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Equity in Climate Change: An Analytical Review


  • Mattoo, Aaditya
  • Subramanian, Arvind


This paper presents an analytical framework to encompass contributions to the literature on equity in climate change, and highlights the consequences—in terms of future emissions allocations—of different approaches to equity. These include: progressive cuts relative to historic levels; equal per capita emissions, historic responsibility, and ability to pay; and preserving future development opportunities. We show that because climate change goals dictate a stringent global carbon budget, each of the approaches to equity necessarily imposes large costs on at least some groups of countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Mattoo, Aaditya & Subramanian, Arvind, 2012. "Equity in Climate Change: An Analytical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1083-1097.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:6:p:1083-1097
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.11.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Barrett, Scott & Toman, Michael, 2010. "Contrasting future paths for an evolving global climate regime," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5164, The World Bank.
    6. Mattoo, Aaditya & Subramanian, Arvind, 2012. "Equity in Climate Change: An Analytical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1083-1097.
    7. Asbjørn Torvanger & Odd Godal, 2004. "An Evaluation of Pre-Kyoto Differentiation Proposals for National Greenhouse Gas Abatement Targets," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 65-91, March.
    8. Blackman, Allen & Ávalos-Sartorio, Beatriz & Chow, Jeffrey, 2008. "Land Cover Change in Mixed Agroforestry: Shade Coffee in El Salvador," Discussion Papers dp-08-25-efd, Resources For the Future.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schleich, Joachim & Dütschke, Elisabeth & Schwirplies, Claudia & Ziegler, Andreas, 2014. "Citizens' perceptions of justice in international climate policy: Empirical insights from China, Germany and the US," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S2/2014, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    2. Brännlund, Runar & Lundgren, Tommy & Söderholm, Patrik, 2015. "Convergence of carbon dioxide performance across Swedish industrial sectors: An environmental index approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 227-235.
    3. Münnich Vass, Miriam & Elofsson, Katarina & Gren, Ing-Marie, 2013. "An equity assessment of introducing uncertain forest carbon sequestration in EU climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1432-1442.
    4. Mattoo, Aaditya & Subramanian, Arvind, 2012. "Equity in Climate Change: An Analytical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1083-1097.
    5. Marian Leimbach & Niklas Roming & Gregor Schwerhoff & Anselm Schultes, 2016. "Development perspectives of Sub-Saharan Africa under climate policies," EcoMod2016 9336, EcoMod.
    6. Caspar Sauter & Jean-Marie Grether & Nicole A. Mathys, 2015. "Back to 1820? Spatial distribution of GDP and CO2 Emissions," IRENE Working Papers 15-05, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Azadeh Tavakoli & Majid Shafie-Pour & Khosro Ashrafi & Ghahreman Abdoli, 2016. "Options for sustainable development planning based on “GHGs emissions reduction allocation (GERA)” from a national perspective," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 19-35, February.
    8. Antimiani, Alessandro & Costantini, Valeria & Paglialunga, Elena, 2015. "The sensitivity of climate-economy CGE models to energy-related elasticity parameters: Implications for climate policy design," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 38-52.
    9. Sauter, Caspar & Grether, Jean-Marie & Mathys, Nicole A., 2016. "Geographical spread of global emissions: Within-country inequalities are large and increasing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 138-149.
    10. Markandya, A. & Antimiani, A. & Costantini, V. & Martini, C. & Palma, A. & Tommasino, M.C., 2015. "Analyzing Trade-offs in International Climate Policy Options: The Case of the Green Climate Fund," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 93-107.


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