Economic and environmental effects of the CO2 taxation: an input-output analysis for Spain
CO2 emissions induced by human activities are the major cause of climate change; hence, strong environmental policy that limits the growing dependence on fossil fuel is indispensable. Tradable permits and environmental taxes are the usual tools used in CO2 reduction strategies. Such economic tools provide incentives to polluting industries to reduce their emissions through market signals. The aim of this work is to investigate the direct and indirect effects of an environmental tax on Spanish products and services. We apply an environmentally extended input-output (EIO) model to identify CO2 emission intensities of products and services and, accordingly, we estimate the tax proportional to these intensities. The short-term price effects are analyzed using an input-output price model. The effect of tax introduction on consumption prices and its influence on consumersâ€™ welfare are determined. We also quantify the environmental impacts of such taxation in terms of the reduction in CO2 emissions. The results, based on the Spanish economy for the year 2007, show that sectors with relatively poor environmental profile are subjected to high environmental tax rates. And consequently, applying a CO2 tax on these sectors, increases production prices and induces a slight increase in consumer price index and a decrease in private welfare. The revenue from the tax could be used to counter balance the negative effects on social welfare and also to stimulate the increase of renewable energy shares in the most impacting sectors. Finally, our analysis highlights that the environmental and economic goals cannot be met at the same time with the environmental taxation and this shows the necessity of finding other (complementary or alternative) measures to ensure both the economic and ecological efficiencies. Keywords: CO2 emissions; environmental tax; input-output model, effects of environmental taxation.
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