Miljöanpassad offentlig upphandling: effektivt styrmedel mot koldioxidutsläpp? : En studie av kostnadseffektivitet, transaktionskostnader och teknisk utveckling

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Economics

Abstract: Green public procurement (GPP) can be used as an instrument to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and consideration of environmental aspects within public procurement is becoming more common in Sweden and internationally. Two product groups that have been pointed out as especially important are transports and electricity, where the opportunities for public purchasers to reduce emissions are relatively large. This paper studies GPP which aims at reducing emissions, primarily of carbon dioxide, through environmental requirements within these two product groups. A theoretical analysis of cost-effectiveness, transaction costs and effects on technological development is performed, followed by a closer study of how these aspects appear in practice within GPP. The results indicate that a cost-effective allocation of reductions between the two product groups is most likely to be attained if the main part of emission reduction is achieved through environmental requirements on electricity. The cost for emission reduction within transports is relatively high, especially for heavy transports. For transportation services, more generally focused requirements on emission reductions could probably give greater environmental gains, but the existence of transaction costs steer the environmental requirements towards more technology specific types. A greater supply of environmentally labelled transports would probably facilitate the use of environmental requirements within this area. The label 'Bra Miljöval' electricity is the most common choice of electricity under GPP, and the transaction cost for public authorities can be kept comparably low in this case since a third party verifies real environmental performance. However, it can be questioned if Bra Miljöval is the best composition of environmental requirements if the main purpose is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, since some techniques of electricity production with potentially low costs for emission reductions are not allowed. Public procurers have proportionately large opportunities to affect technological development within heavy transportation vehicles and strategic efforts within this area could therefore be recommended. The price premium paid for Bra Miljöval electricity does not seem to promote less developed electricity production techniques that are marketed at relatively high prices today. GPP programs more specifically directed at immature technologies might be necessary if technology development within renewable electricity production is desired. The main conclusion of the study is that the lack of statistics and follow-up of results make it difficult to perform more comprehensive environmental economic analysis of GPP. Systems on national level for regular follow-ups and reporting of results should therefore be prioritized in order to facilitate future studies and assessments.

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