This master thesis is about assessing the impact that tackling the issue of global warming will inevitably have on our country’s economic activity. Our first aim is to describe and analyze the foundations and the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions constraints, with a specific emphasis on the Belgian situation. This first part of the thesis is a synthesis paper that might be useful to policy makers. Our second aim is to provide an analysis of the economic impact of those very constraints on the Belgian economy that will allow us to pinpoint the sectors of which the international competitiveness is likely to be affected. Con- trary to the existing literature on this subject, which mainly focuses on the macro- or microeconomic di- mension, we have chosen a sectorial approach –sometimes called mesoeconomic– based on the cumulative costs application of input-output economics. Doing so we get an estimate of the sectorial cumulative car- bon dioxide emissions; using a flat tax that is consistent with Belgium’s reductions objectives –the so- called carbon value–, it allows for an estimation of the increase of the production costs per sector. The impact on international competitiveness is then reckoned, taking into account the proportion of produc- tion that is exported outside the European community. The results of our analysis show that steel, refin- ery and chemical industries are badly hit, as expected. But we also come up with some new or less pre- dictable results. Other major sectors are threatened too, including food-processing, textiles and mineral industries. Moreover, the developed method allows for relative impacts assessment. We also show the ex- isting link with employment and production. As it turns out, almost three hundred thousand jobs are in jeopardy, making up five percent of the overall Belgian production.
|Date of Award||2008|
|Supervisor||Henri Bogaert (Supervisor), Mathias HUNGERBUHLER (Jury) & Dominique Gusbin (Jury)|