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Border Carbon Adjustment and International Trade: A Literature Review

Author

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  • Madison Condon

    (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy)

  • Ada Ignaciuk

    (OECD)

Abstract

An important source of political opposition to measures aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) arises from concerns over their negative effects on the competitiveness of domestic firms, especially those that are energy-intensive and exposed to competition from foreign producers. Politicians and industry representatives alike fear that imports from countries without similar regulations can gain cost-of-production advantages over domestic goods. With many of the major economies of the world contemplating unilateral action to restrict their carbon emissions (while continuing to pursue co-ordinated multilateral action), the parallel concern of carbon leakage — whereby domestic reductions in emissions are partially or wholly counterbalanced by increased emissions elsewhere in the world — has also arisen. Various adjustments have been proposed, both in the academic literature and in draft climate legislation, including levying a border tax or requiring importers to surrender a quantity of carbon permits. Collectively, these kinds of adjustments are often referred to as border carbon adjustments, or BCAs. This note reviews the existing literature on BCAs and alternatives to BCAs and discusses what various researchers have concluded about the efficacy of BCAs from both a trade and an environmental perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Madison Condon & Ada Ignaciuk, 2013. "Border Carbon Adjustment and International Trade: A Literature Review," OECD Trade and Environment Working Papers 2013/6, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaaa:2013/6-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k3xn25b386c-en
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:appene:v:201:y:2017:i:c:p:188-199 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    border carbon adjustment; border tax adjustment; climate change; trade and environment;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • F64 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Environment
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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