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A Kantian approach to sustainable development indicators for climate change

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  • Mads Greaker
  • Per Espen Stoknes
  • Knut H. Alfsen
  • Torgeir Ericson

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

Agenda 21 required countries to develop and regularly update a national set of indicators for sustainable development. Several countries now have such sets also including separate indicators for climate change. Some of these indicators typically report global concentration of green house gases in the atmosphere or time series for global temperatures. While such indicators may give the public information about the state of the global climate, they do not provide a benchmark which makes it possible for the public to evaluate the climate policy of their government. With Kantian ethics as our point of departure, we propose a benchmark for national climate policy. The benchmark is that each nation state should act as if a global treaty on climate change were in place. This would require each nation state to carry out all green house gas mitigation projects below a certain cost. Furthermore, it would require each nation to keep their national green house gas emissions including acquisitions of emission permits from other countries within a certain limit. Both measures are relatively easy to track and can thus serve as indicators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 718.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:718

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Keywords: Sustainable development indicators; Climate Policy; Climate Agreements;

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  1. World Commission on Environment and Development,, 1987. "Our Common Future," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780192820808, October.
  2. Knut Einar Rosendahl & Jon Strand, 2009. "Carbon leakage from the clean development mechanism," Discussion Papers, Research Department of Statistics Norway 591, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. Alfsen, Knut H. & Greaker, Mads, 2007. "From natural resources and environmental accounting to construction of indicators for sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 600-610, March.
  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Bursztyn, Leonardo & Hemous, David, 2010. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," Seminar Papers, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies 762, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Irene Van Staveren, 2007. "Beyond Utilitarianism and Deontology: Ethics in Economics," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 21-35.
  6. Kenneth J. Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence H. Goulder & Kevin J. Mumford & Kirsten Oleson, 2010. "Sustainability and the Measurement of Wealth," NBER Working Papers 16599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Esty, Daniel C. & Porter, Michael E., 2005. "National environmental performance: an empirical analysis of policy results and determinants," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 391-434, August.
  8. n/a, 2010. "Sustainability and the Measurement of Wealth," NIESR Discussion Papers, National Institute of Economic and Social Research 2856, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  9. Knut Alfsen & Hans Sæbø, 1993. "Environmental quality indicators: Background, principles and examples from Norway," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(5), pages 415-435, October.
  10. Esty, Daniel C. & Porter, Michael E., 2005. "National environmental performance: an empirical analysis of policy results and determinants," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 381-389, August.
  11. Vaillancourt, Kathleen & Waaub, Jean-Philippe, 2004. "Equity in international greenhouse gases abatement scenarios: A multicriteria approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 489-505, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicholas Stern, 2013. "EEthics, Equity and the Economics of Climate Change. Paper 1: Science and Philosophy," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment 84a, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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