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Climate Policy and the Problem of Competitiveness: Border Tax Adjustments or Integrated Emission Trading?

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  • Löschel, Andreas
  • Alexeeva-Talebi, Victoria
  • Mennel, Tim

Abstract

In the absence of an international agreement on climate policy, unilateral carbon abatement creates two problems: It tends to have a detrimental effect on domestic competitiveness, and it leads to an increase in carbon emissions abroad (leakage). This paper analyses two policies that have recently been proposed to mitigate these problems: Border tax adjustments (BTA) and integrated emission trading (IET). The former policy levies a quantity-based, the latter an emission based duty on imports from non-abating countries. In a stylised two-country model we demonstrate that the policies address both problems. However, BTA protects domestic competitiveness more effectively, while IET achieves a greater reduction in foreign emissions. A computational general equilibrium analysis of the unilateral abatement policy adopted by the European Union confirms our theoretical insights for the sectors covered by the offsetting measures. However, the implications for the competitiveness of noncovered sectors are negative. These two effects constitute the central trade-off in the implementation of both policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Löschel, Andreas & Alexeeva-Talebi, Victoria & Mennel, Tim, 2008. "Climate Policy and the Problem of Competitiveness: Border Tax Adjustments or Integrated Emission Trading?," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-061, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7384
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Anger, Niels & Alexeeva-Talebi, Victoria & Löschel, Andreas, 2008. "Alleviating Adverse Implications of EU Climate Policy on Competitiveness: The Case for Border Tax Adjustments or the Clean Development Mechanism?," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-095, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Hübler, Michael, 2012. "Carbon tariffs on Chinese exports: Emissions reduction, threat, or farce?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 315-327.
    4. Monjon, Stéphanie & Quirion, Philippe, 2011. "Addressing leakage in the EU ETS: Border adjustment or output-based allocation?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1957-1971, September.
    5. Harry Clarke, 2010. "Carbon Leakages, Consumption-based Carbon Taxes and International Climate Change Agreements," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 29(2), pages 156-168, June.
    6. Marques, Alexandra & Rodrigues, João & Lenzen, Manfred & Domingos, Tiago, 2012. "Income-based environmental responsibility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 57-65.
    7. Eva Benz & Andreas Löschel & Bodo Sturm, 2010. "Auctioning of CO 2 emission allowances in Phase 3 of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(6), pages 705-718, November.
    8. Stéphanie Monjon & Philippe Quirion, 2010. "Addressing leakage in the EU ETS : Border adjustment or output-based allocation ?," Working Papers hal-00866444, HAL.
    9. 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.
    10. Astrid KRENZ, "undated". "Modeling the Interaction Between Industries and Services Sectors´ Agglomeration in the European Union," EcoMod2010 259600098, EcoMod.
    11. 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.
    12. Schenker, Oliver & Bucher, Raphael, 2010. "On interactions of optimal climate policy and international trade. An assessment of border carbon measures," MPRA Paper 25820, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Lisa Anouliès, 2015. "The Strategic and Effective Dimensions of the Border Tax Adjustment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(6), pages 824-847, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Border Tax Adjustments; Climate Policy; Competitiveness; Emission Trading;

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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