Sectoral targets to address competitiveness – a CGE analysis with focus on the global steel sector

Climate Change Economics Vol. 10, No. 1

In the wake of the Paris Climate Agreement, countries may employ sectoral approaches. These allow for efficiency gains while at the same time addressing the concerns of competitiveness and carbon leakage. Applying a multi-country, multi-sector dynamic CGE model, this paper explores the role of sector emission targets for the steel sector in an international agreement, their interaction with emissions trading systems, and to which extent sector targets may address competitiveness concerns. To better reflect technological realities, the steel sector is disaggregated into its two main industries: primary fossil fuel-based steel production (BOF) and secondary scrap recycling steel production (EAF). The policy simulations suggest that sectoral targets may effectively counter the (negative) output and competitiveness effects of differences in the stringency of climate policy across countries. BOF steel contributes significantly more to emission reductions than EAF steel. Moreover, the output effects of BOF and EAF are of opposite signs.