GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Commerce international et transports : tendances du passé et prospective 2020


Authors’ Abstract:

Consumers are gradually going to have to pay, within the framework of international agreements on climate change mitigation, for the environmental cost of CO2 emissions caused by international transportation. The resulting increase in transportation costs will magnify the impact of the upward trend in oil prices. In such a context, this paper reviews past trends in international freight transportation and their impact on the growth of world trade; then it provides estimates of the impact of carbon taxes on transportation. The first section lists the difficulties arising in measuring transportation costs and their impact on international trade. The second section describes the growth of international freight transportation over the last 40 years. The third section provides estimates of the impact of carbon taxes on transportation obtained by using the MIRAGE general equilibrium model. We consider two taxation cases and two levels of taxes ($25 and $50 per ton of CO2). In both cases, by 2020, the result shows that a carbon tax on transportation will have a stronger negative effect on world trade than on GDP growth. Nonetheless these impacts remain small with these rates of taxation.