A Carbon Leakage Mitigation Reform Strategy: The Role of Border Carbon Adjustments

Nikos Tsakiris, Nikolaos Vlassis* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

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This paper sheds light on the unidentified effects of unilateral environmental and trade actions within an international trade framework with two large open economies, transboundary pollution, and Public Pollution Abatement (PPA) activities. When private and public abatement coexists in the exporting country, stricter environmental policy by the importing one magnifies the carbon leakage effect. Pareto efficiency dictates that Border Carbon Adjustment (BCA) should account not only for the difference in carbon taxes between the two countries,
but also for the policy’s unintended consequences on PPA. More importantly, we argue that a conditional reduction of BCA, subject to stricter environmental policy by the country that exports the polluting good, decreases global pollution and increases countries’ welfare. Such reform strategy generates strong incentives for countries with laxer environmental policy to adopt a stricter one.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Publication series

NameDiscussion Papers in Economics and Finance
ISSN (Electronic)0143-4543

Bibliographical note

We graciously acknowledge the constructive comments and suggestions by Catia Montagna and Panos Hatzipanayotou. The authors are responsible for remaining errors and omissions.


  • transboundary pollution
  • carbon leakage
  • border carbon adjustment
  • environmental taxation
  • public pollution abatement


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