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North-South Convergence and the Allocation of CO2 Emissions

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Abstract

Mankind must cooperate to reduce GHG emissions to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperature. How can the necessary costs of reducing GHG emissions be allocated across regions of the world, within the next few generations, and simultaneously address growth expectations and economic development? We postulate a two-region world and, based on sustainability and egalitarian criteria, calculate optimal paths in which a South, like China, and a North, like the United States, converge in welfare per capita to a path of sustained growth of 1% per year by 2080, while global CO2 emissions are restricted to the Representative Concentration Pathway RCP3-PD scenario: a conservative path that leads to the stabilization of concentrations under 450 ppm CO2, providing an expected temperature change not exceeding 2C. Growth expectations in the North and the South must be scaled back substantially, not only after 2080, but also in the transition period. Global negotiations to restrict emissions to an acceptably low level cannot succeed absent such an understanding. Feasible growth paths with low levels of emissions require heavy investments in education and knowledge. Northern and Southern growth must be restricted to 1% and 2.8% per year, respectively, over the next 75 years. Politicians who wish to solve the global-warming problem must prepare their polities to accept this reality.

Suggested Citation

  • Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2013. "North-South Convergence and the Allocation of CO2 Emissions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1932, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1932
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    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d19/d1932.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Llavador, Humberto & Roemer, John E. & Silvestre, Joaquim, 2011. "“A dynamic analysis of human welfare in a warming planet”," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1607-1620.
    2. Yan Wang & Yudong Yao, 2001. "Sources of China's economic growth, 1952-99 : incorporating human capital accumulation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2650, The World Bank.
    3. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-570, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leszek Kąsek & Olga Kiuila & Krzysztof Wójtowicz & Tomasz Żylicz, 2012. "Economic effects of differentiated climate action," Working Papers 2012-12, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    2. Olga Kiuila, 2013. "Regional economic effects of differentiated climate action," ERSA conference papers ersa13p334, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Sustainability; North-South convergence; International negotiations;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • 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

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