IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic implications of moving toward global convergence on emission intensities


  • Timilsina, Govinda R.


One key contentious issue in climate change negotiations is the huge difference in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita between more advanced industrialized countries and other nations. This paper analyzes the costs of reducing this gap. Simulations using a global computable general equilibrium model show that the average the carbon dioxide intensity of advanced industrialized countries would remainalmost twice as high as the average for other countries in 2030, even if the former group adopted a heavy uniform carbon tax of $250/tCO2 that reduced their emissions by 57 percent from the baseline. Global emissions would fall only 18 percent, due to an increase in emissions in the other countries. This reduction may not be adequate to move toward 2050 emission levels that avoid dangerous climate change. The tax would reduce Annex I countries'gross domestic product by 2.4 percent, and global trade volume by 2 percent. The economic costs of the tax vary significantly across countries, with heavier burdens on fossil fuel intensive economies such as Russia, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Timilsina, Govinda R., 2012. "Economic implications of moving toward global convergence on emission intensities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6115, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6115

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Franck Lecocq & Jean-Charles Hourcade, 2012. "Unspoken ethical issues in the climate affair: Insights from a theoretical analysis of negotiation mandates," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 445-471, February.
    2. Tol, Richard S.J., 2005. "Emission abatement versus development as strategies to reduce vulnerability to climate change: an application of FUND," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(05), pages 615-629, October.
    3. Rong, Fang, 2010. "Understanding developing country stances on post-2012 climate change negotiations: Comparative analysis of Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4582-4591, August.
    4. David Campbell & Matthias Klaes, 2011. "Copenhagen, Cancún And The Limits Of Global Welfare Economics," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 10-16, June.
    5. Timilsina, Govinda R., 2008. "Atmospheric stabilization of CO2 emissions: Near-term reductions and absolute versus intensity-based targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1927-1936, June.
    6. Timilsina, Govinda R. & Csordás, Stefan & Mevel, Simon, 2011. "When does a carbon tax on fossil fuels stimulate biofuels?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2400-2415.
    7. Michel den Elzen & Malte Meinshausen, 2006. "Meeting the EU 2°C climate target: global and regional emission implications," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(5), pages 545-564, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lu, Shibao & Wang, Jianhua & Shang, Yizi & Bao, Haijun & Chen, Huixiong, 2017. "Potential assessment of optimizing energy structure in the city of carbon intensity target," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 194(C), pages 765-773.

    More about this item


    Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Environment and Energy Efficiency; Climate Change Economics; Energy and Environment; Carbon Policy and Trading;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6115. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.