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Environment, Agriculture and Energy

WIFO publications and research project papers(658 hits)

Stefan Schleicher (WIFO), Angela Köppl, Mark Sommer (WIFO), Stephan Lienin (Sustainserv), Martin Treberspurg, Doris Österreicher, Roman Grünner (BOKU), Reinhold Lang (JKU IAC), Manfred Mühlberger (ETA), Karl W. Steininger, Christian Hofer (Wegener Center), Welche Zukunft für Energie und Klima? Folgenabschätzungen für Energie- und Klimastrategien – Zusammenfassende Projektaussagen

Monographs, March 2018, 38 pages
Mit der Analyse für die künftige Ausgestaltung des österreichischen Energiesystems werden grundsätzlich zwei Intentionen verfolgt: einerseits ein vertieftes Verständnis für den Umgang mit Energie aufzuzeigen und andererseits Kriterien für die Beurteilung von Strategien vorzulegen. Dabei werden drei prioritäre Handlungsfelder identifiziert: multifunktionale Gebäude, die nicht nur eine hohe energetische Qualität haben, sondern auch eine aktive Rolle bei der Bereitstellung von Energie übernehmen; verschränkte Mobilität, die nicht nur den Übergang zu nicht-fossilen Antrieben beinhaltet, sondern auch Digitalisierung, etwa durch Informationstechnologien für die Senkung des Verkehrsbedarfs; integrierte Netze mit neuen Optionen für Elektrizität in Clusterstrukturen, Wärme in Energienetzen und Gas mit Potentialen aus biogenen Quellen und Wasserstoff. Dies eröffnet vor allem für den Einsatz erneuerbarer Energie neue Optionen. Diese drei Handlungsfelder werden in der Analyse näher dargestellt.
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research – Sustainserv GmbH – University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna – Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute for Analytical Chemistry – ETA Umweltmanagement GmbH – University of Graz, Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change
Online since: 22.03.2018 0:00

Claudia Kettner-Marx, Mathias Kirchner, Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig, Mark Sommer, Kurt Kratena (WIFO), Stefan E. Weishaar, Irene Burgers (University of Groningen), CATs – Options and Considerations for a Carbon Tax in Austria. Policy Brief

Monographs, February 2018, 17 pages
The CATs project focused on carbon taxes as a policy instrument for achieving emission reductions particularly in sectors not covered by the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Based on a systematic review of carbon taxes in EU member countries and a qualitative assessment of the implementation barriers and success factors in frontrunner countries a model-based analysis of the effects of various carbon tax scenarios for Austria was performed. Policy recommendations were developed for Austria and the EU. The project results suggest that carefully designed CO2 tax schemes can play an important part in achieving greenhouse gas emission targets for non-ETS sectors in Austria with potentially positive distributive and macroeconomic impacts.
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research – University of Groningen
Commissioned by: Klima- und Energiefonds
Online since: 07.03.2018 0:00

Irene Burgers, Stefan E. Weishaar, Designing Carbon Taxes Is Not an Easy Task. Legal Perspectives

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (559), 26 pages
The aim of this paper is to map legal aspects that should be taken into account in designing a carbon tax. The survey of the legal literature concludes that many different aspects have to be taken into account in designing a carbon tax, both with respect to the kind of legal instruments to be used and the actual design of the tax. It is analysed how these legal concepts relate to economic theory. This overview of legal considerations may help in creating a sustainable, effective and efficient regulatory system for reducing emissions, as carbon taxes can play a crucial role for achieving long-term emission reductions.
Online since: 01.03.2018 0:00

Mathias Kirchner, Mark Sommer, Claudia Kettner-Marx, Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig, Katharina Köberl, Kurt Kratena, CO2 Tax Scenarios for Austria. Impacts on Household Income Groups, CO2 Emissions, and the Economy

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (558), 61 pages
We assess distributive, macroeconomic, and CO2 emission impacts of CO2 tax schemes in Austria by applying the macroeconomic input-output model DYNK[AUT]. The tax schemes analysed focus primarily on CO2 emissions not covered by the European Emission Trading System (ETS), applying different CO2 tax rates as well as tax compensation schemes. We perform comparative scenario analysis for our model's base year (i.e., short-term impacts). Our model simulations indicate that – without tax compensation – impacts on households can be regressive if measured as tax burden relative to income, and are found to be rather proportional if measured as tax burden relative to expenditure or as changes in total expenditure and income. Lower income households benefit more from tax compensations (lump sum payments), i.e., CO2 taxes with compensation measures for households lead to progressive tax burden impacts. Energy-related CO2 emissions decrease quite substantially in non-ETS sectors, although households react inelastic. Value added in most non-ETS industry and service sectors declines only slightly without tax compensation and commodity import shares are hardly affected. Decreasing employers' social contribution (i.e., lowering labour costs) mitigates negative impacts in most non-ETS industry and service sectors. GDP decreases very moderately without tax recycling, depending on the tax rate. Employment effects are similar but smaller. Tax recycling leads to negligible GDP impacts and increases employment. Our simulations thus suggest that CO2 taxes could be a crucial and socially acceptable element within a comprehensive set of policy instruments in order to contribute to achieving greenhouse-gas emission targets for non-ETS sectors in Austria.
Online since: 01.03.2018 0:00

Stefan E. Weishaar, Introducing Carbon Taxes at Member State Level. Issues and Barriers

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (557), 22 pages
This paper examines the implementation issues and barriers for introducing a carbon tax at EU member state level. Important success determinants are related to the political economy of introducing taxes (negotiations with stakeholders, concessions, changes in proposed legislation, compromises, etc.) which translate i.a. into competitiveness issues, and fairness/equity/distribution issues. For these the design of the carbon tax exemptions, and safeguards to prevent progressivity and the use of the tax proceeds are important. The analysis will focus on the "frontrunner" countries in the EU which have been very successful in terms of the introduction of carbon taxes (Sweden, Denmark and Finland). The countries employed different implementation strategies but underscore the importance of successful issue, timing, linking and to foster political support by safeguarding competitiveness and by addressing income distributions.
Online since: 01.03.2018 0:00

Stefan E. Weishaar, Carbon Taxes at EU Level. Introduction Issues and Barriers

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (556), 17 pages
The excitement about concluding the Paris Agreement is giving way to the sobering realisation that a lot more needs to be done to attain its climate policy objective. More and more EU member countries embrace carbon taxes but the national measures differ strongly. In an integrated European market this challenges the level playing field of competing industries and the transboundary nature of regulating a global pollutant and calls for a solution on EU level (or higher). Past attempts to regulate carbon emissions at EU level by fiscal measures have, however, been markedly unsuccessful. This paper therefore examines introduction issues and barriers of a CO2 tax at EU level and offers policy suggestions to move forward.
Online since: 01.03.2018 0:00

Claudia Kettner-Marx, Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig, Energy and Carbon Taxes in the EU. Empirical Evidence with Focus on the Transport Sector

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (555), 20 pages
This paper provides an overview of energy and (implicit) CO2 taxation in the EU member countries. Against the background of the EU energy taxation directives, energy and implicit CO2 tax rates in the EU countries are discussed, focussing on taxation in the transport sector as a major non-ETS emitter. Empirical evidence on the impact of energy and carbon taxes on energy use and emissions is presented and the economic and distributional effects of energy and carbon taxes are then discussed. Research on energy price elasticities suggests that energy and carbon taxation can make a significant contribution towards achieving emission reductions, particularly in the transport sector where greenhouse gas emissions continue to be on the rise in the EU. Evidence on the economic impacts of energy and carbon taxes furthermore shows that a double divided can be achieved. With respect to the distributional impacts of carbon and energy taxes evidence is, however, mixed. While empirical studies generally negate regressive effects for taxes on transport fuels, energy and carbon taxes on heating fuels tend to be found regressive.
Online since: 01.03.2018 0:00

Claudia Kettner-Marx, Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig, Carbon Taxes from an Economic Perspective

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (554), 18 pages
Economic literature generally favours market-based instruments for regulating environmental externalities since they ensure compliance at the least cost to society. Emission taxes have been increasingly introduced internationally, with the focus shifting to CO2 after the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. In this paper, the theoretical economic literature on energy and emission taxes is reviewed. The focus is on theoretical recommendations regarding the optimal design of environmental and especially carbon taxes, their performance relative to other instruments, the concept of a double dividend as well as potential competitiveness and distribution effects. Carbon taxation can play a key role in climate policy and for achieving long-term emission reductions. This overview of economic considerations may help in creating a sustainable, effective and efficient regulatory system for reducing emissions.
Online since: 01.03.2018 0:00

Claudia Kettner-Marx, Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig, Policy Brief: Klimapolitikintegration und Politikkohärenz in Österreich und der EU. Welche Fortschritte sind zu verzeichnen?

Monographs, January 2018, 10 pages
Die Begrenzung des anthropogenen Klimawandels erfordert eine weitgehende Dekarbonisierung und somit eine Umstrukturierung des Energiesystems, der Produktions- und Konsummuster. Um dies zu erreichen, muss Klimapolitik als Querschnittsthema anerkannt und in andere Politikbereiche integriert werden, da viele klimarelevante Entscheidungen in Ressorts getroffen werden, die Klimapolitik nicht als oberste Kompetenz haben. Die Berücksichtigung der komplexen Wechselwirkungen und langfristigen Anforderungen in der Entscheidungsfindung anderer Ressorts ist die Voraussetzung für kohärente Politik und die Erreichung der Klimaziele. Bislang ist jedoch noch eine gewisse Diskrepanz zwischen dem politischen Bekenntnis zur Bekämpfung des Klimawandels – etwa durch die Ratifizierung des Pariser Abkommens – und der tatsächlichen umfassenden Integration von Klimapolitik in andere relevante Bereiche erkennbar.
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Supported by: Anniversary Fund of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank
Online since: 01.02.2018 0:00

Claudia Kettner-Marx, Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig, Climate Policy Integration at the National and Regional Level. A Case Study for Austria and Styria

WIFO Working Papers, 2018, (552), 29 pages
In order to limit climate change the cross-cutting nature of climate policy needs to be recognised. Many climate-relevant decisions are taken in other policy areas with only little regard to climate change impacts. In order for climate policy to be successful it has to be integrated in decision making and legislative processes in basically all policy areas and all levels of government. In this paper we analyse the extent of climate policy integration in Austrian policy-making via in-depth expert interviews, both on the federal level as well as on the regional level using Styria as case study. The results show a broad range of perceptions regarding the degree of climate policy integration in Austria. On the one hand, the consideration of climate policy issues depends on the core competence of the respective institution. On the other hand, we found widely diverging views on whether climate policy in Austria is too ambitious or too weak. Especially, potential negative impacts of climate policy on competitiveness or employment are seen to hamper a more ambitious implementation of mitigation policies. Cooperation on climate policy issues is generally rated as good by the interviewees from administration and interest groups, but conflicts of interest that result from the organisations' core functions negatively impact on the perceived quality of cooperation. In case of conflicting targets it is widely noticed that "traditional" policy objectives like employment or competitiveness are given priority over climate issues.
Online since: 01.02.2018 0:00