Determining an equitable allocation of global carbon dioxide emissions

Susan G. Spierre, Thomas Seager, Evan Selinger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Finding an equitable mitigation policy to combat global climate change is a major problem facing society today. Successful mitigation of climate change will require a decrease in global CO2 emissions and economic costs associated with reduced production of consumer goods. A critical consideration is the existence of an uneven distribution of benefits and damages associated with climate change, stressing the need for an equitable way to reduce CO 2 emissions. Literature in philosophy provides an outline of carbon allocation methods that advocate the use of ethical and moral reasoning behind international climate policy. However, evidence from recent economic and behavioral studies may be developed into a more equitable method of allocation by taking a capabilities approach, rather than consumption- or income-based measures of human welfare. Using the Human Development Index as a proxy for human welfare and a climate damage function representing the cost of lost ecosystem services, we determine a more equitable global allocation of CO 2 emissions. The implication is that developed countries that emit more CO2, may be able to reduce their consumption without necessarily reducing their quality of life. Also, less developed nations, that emit less, have an incentive to focus development efforts on improving the lives of its citizens, rather than increasing consumption of material goods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2010
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 5 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2010 - Arlington, VA, United States
Duration: May 17 2010May 19 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2010

Other

Other2010 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2010
CountryUnited States
CityArlington, VA
Period5/17/105/19/10

Keywords

  • Capabilities approach
  • Carbon allocation
  • Climate change ethics
  • Moral philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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    Spierre, S. G., Seager, T., & Selinger, E. (2010). Determining an equitable allocation of global carbon dioxide emissions. In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2010 [5507704] (Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2010). https://doi.org/10.1109/ISSST.2010.5507704