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“Decent Living” Emissions: A Conceptual Framework

Author

Listed:
  • Narasimha D. Rao

    () (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, A2361 Laxenburg, Austria)

  • Paul Baer

    () (School of Public Policy at Georgia Institute of Technology, D. M. Smith Building, 685 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA)

Abstract

There is very little elaboration in literature of the phrase “equitable access to sustainable development” that is referenced in the Cancun Agreement on climate change. We interpret this at a minimum as people’s right to a decent living standard, which gives rise to claims by countries to an exemption from mitigation for the energy and emissions needed to provide a decent life to all. We elaborate a conceptual framework for a comprehensive quantification of such an energy requirement, including the energy required to build out infrastructure to support these living standards. We interpret decent living as the consumption by households of a set of basic goods including adequate nutrition, shelter, health care, education, transport, refrigeration, television and mobile phones. We develop universal indicators for these activities and their infrastructure requirements, and specify a methodology to convert these to energy requirements using energy input-output analysis. Our main recommendations include estimating bottom-up, country-specific energy and emissions requirements, incorporating a minimum for methane emissions, and using international benchmarks at the sector level to encourage the reduction of countries’ energy and emissions intensity.

Suggested Citation

  • Narasimha D. Rao & Paul Baer, 2012. "“Decent Living” Emissions: A Conceptual Framework," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-26, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:656-681:d:17263
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth Reinert, 2011. "No Small Hope: The Basic Goods Imperative," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 69(1), pages 55-76.
    2. Lasse Ringius & Asbjørn Torvanger & Arild Underdal, 2002. "Burden Sharing and Fairness Principles in International Climate Policy," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, March.
    3. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:435-450 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Spash, Clive L. & Theine, Hendrik, 2016. "Voluntary Individual Carbon Trading," SRE-Discussion Papers 5206, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
      • Clive L. Spash & Hendrik Theine, 2016. "Voluntary Individual Carbon Trading," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2016_04, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:43-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rao, Narasimha D., 2013. "Does (better) electricity supply increase household enterprise income in India?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 532-541.
    5. Fabian Schuppert & Christian Seidel, 2015. "Equality, justice and feasibility: an ethical analysis of the WBGU’s budget approach," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 397-406, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; equity; energy; sustainable development; human rights; basic needs;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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