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Equity, International Trade and Climate Policy

  • Claudia Kemfert
  • Richard S.J. Tol

    ()

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

The literature of welfare-maximising greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies pays remarkably little attention to equity. This paper introduces various ways to consider efficiency and equity simultaneously. Lower (higher) discount rates lead to higher (lower) emission reduction. Higher (lower) inequity aversion leads to higher (lower) emission abatement, unless one also considers the negative effects of OECD emission reduction on the exports of developing countries; in that case, the effect of inequity aversion is ambiguous. In the absence of international cooperation, higher (lower) risk aversion leads to lower (higher) emission abatement. With international cooperation, the effect of risk aversion is ambiguous because of the higher risk aversion gives more weight to poorer regions and poorer generations. We analyse four ways to introduce compassion in a noncooperative setting. If observed development aid is a guide, international altruism is small and has little impact on optimal emission control. If countries act as if they ‘feel’ but not ‘physically experience’ the climate impact of the most vulnerable country, optimal emission reduction increases, but not substantially so. However, if countries actually have to pay for the damage done, they would prefer to reduce their emissions to much lower levels. Finally, if countries pay as much to emission reduction as other countries suffer from climate change, (that is, if climate policy restores the income distribution to what it would have been without climate change), emissions are rapidly cut to very low levels.

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File URL: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/working-papers/EQUITYtrade.pdf
File Function: First version, 2001
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Paper provided by Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University in its series Working Papers with number FNU-5.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2001
Date of revision: Jan 2001
Publication status: Published, International Environmental Agreements, 2, 23-48
Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:5
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  1. Adam Rose & Brandt Stevens & Jae Edmonds & Marshall Wise, 1998. "International Equity and Differentiation in Global Warming Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 25-51, July.
  2. Farrow, Scott, 1998. "Environmental equity and sustainability: rejecting the Kaldor-Hicks criteria," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 183-188, November.
  3. Nordhaus, William D, 1991. "To Slow or Not to Slow: The Economics of the Greenhouse Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 920-37, July.
  4. Samuel Fankhauser & Richard Tol & DAVID Pearce, 1997. "The Aggregation of Climate Change Damages: a Welfare Theoretic Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 249-266, October.
  5. Tol, Richard S. J., 2001. "Equitable cost-benefit analysis of climate change policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 71-85, January.
  6. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
  7. William D. Nordhaus, 1992. "Rolling the 'Dice': An Optimal Transition Path for Controlling Greenhouse Gases," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1019, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Manne, Alan & Mendelsohn, Robert & Richels, Richard, 1995. "MERGE : A model for evaluating regional and global effects of GHG reduction policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 17-34, January.
  9. Richard Tol, 1999. "Spatial and Temporal Efficiency in Climate Policy: Applications of FUND," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 33-49, July.
  10. Maddison, David, 1995. "A cost-benefit analysis of slowing climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 337-346.
  11. Tol, Richard S. J., 1996. "The damage costs of climate change towards a dynamic representation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 67-90, October.
  12. Rose, Adam & Stevens, Brandt, 1993. "The efficiency and equity of marketable permits for CO2 emissions," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 117-146, March.
  13. Schelling, Thomas C, 1995. "Intergenerational discounting," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 395-401.
  14. Ridgley, Mark A, 1996. "Fair sharing of greenhouse gas burdens," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 517-529, June.
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