Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Three essays on decomposition analysis of the territorial CO 2 emissions and the emissions embodiment in trade attributable to consumption of service-oriented economies
by Choesawan, Chairat, Ph.D., West Virginia University, 2016, 212; 10146676
Abstract (Summary)

With the pace of globalization, the rapid growth in international trade has led to a widespread perception of increasing CO2 embodied emissions. As the fragmentation of international production has become a dominant feature of modern international trade, there is a vibrant debate over how embodied emissions should be attributed and allocated among economies. To contribute to the debate on emission allocations and mitigation effort comparisons, it is important to consistently investigate the structures of carbon transfers across global economies. The role of carbon transfer structures in affecting mitigation efforts can be explored as part of the consequences of various emission allocations. Thus, it becomes a fundamental theme of all three essays. Due to the leading economies in international trade in terms of volume and CO2, extensive attention of this dissertation has been paid to the United States (U.S.), China, and European Union (EU) economies.

Emissions due to U.S. imports grew increasingly and contributed 31% of the worldwide imported emissions in 2012. Undoubtedly, taking emission responsibility for U.S. imports is important to gear up for a low carbon future. To integrate U.S. imports into the responsibility of global emissions, it is important to investigate the U.S. import effects and identify contributing factors behind imported emission changes. Two aspects are of interest for an understanding of imported emissions and the structure of carbon transfers: (1) the U.S. import demand can affect not only embodied emissions but also emissions at home; and (2) the sector coverage can determine the results of contributing factors. In this respect, the first essay entitled “Two-Stage Index Decomposition Analyses of Domestic and Import Related CO2 Emission Changes for the U.S. Economy” utilizes a modification of multi-period logarithmic mean divisia index (LMDI II) to perform decomposition analyses of the import effects on both emissions for the U.S. economy during the period 1991-2012. It further employs an attribution technique of LMDI II in order to explore emission contributions of four industrial sectors (the utility, primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors). Dynamic changes in imported emissions are decomposed into five consumption factors: emission coefficient; energy intensity; structure of imports; final import composition; and final import scale. Dynamic changes in production emissions are generated based on three production factors of aggregate and disaggregated (real) carbon intensities: emission coefficient; energy intensity; and structure. The main findings of this essay are presented in page 9. Analysis of the interplay of the contributing factors behind changes in emissions stimulated due to both import demand and domestic production become more critical for having a better understanding of the structure of carbon transfers. Also, it becomes important for seeking policy recommendations on emission responsibilities across economies as part of a transition to a low carbon future.

Global production fragmentation significantly affects the allocation of emissions embodied in international trade. Thus, differences between production-based emissions (PBE) and consumption-based emissions (CBE) increasingly produce uneven policy actions for targeting emission reductions between exporting and importing economies. These differences may impact mitigation efforts across economies given the current level of carbon transfers. As an alternative, a sharing-based emissions (SE) allocation is an approach that assigns exporters and importers responsibility for emissions based upon benefits linked to their production and consumption. The challenge facing the application of SE allocation is how to define a weighing procedure. In light of embodied emissions in international trade, Peters (2008) suggested that value-added should be used to define a weighting framework. However, no defined weighting procedure has been addressed so far in the literature. The second essay entitled “Sharing-Based CO 2 Emission Allocation with a Perspective on a Multilateral Border Tax Adjustment-the U.S. Economy” first aims to design a weighting procedure for establishing shares of the emission allocation.

Due to uneven distributions between emission and global trade intensities across economies, a change in emission allocations from the current PBE approach to an alternative approach that considers both production and consumption can result in a significant emission responsibility burden for specific industries. Thus, an impact evaluation is important to explore mitigation efforts and define the consequences of alternative emission allocations. To identify allocations, the applications of alternative allocations are empirically applied to the U.S. economy for the years 2005 and 2011. These alternative allocation are the SE and the consumption allocation with the application of a unilateral border tax adjustment. The main findings of this essay are presented in page 57. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Collins, Alan R., Fletcher, Jerald J.
Commitee: Cushing, Brian J., Jackson, Randall W., Zhou, Mo
School: West Virginia University
Department: Resource Management
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: DAI-A 78/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental economics
Keywords: Border tax adjustments, Carbon transfers, EE-MRIO model, Emission allocations, LMDI model, Production-demand elasticity
Publication Number: 10146676
ISBN: 9781369019889
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