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Efficiency Losses from Overlapping Economic Instruments in European Carbon Emissions Regulation

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  • Böhringer, Christoph
  • Koschel, Henrike
  • Moslener, Ulf

Abstract

Energy markets and energy-intensive industries in all EU member states – especially in Germany – are subject to a diverse set of policies related to climate change. We analyse the potential efficiency losses from simultaneous application of emission taxes and emissions trading in qualitative and quantitative terms within a partial equilibrium framework for the EU. It turns out that those firms within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) which at the same time are subject to domestic energy or carbon taxes will abate inefficiently much while other firms within the EU ETS will benefit from lower international emission permit prices. The same logic disproves the argument that additional national emission taxes will reduce inefficiencies in abatement supposed to be resulting from allowance (over-) allocation. In essence, unilateral emission taxes within the EU ETS are ecologically ineffective and subsidise net permit buyers. Thus, all firms that are subject to emissions trading and any CO2 emission taxes at the same time should be exempt from the latter. The foregone tax revenue could be generated by auctioning a small fraction of the permits instead. This would be cheaper for the emissions trading sectors as a whole and could be compatible even with the tight auctioning restrictions of the EU directive.

Suggested Citation

  • Böhringer, Christoph & Koschel, Henrike & Moslener, Ulf, 2006. "Efficiency Losses from Overlapping Economic Instruments in European Carbon Emissions Regulation," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-018, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:4597
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24210/1/dp06018.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. A. Bovenberg, 1999. "Green Tax Reforms and the Double Dividend: an Updated Reader's Guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(3), pages 421-443, August.
    2. Christoph Bohringer, 2002. "Industry-level emission trading between power producers in the EU," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 523-533.
    3. Steven Sorrell, 2003. "Carbon Trading in the Policy Mix," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 420-437.
    4. Christoph Böhringer & Andreas Lange, 2005. "Mission Impossible !? On the Harmonization of National Allocation Plans under the EU Emissions Trading Directive," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 81-94, September.
    5. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Christian Hoppe & Ralf Löschel, 2008. "Abuse of EU Emissions Trading for Tacit Collusion," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 347-361, November.
    2. Oikonomou, V. & Flamos, A. & Gargiulo, M. & Giannakidis, G. & Kanudia, A. & Spijker, E. & Grafakos, S., 2011. "Linking least-cost energy system costs models with MCA: An assessment of the EU renewable energy targets and supporting policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2786-2799, May.
    3. Dannenberg, Astrid & Mennel, Tim & Moslener, Ulf, 2008. "What does Europe pay for clean energy?--Review of macroeconomic simulation studies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1318-1330, April.
    4. María de las Mercedes de Miguel Cabeza, "undated". "The Use of Overlapping Economic Instruments in Carbon Emissions Regulation in a Small Economy," Energy and Environmental Modeling 2007 24000011, EcoMod.
    5. V. Oikonomou & C. Jepma, 2008. "A framework on interactions of climate and energy policy instruments," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 131-156, February.
    6. Mirzha de Manuel Armendía, 2011. "Market Efficiency in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. An outlook for the third trading period," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 20, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    7. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2007. "Efficient CO2 Emissions Control with National Emissions Taxes and International Emissions Trading," CESifo Working Paper Series 1967, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    emissions trading; emission taxes; National Allocation Plans;

    JEL classification:

    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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