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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9846||2008||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, , Volume 36, Issue 4, April 2008, Pages 1318-1330
This paper analyses the macroeconomic costs of environmental regulation in European energy markets on the basis of existing macroeconomic simulation studies. The analysis comprises the European emssions trading scheme, energy taxes, measures in the transport sector and the promotion of renewable energy sources. We find that these instruments affect the European economy, in particular the energy-intensive industries and the industries that produce internationally tradeable goods. From a macroeconomic point of view, however, the costs of environmental regulation appear to be modest. The underlying environmental targets and the efficient design of regulation are key determinants for the cost burden.
Energy conversion and use are a major source of environmental pollution. Emissions from burning fossil fuels for transport, to generate electricity or to produce industrial goods substantially contribute to urban ozone and other air pollution, acid deposition, regional haze and visibility problems as well as the build-up of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration in the earth's atmosphere. The consequences are human health problems, damage of ecosystems, crops and building material, amenity losses and global warming (cf. European Commission, 2003). In line with the economic theory of externalities, several environmental policy measures try to reduce emissions related to energy use by inducing incentives to increase energy efficiency and to use clean energy sources. The most important instruments in European energy markets are the European Union emissions trading scheme (EU ETS), energy taxes, policy measures in the transport sector and the promotion of renewable energy sources. All these policy measures typically imply higher energy prices for consumers and often also for producers. An increase in the price of energy as an input raises production costs. This can reduce the domestic and foreign demand for goods and services and thereby create macroeconomic costs. This paper analyses the macroeconomic costs of environmental regulation in European energy markets. For this purpose, we review the results of selected simulation studies that analyse the macroeconomic effects of environmental regulation. Although environmental regulation creates external benefits, such as avoided damage from climate change or reduced non-GHG air pollution, this paper does not include these benefits but only the internal benefits from the reallocation of resources, such as the profit gain of producers of energy-efficient technologies. In our analysis, we focus primarily on policy measures that are implemented or intended at the European level. The baseline in all modelling studies is business-as-usual (BAU). As some policy measures are initiated on the national level, we also include by way of example the case of Germany for illustrative purposes. Effects on single sectors or firms, e.g. the implication of an energy tax for energy-intensive sectors or households, are only addressed within the macroeconomic framework. However, due to differences in energy intensity and possibilities to substitute energy-intensive technologies by more efficient technologies, the costs of environmental regulation can differ substantially between countries, sectors and firms. Higher energy prices reduce the profitability of energy-intensive companies, whereas producers of energy-efficient technologies may benefit. As the macroeconomic costs subsume all these effects they are usually smaller than the costs in specific sectors, such as electricity or energy-intensive manufacturing. Generally speaking, the results presented in this review show that the macroeconomic costs of the European environmental policy as of today are fairly limited, i.e. usually below 1% of GDP. Eco-taxes even engender macroeconomic gains by way of double-dividend effects. The results for Germany are fully in line with the results for the EU as a whole.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Table 1, Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4 summarise the results. The last column in each table shows the macroeconomic costs of the respective policy instrument as stated in the study. The baseline in all studies is BAU. This means that we consider the effects of environmental policy measures in comparison to the development of the economy without that policy measure. The costs can therefore be seen as a price for the improvement of environmental quality if implemented by the analysed regulatory instrument. The main focus of this survey is not to evaluate the efficiency of the regulation but to compare their costs as they result from different simulation results. Table 1 shows the macroeconomic costs of the EU ETS compared with BAU. All policy scenarios assume compliance with the Kyoto targets. Most important for the macroeconomic costs of the EU ETS are the NAPs and the use of the project-based mechanisms CDM and JI. Both the NAPs and the use of CDM and JI determine how the reduction burden is divided between ETS sectors, non-ETS sectors and reductions abroad. The costs are the lowest if the optimal split between ETS sectors and non-ETS sectors is implemented and the use of CDM and JI is unrestricted. The comparison of scenarios with different NAPs shows that the macroeconomic costs of the EU ETS increase if reduction burden is shifted from the (energy-intensive) ETS sectors to the non-ETS sectors. The reason for this is that all scenarios assume Kyoto compliance. Therefore, relief for the energy-intensive industry means more reduction obligation and cost burden for the non-ETS sectors, which generally have fewer reduction possibilities. Considering the restriction of the use of CDM and JI, the more governments and ETS companies can replace costly domestic reductions by cheap reductions abroad, the lower the costs of the EU ETS. Table 2 presents the macroeconomic effects of energy taxes on the national or the European level. The macroeconomic costs of policy measures that apply solely to the transport sector are shown in Table 3. Energy taxes as well as many policy measures in the transport sector generate public income. The use of this income significantly influences the macroeconomic impact of the policies. The use of revenues for reductions in (non-wage) labour costs benefits the labour-intensive sectors and limits the negative effects on GDP and welfare. In some cases they may even create positive effects (double dividend). Energy taxes often provide exemptions for energy-intensive industries, which is taken into account by most studies. The results of these studies show that tax exemptions also influence the cost burden. Tax exemptions for energy-intensive industries reduce the macroeconomic costs in exchange for increased emissions because they disburden companies that otherwise would have been heavily affected. Nevertheless the energy-intensive industry is often negatively affected by energy taxes even if they are partly exempted. One reason is that even with exemptions, cost increases for intermediate goods, e.g. electricity, can remain and negatively affect the industry's international competitiveness. The effects on the macroeconomic level depend on the interrelation of several factors such as tax rate, design of exemptions and use of revenues. One has to note, however, that tax exemptions come at the cost of environmental effectiveness and reduce the regulatory efficiency because comparatively cheap abatement options in these sectors will be ignored.13 From a welfare perspective, i.e. with a given environmental target, the costs of the regulatory inefficiency due to the exemption typically dominates the exemptions’ benefits. If on the other hand the exempted sector faces strong international competition an increase of energy taxes can decrease its competitiveness, potentially increasing overall macroeconomic costs. Table 4 shows the results for policy measures to promote renewable energy sources. Regarding the economic effects of the promotion of renewables, it is often assumed that the promotion of renewables enhances employment and economic growth. The arguments are that renewable energy production is more labour-intensive than conventional energy production and that renewable energy production requires less imported goods and services. Indeed, some studies find positive effects on GDP and employment in the short run. In the long run, however, higher generation costs often dominate the net effect. Due to a variety of assumptions in the models, the results in the four tables should be neither combined to assess total costs of environmental regulation14 nor compared directly with each other. The model assumptions differ with regard to the BAU baseline, technological progress, time frame, the elasticity of domestic and foreign demand, and—last but not least—by the specific regulatory design. Considering these results, we can conclude that environmental regulation affects the European economy. The macroeconomic costs, however, appear to be relatively small. Most studies find losses clearly below 1% of GDP; some even indicate macroeconomic gains.15 The values in the tables show only the effects on the macroeconomic level. They do not show the distributional effects on the sectoral level. The impacts of environmental regulation are likely to be more severe on the sectoral than on the macroeconomic level, creating winners and losers. Recycling of government revenues raised by environmental regulations in the energy sector and reducing (non-wage) labour costs tends to benefit labour-intensive sectors, such as services and the building industry, and penalises energy-intensive sectors, such as the power industry and agriculture. The effects on exports in the simulation studies are typically negative. The loss for the entire economy is somewhat smaller because there are also sectors that benefit from the regulation. It is important to remember that our analysis contains only the economic costs or benefits. It does not include the ecological or indirect economic benefits that result from the regulation in the form of avoided climate change damages or reduced non-GHG air pollution. On the whole, the costs are lower the more flexible the instrument is, i.e. the better it allows for ‘where’, ‘what’ and ‘when’ flexibility. The studies considered in this review show that macroeconomic costs increase as environmental targets become more ambitious. This can be seen best in studies that analyse the same instrument with varying environmental effects (e.g. Kouvaritakis et al., 2003 and Kouvaritakis et al., 2005). While a small change of gross energy prices should not significantly influence investment behaviour and thus the sectoral composition of an economy, substantial increases of energy costs are likely to induce structural change. This primarily refers to the treatment of the energy-intensive industry. Tax relief for this sector avoids detrimental effects on its competitiveness, but, from a macroeconomic viewpoint, one forgoes relatively cheap emissions reduction possibilities. In the light of the much stricter targets for 2020 decided at the Brussels EU summit in March 2007, macroeconomic costs will increase in future. Consequently, the extent of the increase will depend even more critically on the choice of instruments and their efficient design. More research is necessary to understand the prospective structural changes and overall macroeconomic costs arising from these ambitious policy goals.