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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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6115.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6115
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Franck Lecocq & Jean-Charles Hourcade, 2012. "Unspoken ethical issues in the climate affair: Insights from a theoretical analysis of negotiation mandates," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 445-471, February.
  5. 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.
  6. David Campbell & Matthias Klaes, 2011. "Copenhagen, Cancún And The Limits Of Global Welfare Economics," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 10-16, 06.
  7. 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.
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