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Model Report

Trade and Environment Assessment Model

Last Revision Date: 07/13/2010 View as PDF
General Information Back to Top
Model Abbreviated Name:

Model Extended Name:

Trade and Environment Assessment Model
Model Overview/Abstract:
TEAM is an input-output framework that is built around emission factors that describe the relationship between the economic value of output, by economic sector and location, and the quantity of environmental releases that occur in conjunction with the production activity. These emission factors are conceptually equivalent to coefficients in the traditional economic use of an input-output framework. To meet these objectives, the emission factors are defined:
  • By specific pollutant/use parameter for air emissions, water pollutant discharges, and energy use/carbon emissions. TEAM accounts for about 1,100 specific chemicals, chemical groups, and resource use categories.
  • For each of 293 4-digit NAICS economic sectors (except for energy use and carbon emissions, for which more aggregated economic sectors are used).
  • For each state where economic activity occurs (except for certain energy use or carbon emissions categories, which are defined at the national level).

TEAM’s emission factors are based on environmental release and resource use inventories compiled by USEPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Census Bureau, coupled with economic activity data compiled in the U.S. Economic Census and the U.S. Agricultural Census, and data published by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thus, TEAM brings together usually separate data characterizing domestic economic activity, and environmental releases and resource uses into a single consistent framework in terms of time period, economic sector classification, and geography.

Keywords: Input-output; emissions, emissions model, multi-media, emission coefficients, GHG emissions, CO2 emissions, state-level emissions, trade and environment assessment, NAICS sectors, national level emissions by industrial sector, toxic emissions, air emissions, water emissions
Model Technical Contact Information:
Agency Contact:
Jan Gilbreath
Office of Policy / Office of the Administrator

Jared Creason
Office of Air and Radiation/Office of Atmospheric Programs

Developer Contact:
Isabelle Morin
Abt Associates, Inc.
Cambridge, MA
Environment & Resources Division

Model Homepage: http://www.abtassociates.com/Page.cfm?PageID=40984 Exiting the EPA Site
Substantive Changes from Prior Version: Updated the I/O matrix from 1997 to 2002 baseline data. Added CO2 emissions and energy use; aggregated emissions output from 6-digit to 4-digit NAICS resolution for greater confidence of estimates, added CO2 process emissions, added I/O table of emission factors for electricity generators by NERC region.
Plans for further model development: None at this time.

User Information Back to Top
Technical Requirements
Computer Hardware
Any PC
Compatible Operating Systems
Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition; is NOT compatible with Windows Vista
Other Software Required to Run the Model
Excel if you want to export data to a spreadsheet
Download Information
To be determined
Using the Model
Basic Model Inputs
Economic activity for 293 NAICS sectors; air/water/carbon/energy use emissions for those same sectors, at the national and state level
Basic Model Outputs
Air, water and carbon emissions per unit of economic output by NAICS code, 4-digit level
User Support
Other User Documents
Model description and documentation
Availability of User Support
USEPA Office of Air/Office of Atmospheric Programs/Climate Change Division; Office of Policy/National Center for Environmental Economics
User Qualifications
Some basic understanding of economic and emissions modeling. A background in environmental and economic policy in order to interpret model inputs and outputs. A Master’s degree in policy or economics or equivalent work experience is recommended.

Model Science Back to Top
Problem Identification
In developing TEAM, USEPA sought to develop an analytic framework that is capable of addressing, in a comprehensive and consistent fashion, the environmental effects of trade agreements or other complex economic events potentially affecting a wide range of industries and environmental media. At the outset, USEPA outlined several analytic objectives to be accomplished in TEAM. These objectives reflect the breadth of environmental media, industrial sectors, and geographic locations that might reasonably be affected by a trade agreement. Key to USEPA’s goals was the ability to assess environmental effects associated with a wide range of environmental media, including the following environmental release and resource use categories:

  1. Criteria and Hazardous Air Pollutant emissions from stationary and mobile sources;
  2. Water pollutant discharges across a wide range of chemical categories;
  3. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy consumption; and
  4. Energy consumption by fuel type.

For these environmental media, USEPA sought to understand how environmental releases or resource use would change as the result of the changes in economic activity from a trade agreement or other economic event. Specifically, USEPA sought to use the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) as the economic framework for analysis and to be as comprehensive as possible in its coverage of industries within the NAICS sector framework. The agency also strived to capture the geographical distribution of environmental effects, in terms of both the specific locations and quantities of changes in environmental releases from the economic activities affected by a trade agreement.

To meet these objectives, USEPA identified the affected production entity (e.g.,manufacturing facility), where possible, or the state, as the basic locational unit of analysis for assessing environmental effects of a trade agreement. Further, to understand how environmental releases might vary across the country, USEPA sought detailed information on the current patterns of economic activity and environmental releases by production entity and state as the baseline information from which the environmental effects of a trade agreement would be analyzed.

USEPA judged that these levels of analytic resolution and analytic coverage – in terms of environmental effects, economic sectors, and locations of effect – would provide a comprehensive and consistent screening-level assessment of the U.S. environmental effects of a trade agreement.

Summary of Model Structure and Methods
As discussed previously, TEAM brings together usually separate data characterizing domestic economic activity, and environmental releases and resource uses into a single consistent framework, in terms of time period, economic sector classification, and geography.

For a TEAM analysis, the economic event (such as economic changes resulting from a trade agreement) is specified as the estimated changes in national economic activity for a given year by economic sector. TEAM may receive the trade agreement/economic event in its native sector classification framework – i.e., 4-digit NAICS sector – or in several other economic classification frameworks such as the BEA commodity codes, which TEAM converts to the NAICS framework. Additionally, TEAM may receive the changes in economic activity for the primary effect sectors only (e.g., the changes in those economic sectors directly affected by a trade agreement or other economic event) or for total effect sectors (i.e., the changes the primary effect sectors plus changes in other sectors linked economically to the primary effect sectors). When the changes in economic activity are defined in terms of primary effect sectors only, TEAM can translate these changes into total sector effects using information from the most recent U.S. Input-Output benchmark accounts tables.

TEAM includes the option to account for total sector changes that occur only in domestic production activities, through the use of import-adjusted input-output total requirement coefficients. It also includes the option to account for the different emissions/resource use profile of certain sector inputs (in particular electricity), based on the geographical distribution of the primary economic impacts using NERC-adjusted total requirement coefficients. To calculate the changes in environmental releases and resource use, TEAM multiplies the changes in economic activity by sector times the emission factors for each sector, location, and environmental release/resource use categories.

TEAM calculates environmental release/resource use and economic data for a combination of individual facilities and states, but presents the changes and impacts at the geographical level of states. This framework allows the model to draw on and preserve data available at a high level of detail, while also allowing aggregation to higher levels.

Model Evaluation
In preparation for the TEAM peer review, USEPA tasked Abt Associates to test the revised TEAM framework to verify that the model is working as designed and to explore how the model may help inform USEPA’s understanding of environmental impacts. To help in defining a test case, USEPA provided links to several analyses recently conducted by the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) on the environmental impacts of different climate change-related bills considered by Congress. The analyses focus specifically on the macroeconomic and GHG emissions impacts of measures included in the bills. Abt Associates used information provided for the most recent Analysis of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008 (Senate Bill S. 2191) to develop scenarios analyzed using TEAM.

Before the tests, Abt Associates had to translate emissions information based on the 35 sectors defined in OAQPS’ IGEM-35 model into the NAICS framework utilized by TEAM. When the tests were conducted, TEAM’s estimates of CO2 emissions were close to the IGEM baseline values for the near term scenario (2007-08). The greatest difference in emissions estimates occurred for the 2012 case. The differences likely reflected additional information within IGEM about ongoing change in energy intensity, fuel mix, and mix of economic activity that is not available in TEAM’s static economic and emissions structure baseline. On the other hand, TEAM also reports emissions and discharge changes for other environmental media, potentially important outputs that were not reported in the IGEM analysis. TEAM has not been compared to other models primarily because no other input/output model has been identified that draws together in one framework all of TEAM’s diverse, multi-media emissions databases. Carnegie Mellon University developed an input/output framework in the 1990s that utilizes economic and emissions data in a manner similar to TEAM, but that model is limited in the emissions output that it generates and in the geographic resolution of that output. Unlike TEAM, the versions of CMU Green Design Institute’s Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA) that are available online report emission results by total category of releases, such as total toxic releases to land, water, and air. EIO-LCA does not give information on the release of individual chemicals by air or water, nor does it weight the toxicity of chemical releases or provide information about releases both by NAICS code AND by every state of the United States.

The most recent EIO-LCA’s model update is to analyze GHG emissions and energy use by unit of economic activity. This version does provide a level of detail about GHG emissions that TEAM does not provide—namely, the EIO-LCA estimates GHG emissions at the 6-digit NAICS level, rather than the more aggregated 4-digit level utilized by TEAM. Several versions of the EIO-LCA model are available at: http://www.eiolca.netexit EPA

Key Limitations to Model Scope
TEAM is a static model that utilizes 2002 databases for its economic inputs and for most of its environmental data. As such, it cannot make emission estimates that reflect changes in environmental or production technologies. TEAM peer reviewers also noted that TEAM’s failure to report results at the 6-digit NAICS level is a shortcoming, because a large variation can occur within the CO2 emissions reported at the 2-digit and 4-digit level. One reviewer also noted that an advantage to reporting emissions at the 6-digit level for a trade agreement is that some products show up at the 6-digit level that will not show up at the 4-digit level.
Case Studies
TEAM has been used in several applications since its first version became available in 2004. Most recently, the U.S. government utilized the CO2 emission coefficients within TEAM to generate a report, “The Effects of H.R. 2454 on International Competitiveness and Emission Leakage in Energy-Intensive, Trade-Exposed Industries . This Dec. 2, 2009 report was written in response to a request from U.S. Senators Bayh, Specter, Stabenow, McCaskill and Brown. The report examines patterns of energy use, emissions, and trade across manufacturing sectors to identify vulnerable industries, assesses the potential impacts of proposed legislation on these industries, and estimates how key allowance allocation provisions moderate these impacts on costs, trade flows, and ultimately emission leakage. Baseline emission estimates for key industries were established in part by utilizing coefficients established in TEAM.

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