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BORDER ADJUSTMENTS SUPPLEMENTING A CAP AND TRADE SYSTEM TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

Melanie Hecht and Wolfgang Peters
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Melanie Hecht: European University Viadrina, Große Scharrnstraße 59, 15230 Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
Wolfgang Peters: European University Viadrina, Große Scharrnstraße 59, 15230 Frankfurt (Oder), Germany

Climate Change Economics (CCE), 2019, vol. 10, issue 04, 1-21

Abstract: In the post-Paris Agreement era, the number of carbon pricing initiatives in order to combat climate change grows continuously. However, carbon prices vary substantially among countries which yields negative drawbacks in terms of carbon leakage and loss of competitiveness for firms producing in countries with more stringent regulations. Border adjustments (BAs) could help tackle these negative drawbacks through harmonizing carbon prices across countries. We model a two-stage game where Country A can choose whether to implement BAs in the first stage. In the second stage, producers from both countries compete over prices in Bertrand competition or over quantities in Cournot competition. Most analyses on BAs so far focus on carbon pricing in the form of carbon taxes. However, we observe that many governments achieve their mitigation targets by implementing a cap and trade system with some kind of free allocation of emission allowances. From the current global carbon pricing situation, we identify two conditions for the compliance with the WTO’s national treatment principle that have not been dealt with in detail in previous models: (i) the application of BAs in the form of a cap and trade system and (ii) accounting for free allocation of emission allowances. Our results show that irrespective of the competition type, BAs supplementing a cap and trade system with free allocation improve welfare if the competitive pressure is high.

Keywords: Border adjustment; cap and trade; emission trading; international trade; oligopolistic competition; unilateral climate policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1142/S2010007819500179

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