Legal Implications of the Use of Export Taxes in Addressing Carbon Leakage: Competing Border Adjustment Measures

Karapinar, Baris; Holzer, Kateryna (2012). Legal Implications of the Use of Export Taxes in Addressing Carbon Leakage: Competing Border Adjustment Measures. New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law, 10, pp. 15-36. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington

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The prevailing uncertainties about the future of the post-Kyoto international legal framework for climate mitigation and adaptation increase the likelihood of unilateral trade interventions that aim to address climate policy concerns, as exemplified by the controversial European Union initiative to include the aviation industry in its emissions trading system. The emerging literature suggests that border carbon adjustment (BCA) measures imposed by importing countries would lead to substantial legal complications in relation to World Trade Organization law and hence to possible trade disputes. Lack of legal clarity on BCAs is exacerbated by potential counter or pre-emptive export restrictions that exporting countries might impose on carbon-intensive products. In this context, this paper investigates the interface between legal and welfare implications of competing unilateral BCA measures. It argues that carbon export taxes will be an inevitable part of the future climate change regime in the absence of a multilateral agreement. It also describes the channels through which competing BCAs may lead to trade conflicts and political complications as a result of their distributional and welfare impacts at the domestic and global levels.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Karapinar, Baris and Holzer, Kateryna


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation




Victoria University of Wellington


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Kateryna Holzer

Date Deposited:

20 Jun 2014 14:23

Last Modified:

31 May 2017 14:31




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