Sustainability in the Presence of Global Warming: Theory and Empirics
AbstractMankind must cooperate to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperature, with its concomitant effects on sea level, rainfall, drought, storms, agricultural production, and human migration. What is the appropriate way of evaluating how the costs of reducing GHG emissions should be shared across the present and future generations, and within the next few generations, across regions of the world? How should the intergenerational and inter-regional resource allocation be regulated? These are normative questions: their answers depend upon the theory of distributive justice held. We argue, with respect to the intergenerational question, for a theory of justice that is motivated by the concept of sustainability. With respect to the inter-regional issue, we do not take a fundamentally normative approach, but rather a political approach, where we propose what we believe is a politically acceptable solution to the bargaining problem that is at present taking place between major national actors (think: the US and China) concerning the reductions in GHGs that should be implemented. One reason for the difference in our approaches to these two problems is that future generations cannot bargain with us, and so we should take an ethical posture towards them. Major nations of the world, however, are actively engaged in arguing and bargaining over the second problem, and our role with respect to these negotiations is to behave like an arbitrator and propose what (we believe) is a mutually acceptable solution.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its series Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) with number HDRP-2011-05.
Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as background research for the 2011 Human Development Report.
Convergence; CO2 emissions; North-South; Climate Change; Sustainability; Growth;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D90 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice and Growth - - - General
- O40 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
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- Valentina Bosetti & Jeffrey Frankel, 2011.
"Sustainable Cooperation in Global Climate Policy: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets to Build on Copenhagen and Cancun,"
2011.66, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Valentina Bosetti & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2011. "Sustainable Cooperation in Global Climate Policy: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets to Build on Copenhagen and Cancun," NBER Working Papers 17669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2012. "Should we sustain? And if so, sustain what? Consumption or the quality of life?," Working Papers 1222, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Bosetti, Valentina & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2012. "Sustainable Cooperation in Global Climate Policy: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets," Working Paper Series rwp12-012, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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