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On the Effects of Infrastructure Investments on Industrial CO2 Emissions in Portugal

Alfredo Pereira () and Rui Pereira

No 81, GEE Papers from Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia

Abstract: We estimate how infrastructure investments affect industrial CO2 emissions in Portugal. Using empirical evidence on the economic effects of twelve types of infrastructure investments at the industry level, we consider twenty-two industries and the respective CO2 emission factors. Our conclusions are as follows. First, given the current emission factors for each industry, almost all types on infrastructure investments help the emissions intensity of the economy. Only for investments in airports and in health facilities are such positive effects absent. Second, the relevance of the economic effects of the different types of infrastructure investments on the electrical power industry is central in determining the overall effects on emissions. This is not surprising, given that electric power accounts for nearly 35% of CO2 emissions in Portugal and the extremely high emissions factor of this industry amplifies even small economic effects. Third, under an alternative scenario in which the emissions from the electric power industry have been eliminated – due to the use of renewable energy in production, for example – , or are otherwise ignored, we still see that most infrastructure investments lead to a decline in the CO2 emissions intensity. In this case, however, investments in national roads leave the emissions intensity essentially unchanged, while investments in health infrastructure have adverse effects on emissions. There are several important policy implications of these results when we consider infrastructure investment strategies that are mindful of their CO2 emission effects. Consider, for instance, transportation infrastructures. Given the present electric power generating mix, investment in national roads would be an appropriate policy recommendation from an environmental perspective, while investments in airport infrastructure should be avoided. Under a scenario of aggressive use of renewable energy sources in the production of electricity, however, the best investments would be in railroads and airports, two industries highly dependent on the use of electricity

Keywords: Infrastructure Investment; CO2 Emissions; Industry-level Economic Effects; Industry-level Emission Effects; VAR; Portugal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C32 E22 H54 L90 O52 Q43 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2017-10, Revised 2017-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-ene, nep-env, nep-eur, nep-mac, nep-reg and nep-tre
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