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Decomposing Inequality in CO2 Emissions: the Role of Primary Energy Carriers and Economic Sectors

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  • Grunewald, Nicole
  • Jakob, Michael
  • Mouratiadou, Ioanna

Abstract

Emission inequality across countries and the contribution of the energy mix and the sectoral composition of a country s energy use are of central importance to the climate debate. We analyze the evolution of inequality in global CO2 per capita emissions using both historical data on energy-related CO2 emissions and future emission scenarios generated with the integrated assessment model REMIND. Within our sample of 90 countries the results indicate that the Gini index declined from about 0.6 in 1971 to slightly above 0.4 in 2008. A decomposition of the Gini index of total emissions into primary energy carriers and into economic sectors provides additional insights. From the perspective of primary energy carriers, it is indicated that this reduction is mainly attributed to declining shares of emissions from coal/peat and oil in total emissions, and decreasing emission inequality within all fossil primary energy sources. From the perspective of economic sectors, the decline in overall inequality is almost entirely due to a pronounced decline of the contribution of emissions from manufacturing & construction. Our analysis also suggests that an equally spread emission reduction from any one source (i.e. primary energy carrier or economic sector) would not have a major impact on overall emission inequality. The analysis of future scenario data indicates that climate policy reduces absolute emissions inequality, while inducing drastic progressive emission reductions in all regions

Suggested Citation

  • Grunewald, Nicole & Jakob, Michael & Mouratiadou, Ioanna, 2013. "Decomposing Inequality in CO2 Emissions: the Role of Primary Energy Carriers and Economic Sectors," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79779, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79779
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:698-710 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Caspar Sauter & Jean-Marie Grether & Nicole A. Mathys, 2015. "Geographical Spread of Global Emissions: Within-country Inequalities Are Increasing," IRENE Working Papers 15-01, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    3. repec:spr:nathaz:v:86:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11069-017-2747-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Xu, Xinkuo & Han, Liyan & Lv, Xiaofeng, 2016. "Household carbon inequality in urban China, its sources and determinants," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 77-86.
    5. Wang, Shaojian & Fang, Chuanglin & Wang, Yang, 2016. "Spatiotemporal variations of energy-related CO2 emissions in China and its influencing factors: An empirical analysis based on provincial panel data," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 505-515.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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