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Cross-country polarisation in CO2 emissions per capita in the European Union: changes and explanatory factors

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  • Juan Antonio Duro

    () (Department of Economics and CREIP, Univ. Rovira i Virgili)

  • Emilio Padilla

    () (Department of Applied Economics, Univ. Autónoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

In this study, we analyse the degree of polarisation—a concept fundamentally different from that of inequality—in the international distribution of CO2 emissions per capita in the European Union. It is analytically relevant to examine the degree of instability inherent to a distribution and, in the analysed case, the likelihood that the distribution and its evolution will increase or decrease the chances of reaching an agreement. Two approaches were used to measure polarisation: the endogenous approach, in which countries are grouped according to their similarity in terms of emissions, and the exogenous approach, in which countries are grouped geographically. Our findings indicate a clear decrease in polarisation since the mid-1990s, which can essentially be explained by the fact that the different groups of countries have converged (i.e. antagonism among the CO2 emitters has decreased) as the contribution of energy intensity to between-group differences has decreased. This lower degree of polarisation in CO2 distribution suggests a situation more conducive to the possibility of reaching EU-wide agreements on the mitigation of CO2 emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Antonio Duro & Emilio Padilla, 2011. "Cross-country polarisation in CO2 emissions per capita in the European Union: changes and explanatory factors," Working Papers wpdea1106, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  • Handle: RePEc:uab:wprdea:wpdea1106
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:rensus:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:9-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Juana Castillo & Mercedes Beltrán-Esteve, 2013. "A dynamic approach to measuring ecological-economic performance with directional distance functions: greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union," Working Papers 1304, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    3. Teixidó-Figueras, J. & Duro, J.A., 2014. "Spatial Polarization of the Ecological Footprint Distribution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 93-106.
    4. Padilla, Emilio & Duro, Juan Antonio, 2013. "Explanatory factors of CO2 per capita emission inequality in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1320-1328.
    5. Battisti, Michele & Delgado, Michael S. & Parmeter, Christopher F., 2015. "Evolution of the global distribution of carbon dioxide: A finite mixture analysis," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 31-52.
    6. Adolfo Maza & José Villaverde & María Hierro, 2015. "Non- $$\hbox {CO}_2$$ CO 2 Generating Energy Shares in the World: Cross-Country Differences and Polarization," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(3), pages 319-343, July.

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    Keywords

    CO2 emissions; distribution of emissions; European Union; mitigation agreements; polarisation.;

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