Greenhouse-gas Emission Controls and International Carbon Leakage through Trade Liberalization

Jota Ishikawa
Toshihiro Okubo

November 2008


This paper studies greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission controls in the presence of carbon leakage through international firm relocation. The Kyoto Protocol requires developed countries to reduce GHG emissions by a certain amount. Comparing emission quotas with emission taxes, we show that taxes coupled with lower trade costs facilitate more firm relocations than quotas do, causing more international carbon leakage. Thus, if a country is concerned about global emissions, emission quotas would be adopted to mitigate the carbon leakage. Firm relocation entails a trade-off between trade liberalization and emission regulations. Emission regulations may be hampered by trade liberalization, and vice versa.

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