Project

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Switzerland’s Sustainability Footprint: Economic and Legal Challenges

English title Switzerland’s Sustainability Footprint: Economic and Legal Challenges
Applicant Francois Joseph
Number 172437
Funding scheme NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
Research institution World Trade Institute Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.10.2017 - 30.09.2021
Approved amount 863'950.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Economics
Legal sciences

Keywords (11)

International Trade; projections; standards; MRIO; consumption; WTO; footprint; sustainability; tax; carbon; methane

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
In diesem Projekt schaffen wir neue Daten zu weltweiten Nachhaltigkeitsbeständen. Der Schwerpunkt liegt auf einem besseren Verständnis der Effektivität und Einschränkungen alternativer Politiken, die auf nachhaltige Konsummuster und damit verbundene sozioökonomische Auswirkungen abzielen.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Die nationalen Ressourcennutzungsziele konzentrieren sich in der Regel auf die nationale oder lokale Produktion. Allerdings tragen nicht nur Produzenten, sondern auch die Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher eine Verantwortung. Durch den internationalen Handel belastet der lokale Konsum die Umwelt auch in anderen geografischen Regionen. Die sorgfältige Analyse von grenzüberschreitenden Produktionsverbindungen sowie der damit verbundenen Auswirkungen auf den lokalen Verbrauch und die globale Nachhaltigkeit sind ein wichtiger Schritt zum Verständnis der Wirksamkeit und Grenzen einer langfristigen Nachhaltigkeitspolitik.

Ziel
Unser Ziel ist es, anhand dieses Projekts die Nachhaltigkeitssituation der Schweizer Wirtschaft zu quantifizieren, zukünftige Herausforderungen zu identifizieren und die politischen Optionen der Schweiz zu bewerten. Die vier Schlüsselelemente sind: (i) die Entwicklung von Nachhaltigkeitsindikatoren; (ii) die Ausarbeitung von Projektionen zukünftiger Emissionen und Ressourcennutzung der Schweiz; (iii) die Analyse der wirtschaftlichen und rechtlichen Ausgestaltung von Instrumenten der Nachhaltigkeitspolitik für die Schweiz; (iv) die Bewertung des Potenzials für eine Umweltkennzeichnung.

Bedeutung
Unter Berücksichtigung der Komplexität von globalen Lieferketten, werden wir wissenschaftliche Analysen von alternativen Instrumenten und ihren Grundlagen im internationalen Wirtschaftsrecht liefern. Durch die Entwicklung öffentlicher Datenbanken werden wir auch die Eintrittskosten für eine breitere Forschung reduzieren.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Dans ce projet, nous fournissons de nouvelles données sur l’état de la durabilité à l’échelle mondiale. En particulier, nous visons une meilleure compréhension de l’efficacité et des limites de politiques alternatives axés sur les modes de consommation durables ainsi que des répercussions socio-économiques liées à ces politiques.
Lay summary

Contexte
Les objectifs nationaux en matière d’utilisation des ressources se concentrent en général sur la production nationale ou locale. Toutefois, la responsabilité n’en incombe pas seulement aux producteurs, mais aussi aux consommatrices et consommateurs. Avec le commerce international, la consommation locale a également un impact environnemental sur d’autres régions. L’analyse détaillée des liens de production transfrontaliers, de leurs répercussions sur la consommation locale et de la durabilité à l’échelle mondiale est une étape importante pour comprendre l’efficacité et les limites d’une politique de durabilité conçue pour le long terme.

Objectifs
Notre objectif est de fournir une mesure quantitative de la situation économique suisse en matière de durabilité, d’identifier les défis à venir et d’évaluer les options politiques qui se présentent au pays. Voici les quatre éléments essentiels de l’étude: (i) le développement d’indicateurs de durabilité; (ii) l’élaboration de projections des émissions et de l’utilisation des ressources de la Suisse à venir; (iii) l’analyse de la conception économique et juridique d’instruments de politique de développement durable pour la Suisse; (iv) l’évaluation du potentiel d’un label environnemental.

Importance
En tenant compte de la complexité des chaînes d’approvisionnement mondiales, nous fournirons des analyses scientifiques sur les instruments alternatifs et leurs fondements en droit du commerce international. La création de banques de données publiques nous permettra également de réduire les coûts d’entrée pour la mise en place de recherches plus larges.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
In this project we are creating new data on global sustainability inventories. The focus is on a better understanding of the effectiveness and limitations of alternative policies aimed at sustainable consumption patterns and related socio-economic impacts.
Lay summary

Background
As a rule, national resource consumption targets focus on national or local production. However, not only producers but also consumers bear responsibility. Due to international trade, local consumption is also a burden on the environment in other geographic regions. A careful analysis of cross-border production links and their impacts on local consumption and global sustainability is an important step towards understanding the effectiveness and limitations of a sustainability policy designed for the long-term.

Aims
Our main aims are to quantify the sustainability situation of the Swiss economy, identify future challenges and evaluate the political options for Switzerland. The four key elements are: (i) The development of sustainability indicators; (ii) The preparation of projections of future emissions and resource use in Switzerland; (iii) The analysis of economic and legal design of instruments for a sustainability policy for Switzerland; (iv) The assessment of the potential for eco-labelling.

Importance
Taking into account the complexity of global supply chains we will provide a scientific analysis of alternative instruments and their basis in international commercial law. By developing public databases we will reduce the threshold costs for conducting broader future research.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Testing for Convergence in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Using a Bayesian Robust Structural Model
Fernández-Amador Octavio, Oberdabernig Doris A., Tomberger Patrick (2018), Testing for Convergence in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Using a Bayesian Robust Structural Model, in Environmental and Resource Economics, 1-22.
Economic growth, sectoral structures, and environmental methane footprints
Fernández-AmadorOctavio, FrancoisJoseph F., OberdabernigDoris, TombergerPatrick (2018), Economic growth, sectoral structures, and environmental methane footprints, WTI working papers, Bern.
Empirical estimates of the methane–income elasticity
Fernández-Amador Octavio, Francois Joseph F., Oberdabernig Doris A., Tomberger Patrick (2018), Empirical estimates of the methane–income elasticity, in Economics Letters, 171, 137-139.
The methane footprint of nations: Evidence from global panel data
Fernández-AmadorOctavio, FrancoisJoseph F., OberdabernigDoris, TombergerPatrick (2018), The methane footprint of nations: Evidence from global panel data, WTI working papers, Bern.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
IP-SUISSE . Contact: Mr. Niklaus Hofer, deputy managing director Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
United Nations International Trade Center, office of chief economist Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Bio Suisse. Contact: Mr. Jörg Schumacher, import division Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
World Trade Organization, research division Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Enviornmental Economics Group Meeting, WS2018, University Bern Individual talk Economic growth, sectoral structures, and environmental methane footprints. 08.11.2018 Bern, Switzerland Oberdabernig Doris Anita;
Enviornmental Economics Group Meeting, WS2018, University Bern Individual talk Testing for Convergence in Carbon Dioxide Emissions using a Bayesian Robust Structural Model. 10.10.2018 Bern, Switzerland Fernandez-Amador Octavio;
World Trade Forum 2018: 'Trade, Development and Sustainability' Talk given at a conference Natural Resources in the SDGs Era: Insight from WTO Case Law 28.09.2018 Florence, Italy Espa Ilaria;
WCERE 2018 - 6th World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists Talk given at a conference Economic Growth and Methane Emissions in the Context of Globalization 25.06.2018 Gothenburg, Sweden Fernandez-Amador Octavio; Oberdabernig Doris Anita; Francois Joseph;
Enviornmental Economics Group Meeting, SS2018, University Bern Individual talk The Methane Footprint of Nations -- Stylized Facts from a Global Panel Dataset 18.04.2018 Bern, Switzerland Oberdabernig Doris Anita; Francois Joseph; Fernandez-Amador Octavio;
NOeG Winter Workshop 2017 Talk given at a conference Methane Emissions and Economic Development in the Context of Globalization 18.12.2017 Vienna, Austria Oberdabernig Doris Anita; Fernandez-Amador Octavio; Francois Joseph;
NOeG Winter Workshop 2017 Talk given at a conference Testing for Convergence in Carbon Dioxide Emissions using a Bayesian Robust Structural Model. 18.12.2017 Vienna, Austria Oberdabernig Doris Anita;
World Trade Forum 2017 Talk given at a conference Methane Emissions and Economic Development in the Context of Globalization 06.10.2017 Grindelwald, Switzerland Fernandez-Amador Octavio;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Nacht der Forschung 2017 German-speaking Switzerland 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
176384 Complexity and the Structure and Regulation of Trade and Investment 01.10.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

In this project we do the following: (1) develop new measures of sustainability footprint targets for the Swiss economy (as part of a public access database); (2) extend the literature on the effectiveness of alternative tax-based and voluntary instruments in meeting these targets, including projection analysis of usage trends; (3) and address treaty-based constraints (such as those arising from Swiss WTO Membership) on use of alternative instruments. The third point then also serves to identify potential scope for international action and initiatives on the part of Switzerland. The project defines and quantifies “sustainability footprints” based on updated and projected (forward looking scenario based) multi-region input-output analysis. These serve as target metrics in quantitative analysis of alternative instruments in a macro projection framework. Overall, the proposed project focuses on a major set of complex, contemporary policy problems. Tackling the questions addressed here requires an interdisciplinary approach, and so we spell out a joint law and economics research program. The program should also provide relatively immediate benefits in reducing entry costs for broader research (through public database development) as well as scientific analysis of alternative instruments (and their basis in international economic law) given that we live in a world of complex supply chains.
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