The Regional Economic Impact of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Western Australia

H.U. Ahammad, Kenneth Clements, Y. Qiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyses the general-equilibrium impacts of an international climate change response policy on the economy of Western Australia (WA), one of the most mining-based and energy-intensive states of Australia. It finds that emissions would fall by up to 11% from the base level in WA. However, such environmental benefits emanate at some costs to the state economy; in terms of foregone gross state product, the costs are up to 3% of the base level. Indeed, the actual costs and benefits depend on the precise design of the climate change response policy as well as on the other policies within which it operates. For example, when emission quota permits are sold to industries and no tradeable carbon credits (i.e. credits for the carbon sequestrated in Kyoto forests) are granted, emissions decline by about 8% and GSP falls by about 3% of the base levels. If carbon credits are tradeable, however, the environmental benefits could be increased and the GSP cost could be reduced substantially. Also, the reduced economic activity caused by emission abatement results in a modest fall in net government revenue, despite the additional revenue from permit sales in some cases. Accordingly, government's fiscal package surrounding the emission permits would influence the emission abatement impacts on the economy. With regard to the effects on the structure of the state economy, the oil and gas industry suffers only a slight contraction but the energy-supplying sector as a whole contracts substantially. It is therefore not surprising that the impacts on the WA economy of curbing emissions by energy and transport industries alone are quite significant when compared to those resulted from all industries' compliance with the abatement scheme. It needs to be noted that the model projections analysed in the paper are based on simplifying assumptions and tentative scenarios, and hence should be viewed with caution and not be understood as unconditional forecasts. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-233
JournalResources Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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