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Responsibility accounting in carbon allocation: A global perspective


  • Wei, Yi-Ming
  • Wang, Lu
  • Liao, Hua
  • Wang, Ke
  • Murty, Tad
  • Yan, Jinyue


Regarding the carbon emissions allocation principles, whether historical responsibility can be and how to be incorporated into the global climate framework is still under heated discussions. Here we argue that the permits share of most developed countries will sharply shrink when historical responsibilities are taken in through our assessment and comparison of six selected allocation proposals. To find a more convincing way of responsibility shift, we modify the existing method by giving each participant an independent year, decided by comparing its economic development with reference to China, as the start point to calculate its own responsibilities quantified by the historical cumulative emissions. Then we obtain carbon emission accounts of 137 countries and regions on the basis of per-capita cumulative emissions. Compared with the conventional method, there is an average 2.5% increase in emission deficits of the U.S.A, Canada and Japan, however, a 50% decline in emission deficits of OECD Europe; emission revenues of China, India and Brazil decrease by 39%. This paper presents a systematic and quantitative method to achieve a common but differentiated responsibility shift, not only between developed and developing countries but also within industrialized countries, in the hope of providing the framework for rational allocation of carbon emissions to be deliberated in the forthcoming climate change program of the United Nations.

Suggested Citation

  • Wei, Yi-Ming & Wang, Lu & Liao, Hua & Wang, Ke & Murty, Tad & Yan, Jinyue, 2014. "Responsibility accounting in carbon allocation: A global perspective," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 122-133.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:130:y:2014:i:c:p:122-133
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.05.025

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang Lu & Hao Yu & Wei Yi-Ming, 2017. "How Do Regional Interactions in Space Affect China’s Mitigation Targets and Economic Development?," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation and Transformation Pathways 257876, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    2. repec:eee:appene:v:204:y:2017:i:c:p:607-619 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zhou, P. & Wang, M., 2016. "Carbon dioxide emissions allocation: A review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 47-59.
    4. repec:eee:rensus:v:109:y:2019:i:c:p:438-447 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:11:p:2122-:d:119248 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:552-:d:94959 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:63:y:2018:i:02:n:s0217590817400124 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Yu-Jie Hu & Rong Han & Bao-Jun Tang, 2017. "Research on the initial allocation of carbon emission quotas: evidence from China," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 85(2), pages 1189-1208, January.
    9. repec:eee:appene:v:205:y:2017:i:c:p:57-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Xuankai Deng & Yanhua Yu & Yanfang Liu, 2015. "Temporal and Spatial Variations in Provincial CO 2 Emissions in China from 2005 to 2015 and Assessment of a Reduction Plan," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(5), pages 1-23, May.
    11. Meriem Hamdi-Cherif & Henri Waisman, 2016. "Global carbon pricing and the “Common But Differentiated Responsibilities”: the case of China," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 671-689, October.
    12. repec:eee:enepol:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:298-309 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Li, Huanan & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2015. "Is it possible for China to reduce its total CO2 emissions?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 438-446.
    14. Shi, Kaifang & Chen, Yun & Yu, Bailang & Xu, Tingbao & Chen, Zuoqi & Liu, Rui & Li, Linyi & Wu, Jianping, 2016. "Modeling spatiotemporal CO2 (carbon dioxide) emission dynamics in China from DMSP-OLS nighttime stable light data using panel data analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 523-533.
    15. Zhou, Kaile & Yang, Shanlin & Shao, Zhen, 2016. "Energy Internet: The business perspective," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 212-222.
    16. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:3:p:914-:d:204848 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:spr:nathaz:v:95:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11069-018-3408-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:spr:nathaz:v:92:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11069-018-3297-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Jayaraman, Raja & Colapinto, Cinzia & La Torre, Davide & Malik, Tufail, 2017. "A Weighted Goal Programming model for planning sustainable development applied to Gulf Cooperation Council Countries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 185(P2), pages 1931-1939.


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