Project Report:
Analysis of how a U.S. Carbon Tax could affect patterns of trade, investment & emissions internationally
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
- Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


In this project, Brookings scholars will use the G-Cubed model of the global economy to examine how a U.S. carbon tax could affect U.S. exports and imports in different sectors. It will explore how U.S. climate policies drive emissions and economic activity in other countries via global market forces. Further, we will analyze the economic and environmental outcomes of approaches, such as border carbon adjustments, that could limit erosion of U.S. competitiveness and emissions leakage abroad.


Morris is helping to lead the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) 32 project, a large multi-model analysis of US carbon tax scenarios. The paper funded by the Alex C. Walker Foundation will be part of this coordinated collection of research in the field. The EMF group will meet at Brookings March 29-30, 2016 to review the second round of modeling results and plan publication of the work.

We are grateful to the Walker Foundation for granting a no-cost extension on this grant to October 31, 2016 to allow us to finalize our paper in concert with the other papers coming out of the EMF 32 project. This will complement what the other scholars are doing and shape our results for maximum impact.

In addition to work on this paper, Morris was pleased to welcome Barrett and Peggy Walker and Tom Walker to a private roundtable of the Carbon Pricing Initiative in December 2015. She has also been corresponding with Tom Walker in regards to her work designing policies to help coal workers and coal reliant communities transition to a low carbon future.


This grant will help support an initiative by the Brookings Climate and Energy Economics Project on designing a tax on carbon in the U.S. within the context of broader tax reforms and measures to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. This specific grant will support new research and analysis on the potential outcomes of different policy approaches.

The Initiative will further the substantive discussion of climate policy in the United States. Findings will be communicated to policymakers and stakeholders through written policy briefs, private communications, and public events. Brookings scholars will also collaborate with scholars at other academic and policy research institutions to maximize their productivity and impact.


This grant will support research contributing to a series of policy briefs and events offering insights into the economic effects and environmental potential for a carbon tax in the U.S. The work is investigating how to link the introduction of a carbon tax with other tax reforms and changes in environmental regulation to increase the efficiency of both.

In this project, Brookings scholars will complete a modeling study that analyzes the effects a U.S. federal carbon tax could have on U.S. exports and imports and emissions domestically and abroad. Using the G-Cubed model of the global economy, Brookings scholars will model an illustrative federal carbon tax with a special focus on trade-sensitive sectors.

Objectives of this work include ascertaining how significant trade issues are likely to be, informing the design of measures to reduce untoward impacts on U.S. competitiveness, and understanding the role of climate policies adopted by major trade partners and competitors.

Information Dissemination

The paper will be published to the Brookings website, and we will disseminate the findings via newsletters and communication with targeted reporters.

Amount Approved
$50,000.00 on 6/5/2015 (Check sent: 7/13/2015)



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Posted 3/27/2015 10:21 AM
Updated   6/15/2017 12:48 PM

  • Nonprofit

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