ecologico in Brazil," Discussion Papers 24135, International Institute for Environment and Development, Environmental Economics Programme.

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