International Equity on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and World Levels: an integrated analysis through distributive welfare indices
Up until now, analyses of the international distribution of pollutant emissions have not paid sufficient attention to the implications that, in terms of social welfare, the combined evolution of the global world average entails. In this context, this paper proposes the use of environmental welfare indices, taken and adapted from the literature on social welfare and inequality, in order to make a comprehensive examination of the international equity factor and the mean factor in this field. The proposed methodology is implemented empirically in order to explore the evolution in distributive-based environmental welfare on a global level for the three main pollutants with greenhouse gas effects: CO2, CH4 and NO, both globally and for selected years during the period of 1990- 2005. The main results found are as follows: firstly, typically, the environmental welfare associated with the overall greenhouse gases decreased significantly over the period, due primarily to the role of CO2; secondly, in contrast, the global welfare associated with CH4 and NO improved; and thirdly, typically, the evolutions can be attributed to a greater extent to the mean component than to the distributive component, although there are exceptions. These results would seem to be relevant in policy terms. JEL codes: D39; Q43; Q56. Keywords: environmental welfare: greenhouse gases; environmental equity.
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