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Sharing the Cost of Global Warming

  • Etienne Billette de Villemeur
  • Justin Leroux

Due to meteorological factors, the distribution of the environmental damage due to climate change bears no relationship to that of global emissions. We argue in favor of offsetting this discrepancy, and propose a global insurance scheme to be financed according to countries' responsibility for climate change. Because GHG decay very slowly, we argue that the actual burden of global warming should be shared on the basis of cumulated emissions, rather than sharing the expected costs of actual emissions as in a Pigovian taxation scheme. We characterize new versions of two well-known cost-sharing schemes by adapting the responsibility theory of Bossert and Fleurbaey (1996) to a context with externalities. Du fait de phénomènes météorologiques, la répartition des dommages environnementaux est indépendante de celle des émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES). Nous explorons la possibilité de corriger cette inadéquation via un « fonds assuranciel global », financé en fonction de la responsabilité de chaque pays concernant les changements climatiques. Étant donné la très longue durée de vie de plusieurs GES dans l'atmosphère, nous avançons que les dommages observés doivent être partagés en fonction des émissions cumulées, plutôt que de partager les coûts futurs espérés des émissions actuelles, comme le ferait une taxe pigouvienne. Nous employons la théorie de la responsabilité de Bossert et Fleurbaey (1996), adaptée à un contexte avec externalités, pour caractériser de nouvelles versions de deux mécanismes de partage connus.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 113 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 758-783

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:113:y:2011:i:4:p:758-783
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  1. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2004. "Local autonomy and interregional equality," Memorandum 24/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Bossert, W., 1993. "Redistribution Mechanisms Based on Individual Characteristics," Working Papers 9307, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  3. Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1996. "Redistribution and compensation (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 343-355.
  4. Nicholas Stern, 2008. "The Economics of Climate Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 1-37, May.
  5. Leroux, Justin, 2004. "Strategy-proofness and efficiency are incompatible in production economies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 335-340, December.
  6. Thomson, William, 2003. "Axiomatic and game-theoretic analysis of bankruptcy and taxation problems: a survey," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 249-297, July.
  7. Norman Henderson & Ian Bateman, 1995. "Empirical and public choice evidence for hyperbolic social discount rates and the implications for intergenerational discounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(4), pages 413-423, June.
  8. Baumol, William J, 1972. "On Taxation and the Control of Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 307-22, June.
  9. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equality and responsibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 683-689, April.
  10. Leroux, Jistin, 2004. "Strategy-Proofness and Efficiency Are Incompatible in Production Economies," Working Papers 2004-07, Rice University, Department of Economics.
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