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Carbon leakage: an overview. CEPS Special Report No. 79, 6 December 2013

Marcu, Andrei and Egenhofer, Christian. and Roth, Susanna and Stoefs, Wijnand (2013) Carbon leakage: an overview. CEPS Special Report No. 79, 6 December 2013. UNSPECIFIED.

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    Carbon leakage is central to the discussion on climate policy, given the confluence of issues that are currently being debated, including the 2030 Energy and Climate Framework and the review of the EU carbon leakage list by 2014. Carbon leakage is the result of asymmetrical carbon policies, especially carbon pricing, and the resulting carbon cost, which affects the international competitive position of some EU industry and could displace production and/or investment, and the emissions of the activities displaced. This paper identifies the difference between carbon price and carbon cost to leakage exposed industry as one of two fundamental issues to be understood and addressed; lack of visibility on future climate policies and anti-leakage provisions is the other key issue. While this is a global issue, most of the experience has been accumulated in the EU. Carbon leakage is only one of the factors that could affect the competitive position of sectors, but it is difficult to attribute the impact of carbon costs versus other variables such as energy costs, labour, etc. Studies have predicted the risk of a significant amount of production leakage in a number of energy-intensive industries. To address the danger, they were included in the EU ETS carbon leakage list, which gave them access to free allowances. However, a limited number of studies undertaken after the end of the second trading period (2012) show little evidence of production leakage and asks the question whether the issue has not been blown out of proportion. The paper argues that the past may not be a good representation of the future, as it was heavily influenced by a high level of free allocation, the exceptional economic downturn, CO2 prices significantly below what was anticipated, as well as the potential for changes in some fundamental variables such as the shrinking pool of allowances available for free allocation. It emphasises the need for a well-informed debate in the EU on measures to address carbon leakage post-2020, underpinned by a number of options, and objective criteria to evaluate those options. It emphasises that the debate should cover both investment and production leakage, caused by both direct and indirect carbon costs.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > energy policy (Including international arena)
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > environmental policy (including international arena)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Special Reports
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2013 11:33
    Number of Pages: 62
    Last Modified: 09 Dec 2013 11:33

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