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Embodied Carbon Tariffs

by Christoph Bohringer, Carbone, Jared and Thomas F. Rutherford

Embodied carbon tariffs tax the direct and indirect carbon emissions embodied in trade — an idea popularized by countries seeking to extend the reach of domestic carbon regulations. We investigate their effectiveness using simulations from an applied general equilibrium model of global trade and energy use. We find that the tariffs do reduce foreign emissions, but their ability to improve the global cost-effectiveness of climate policy is limited. Their main welfare effect is to shift the burden of developed-world climate policies to the developing world.

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