The spillovers from air pollution regulation to CO2 mitigation in China’s manufacturing industry
Authors: Xiao Li, Bing Yu, Yuanbo Qiao, Lei Shi
Abstract: We adopted the input demand theory and modelled different pollutants as different inputs in the production function. With sectoral data from 1991 to 2010, we used the panel data models to estimate the complementarity or substitutability of three local air pollutants, i.e. SO2, soot and dust, for CO2, and the contributions of the output and substitution effects. We found that SO2 was a gross complement and net substitute to CO2 and that both soot and dust were gross and net substitutes to CO2. The output effects functioned for SO2 in inducing ancillary benefits of CO2 reduction, while it failed for soot and dust. A short panel regression demonstrated that since 2006 SO2 has become a net complement to CO2, which marked a great change in SO2 regulation. The achievement in SO2 abatement sets a model for regulating other types of air pollutants and reaping the ancillary benefit of CO2 mitigation.
A Structural Decomposition of Global Raw Material Consumption
Authors: Frank Pothen
Abstract: This study investigates the evolution of Raw Material Consumption (RMC) in 38 countries from 1995 to 2008. Using a Structural Decomposition Analysis, we disentangle three drives of RMC: the level of consumption, the sectoral composition of consumption, and the material intensity with which goods are produced. The underlying data stems from World Input-Output Database (WIOD). Preliminary results suggest that RMC grew from 1995 to 2008 in almost all nations in our sample. The overall growth of consumption was the most important driver of this phenomenon. Falling material intensities reduced the RMC but did not compensate the consequences of boosting overall consumption. Changes in the sectoral composition of consumption had limited impacts.
Is taxing waste a waste of time? Evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland
Authors: Stefano Carattini, Andrea Baranzini, Rafael Lalive
Abstract: This paper exploits a ruling decision of Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court to causally assess the effectiveness of pay-per-bag fees in the Canton of Vaud. We interview households twice and thus collect a panel of household waste data. We couple survey data with official cantonal data. With both datasets we find that pricing garbage by the bag reduces incinerated garbage per capita by about 40%. This estimate corresponds to an arc price elasticity of demand of -0.4. The reduction in incinerated garbage comes with an increase in the frequency of recycling. The seldom application of unit-pricing schemes does not rely then on a lack of effectiveness. We address the question of political feasibility and assess an important gap between acceptability ex-ante and ex-post. The direct experience of pay-per-bag fees improves the perception by the general public in terms of both effectiveness and fairness. Willingness-to-pay per taxed bag more than doubles.
Environmental and Economic Impact Assessment of River Restoration in Switzerland
Authors: Ivana Logar, Roy Brouwer
Abstract: In Switzerland there are plans to implement large-scale river restoration measures over the next several decades. Despite this, a lack of both environmental and economic impact assessments of river restoration projects has been identified. This paper aims at closing these gaps by assessing the ecological effects of river restoration measures and estimating economic values of the resulting improvements in river ecosystem services. The former objective is achieved by carrying out on-site measurements of the physical, chemical and biological states of two different rivers. The latter goal is fulfilled by conducting a survey among the local residents. The survey applies stated preference methods (choice experiment and contingent valuation) to elicit people’s willingness to pay for further restoration projects at these two rivers. Moreover, we test for the existence and measure the extent of distance-decay and substitution effects between the two rivers.
Quantifying the ecosystem impacts of resource footprints
Authors: Francesca Verones, Dan Moran, Konstantin Stadler, Richard Wood
Abstract: Multiregional input-output (MRIO) analyses quantify a consumer’s resource footprint (e.g., for carbon emissions or water use) across the globe, taking into account production, trade and transformation steps along the supply chain. However, the spatially differentiated environmental consequences of these resource footprints have so far been poorly quantified due to the complexity of the relationships between resource use and environmental consequences. In order to provide such a measure of consequence, we combine for the first time an MRIO-based resource footprint approach with a novel life cycle impact assessment methodology called LC-Impact. By combining these two data sources we can measure the ecosystem consequences of resource footprints. The LC-Impact dataset features spatially differentiated measures of impact; an important trait given the widely varying environmental consequences of resource use throughout the world. We find that an account of the ecosystem consequences of resource footprints provides a quite different picture of consumers’ global impacts.
A practical method for justifying less stringent environmental objectives according to the EC Water Framework Directive with disproportionally high costs
Authors: Bernd Klauer, Katja Sigel, Johannes Schiller, Nina Hagemann, Katharina Kern
Abstract: The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) generally pursues the ambitious goal of good status for all European Waters but allows “less stringent environmental objectives” if the costs for reaching the goal are disproportionally high. This exemption bears the danger of watering down the ambitions of the directive if abused. Currently no transparent, well-established, universally applicable method for testing disproportionality exists. That is why the authors developed such a method for surface water bodies. The proposed method combines both interpretations of disproportionality – affordability and cost-benefit assessment. Its core idea is to determine a water-body specific disproportionality threshold which is then compared to the projected costs for achieving good ecological status. The method was empirically tested for a river in the German federal state Rhineland-Palatinate. Due to moderate data requirements it is directly applicable in all German federal states and, generally, also in other EU member states.
Industrial water pollution in Uruguay and indirect spillover: sectors’ subsystems through input–output analysis and geographic information systems
Authors: Matías Piaggio, Ignacio Cazcarro
Abstract: Pollution of water resources is one of the main ecological damages in Uruguay. Focusing attention only in polluting sectors may miss some important interactions in the pollution generation if non-polluting sectors indirect pollution is not considered for policy analysis and recommendations. Input-Output analysis allows isolating the effects of sectors, and studying their linkages with the rest of economic sectors and the environment. Geographic information systems allow identifying the hotspots where it takes place the main impacts take place and the efforts to recovery the good state of water bodies (and in general ecosystems). The objective of the present paper is to decompose the water pollution responsibility of polluting and non-polluting sectors’ subsystems. Among other results, we show that polluting sectors’ subsystem is responsible of about 88% total industrial water pollution, but 12% is spillover (indirect) pollution by the non-polluting sectors’ subsystem, explained by direct input requirements to the polluting sectors.