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- PublicationAccès libreGeographical spread of global emissions: Within-country inequalities are large and increasingIn spite of the extensive literature on greenhouse gas emission inequalities at the world-wide level, most of the evidence so far has been based on country-level data. However, the within-country dimension matters for both the implementation and the policy formation of climate policies. As a preliminary step towards a better understanding of within-country inequalities, this paper measures their extent for the two major greenhouse gases, CO2 and CH4, over the 1970–2008 period. Using Theil-index decompositions, we show that within-country inequalities account for the bulk of global inequality, and tend to increase over the sample period, in contrast with diminishing between-country inequalities. Including differences across sectors reveals that between-sector inequalities matter more than between-country inequalities, and between-sector inequalities become the dominant source of global inequality at the end of the sample period in the CO2 case. Finally, estimated social tensions arising from the disconnection between emissions and future damages turn out to be increasing as soon as within-country disparities are taken into account. These orders of magnitude should be kept in mind while discussing the efficiency and fairness of alternative paths in combating global warming.
- PublicationAccès libreCO2 embodied in trade: trends and fossil fuel driversThe amount of CO2 embodied in trade has substantially increased over the last decades. We contribute to understanding the reasons for this evolution by studying the trends and some drivers of the carbon intensity of trade over the period 1995–2009 in 41 countries and 35 sectors. Our empirical analysis relies on the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) to compute embodied carbon emissions. Our main findings are the following. First, average emission intensity of traded goods is higher than average emission intensity of final demand. Second, relatively “dirty” countries tend to specialize in emission-intensive sectors. Third, the share of goods produced in emission-intensive countries is rising. Finally, we find that coal abundance (measured as fuel rent and controlling for reverse causality) leads both to a specialization in “dirty” sectors and to an increase in emissions per output when controlling for sector structure, which amounts to a fossil fuel endowment effect. These findings suggest trade liberalization may increase global emissions and therefore highlight the importance of considering trade when designing CO2 reduction strategies.
- PublicationAccès librePolitical Economy Aspects of Climate Change Mitigation Efforts(2011)
;de Melo, JaimeNo abstract is available for this item.
- PublicationAccès libreConcilier les politiques commerciales et les politiques climatiques(2012)
;de Melo, Jaime
- PublicationAccès libreTrade, Technique and Composition Effects: What is Behind the Fall in World-wide SO2 Emissions, 1990-2000?Combining unique data bases on emissions with sectoral output and employment data, we study the sources of the fall in world-wide SO2 emissions and estimate the impact of trade on emissions. Contrarily to concerns raised by environmentalists, an emission-decomposition exercise shows that scale effects are dominated by technique effects working towards a reduction in emissions. A second exercise comparing the actual trade situation with an autarky benchmark estimates that trade, by allowing clean countries to become net importers of emissions, leads to a 10% increase in world emissions with respect to autarky in 1990, a figure that shrinks to 3.5% in 2000. Additionally, back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that emissions related to transport are of smaller magnitude, roughly 3% in both periods. In a third exercise, we use linear programming to simulate extreme situations where world emissions are either maximal or minimal. It turns out that effective emissions correspond to a 90% reduction with respect to the worst case, but that another 80% reduction could be reached if emissions were minimal.
- PublicationAccès libreEnergy Abundance, Trade and Industry Location(Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, 2011)
;Gerlagh, ReyerWe study the effect of countries? energy abundance on trade and sector activity, conditional on sector?s energy intensity, using an unbalanced panel with 14 high-income countries from Europe, America and Asia, 10 broad sectors, and years 1970-1997. We find that (i) countries with large energy endowments have low energy prices, and are thus energy abundant both on micro and macro level. (ii) Energy abundant countries have a high level of energy embodied in exports relative to imports. (iii) Energy intensive sectors export from and (iv) have higher economic activity in energy abundant countries. (v) The trade and location effects increase with a sector?s exposure to international trade. In short, energy is a major driver for sector location through specialisation. We show that capital and energy are complements in the production function and use various controls in our analysis. The results give insights into delocalisation effects that may take place among rich countries with heterogeneous energy policy.
- PublicationAccès libreReconciling Trade and Climate Policies(C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers, 2012)
;de Melo, JaimeThe outcome of the 15th conference of the Parties to the UNFCC showed a shift from a top-down approach with a collective target favoring environmental objectives to a bottom-up accord favoring political feasibility. There is no meaningful binding agreement in sight, also because the global climate regime and the global trade policy regime, represented by the WTO, appear to be on a collision course. Following a review of the challenges ahead, the paper argues that trade will have a second-order contribution to world-wide CO2 emissions. Evidence shows increasing carbon transfers through trade, but the magnitude of carbon leakage effects, likely to be induced by differences in climate mitigation policies, may be less than feared in some circles. Trade policy, however, will play a role in implementing climate mitigation policies in two areas: maintaining an open trading system and hence boosting growth and facilitating technological diffusion, and trade policy as a strategic instrument in negotiations. The paper concludes that an agreement with a few guiding principles and leeway where much initial mitigation would first take place unilaterally or in small groups, as under the early days of the GATT, is the most promising way ahead while preserving an open trading system and environmental integrity.
- PublicationAccès libreEnergy-tax changes and competitiveness: the role of adaptive capacity(2015)
;Gonseth, Camille ; ;Cadot, OlivierThalmann, PhilippeThis paper estimates the effect of energy tax (and price) changes on Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and net trade at the industry level, using a panel of industries from European countries covering the period 1990–2003. We investigate the hypothesis that industries with high adaptive capacity (measured by their relative level of labour compensation) are able to mitigate the adverse effects of energy tax rises better than others. We identify the pro-adaptation effect by interacting wage levels (a proxy for human capital) with energy taxes. We find that the negative marginal effect of higher energy taxes on TFP and net trade is significantly reduced for industries with stronger human capital and even turns to an overall positive effect in at least two cases. Up to three low-wage sectors display an overall negative effect. This suggests that human capital is key to adaptation to higher energy costs and climate policy, in some cases making it a win-win.
- PublicationAccès libreScale, Technique and Composition Effects in Manufacturing SO 2 Emissions
- PublicationAccès libreLCA of mobility solutions: approaches and findings—66th LCA forum, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, 30 August, 2017(2018-2-15)The presentations and discussions showed that the demand for transportation services will likely continue to grow substantially in the next decades. At the same time, the Paris Agreement requires a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to comply with the below 2 °C scenario or even the 1.5 °C scenario. In the past years, a lot of progress was made on the models on transportation and mobility, and the knowledge on the environmental impacts of the various transport modes substantially improved. However, the silver bullet for environmentally benign mobility seems not within reach in the coming years, and reducing the environmental impacts of mobility remains a technological and societal challenge.