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International Equity on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and World Levels: an integrated analysis through distributive welfare indices

  • Duro Moreno, Juan Antonio
  • Teixidó Figueras, Jordi

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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Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/220758.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/220758
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  1. Padilla, Emilio & Serrano, Alfredo, 2006. "Inequality in CO2 emissions across countries and its relationship with income inequality: A distributive approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(14), pages 1762-1772, September.
  2. Alcantara, Vicent & Duro, Juan Antonio, 2004. "Inequality of energy intensities across OECD countries: a note," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1257-1260, July.
  3. Mark Heil & Quentin Wodon, 2000. "Future Inequality in CO2 Emissions and the Impact of Abatement Proposals," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(2), pages 163-181, October.
  4. Leonardo Gasparini & Walter Sosa Escudero, 2000. "Assessing Aggregate Welfare: Growth and Inequality in Argentina," Department of Economics, Working Papers 021, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  5. Ezcurra, Roberto, 2007. "Distribution dynamics of energy intensities: A cross-country analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 5254-5259, October.
  6. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  7. Hedenus, Fredrik & Azar, Christian, 2005. "Estimates of trends in global income and resource inequalities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 351-364, November.
  8. Duro, Juan Antonio & Padilla, Emilio, 2006. "International inequalities in per capita CO2 emissions: A decomposition methodology by Kaya factors," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 170-187, March.
  9. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
  10. White, Thomas J., 2007. "Sharing resources: The global distribution of the Ecological Footprint," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 402-410, December.
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