Safe vs. Fair: A Formidable Trade-off in Tackling Climate Change
Global warming requires a response characterized by forward-looking management of atmospheric carbon and respect for ethical principles. Both safety and fairness must be pursued, and there are severe trade-offs as these are intertwined by the limited headroom for additional atmospheric CO 2 emissions. This paper provides a simple numerical mapping at the aggregated level of developed vs . developing countries in which safety and fairness are formulated in terms of cumulative emissions and cumulative per capita emissions respectively. It becomes evident that safety and fairness cannot be achieved simultaneously for strict definitions of both. The paper further posits potential global trading in future cumulative emissions budgets in a world where financial transactions compensate for physical emissions: the safe vs . fair tradeoff is less severe but remains formidable. Finally, we explore very large deployment of engineered carbon sinks and show that roughly 1,000 Gt CO 2 of cumulative negative emissions over the century are required to have a significant effect, a remarkable scale of deployment. We also identify the unexplored issue of how such sinks might be treated in sub-global carbon accounting.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- van Vuuren, Detlef P. & van Vliet, Jasper & Stehfest, Elke, 2009. "Future bio-energy potential under various natural constraints," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4220-4230, November.
- Andreas Oberheitmann, 2010. "A new post-Kyoto climate regime based on per-capita cumulative CO 2 -emission rights—rationale, architecture and quantitative assessment of the implication for the CO 2 -emissions from China, India an," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 137-168, February.
- Neumayer, Eric, 2000. "In defence of historical accountability for greenhouse gas emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 185-192, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:210-226:d:15971. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.