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- 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.
- PublicationAccès libreA Global Compass for the Great Divergence: Emissions vs. Production Centers of Gravity 1820‐2008We construct the world's centers of gravity for human population, GDP and CO2 emissions by taking the best out of five recognized data sources covering the last two centuries. On the basis of a novel distorsion‐free representation of these centers of gravity, we find a radical Western shift of GDP and CO2 emissions centers in the 19th century, in sharp contrast with the stability of the demographic center of gravity. Both GDP and emissions trends are reversed in the first half of the 20th century, after World War I for CO2 emissions, after World War II for GDP. Since then, both centers are moving eastward at an accelerating speed. These patterns are perfectly consistent with the lead of Western countries starting the industrial revolution, the gradual replacement of coal by oil and gas as alternative sources of energy, and the progressive catch up of Asian countries in the recent past.
- 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 libreThe Causal Relationship between Energy Use and Economic Growth in SwitzerlandThis paper investigates the relationships between energy consumption and economic growth in Switzerland over the period 1950–2010. We apply bounds testing techniques to different energy types separately. Robustness tests are performed by including additional variables and restricting the analysis to the period after 1970. The results show that there exist robust long-run relationships going from real GDP toward heating oil and electricity consumption. The relationship between heating oil and GDP is in fact bidirectional, although weaker from heating oil toward GDP than in the reverse direction. When investigating the period 1970–2010 only, the estimate of the long-run income elasticity of electricity consumption loses statistical significance and that for heating oil becomes negative. Those results imply a possible decoupling between GDP growth and energy consumption, so that energy conservation policies are not necessarily expected to have a negative impact on Swiss economic growth.
- 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 the same magnitude. 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 libreModelling Contributions to the Swiss Energy and Environmental Challenge(2012)
; ;Thalmann, PhilippeVielle, MarcNo abstract is available for this item.
- PublicationAccès libreUnravelling the World-Wide Pollution-Haven EffectThis paper tackles the ?pollution haven? argument by estimating the pollution content of imports (PCI). The PCI is then decomposed into three components: (i) a ?deep? component (i.e. traditional variables unrelated to the environmental debate); (ii) a factor endowment component and (iii) a ?pollution haven? component reflecting the impact of differences in environmental policies. The estimation is carried out for 1987 for an extensive data set covering 10 pollutants, 48 countries and 79 ISIC four-digit sectors. Decompositions based on cross-section econometric estimates suggest a significant pollution haven effect, which increases the PCI of the North because of stricter environmental regulations in the North. At the same time, the factor endowment effect lowers the PCI of the North, as the North is relatively well-endowed in capital and pollution-intensive activities are capital intensive. On a global scale, because the bulk of trade is intra-regional with a high North-North share, these effects are small relative to the ?deep? determinants of the worldwide PCI. Robustness checks performed on a more recent dataset, but limited to sulphur dioxide, confirm these results. In sum, differences in factor endowments and environmental policies only marginally affected the PCI of world trade at the end of the 1980s.
- PublicationAccès libreGlobal Manufacturing SO2 Emissions: Does Trade Matter?No abstract is available for this item.
- PublicationAccès libreThe pollution terms of trade and its five componentsBased on two extensions, this paper proposes a re-appraisal of the concept of the pollution terms of trade (PTT) introduced by Antweiler (1996). First, detailed data allows capturing the effect of differences in emission intensities across countries and over time. Second, relying on Johnson and Noguera (2012), the revised PTT index controls for trade in intermediate goods and is based on value-added rather than gross output figures. Applied to a database for SO2 emission intensities for 62 developed and developing countries over the 1990?2000 period, it turns out that the first extension has a larger empirical importance than the second one. The global pattern is one in which the major rich economies exhibit a PTT index below one (higher pollution intensity in imports than in exports). Trade imbalances tend to exacerbate this asymmetry, allowing rich economies to further offshore their pollution through trade.
- PublicationAccès libreSectoral Agglomeration Economies in a Panel of European Regions(Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, 2007)
;Brülhart, MariusWe estimate agglomeration economies, defined as the effect of density on labour productivity in European regions. The analysis of Ciccone (2002) is extended in two main ways. First, we use dynamic panel estimation techniques (system GMM), thus offering an alternative methodological treatment of the inherent endogeneity problem. Second, the sector dimension in the data allows for disaggregated estimation. Our results confirm the presence of significant agglomeration effects at the aggregate level, with an estimated long-run elasticity of 13 percent. Repeated crosssection regressions suggest that the strength of agglomeration effects has increased over time. At the sector level, the dominant pattern is of cross-sector "urbanisation" economies and own-sector congestion diseconomies. A notable exception is financial services, for which we find strong positive productivity effects from own-sector density.