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The equitable allocation of greenhouse gases

Title:

The equitable allocation of greenhouse gases

Horen Greenford, Daniel Stephen (2016) The equitable allocation of greenhouse gases. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

National Emissions Inventories (NEI) use Production-Based Accounting (PBA), which include only emissions generated within a nation's territory. Thus, there are presently no considerations of indirect emissions linked to imported products in national accounts of greenhouse gas emissions. International trade has undermined climate policy to date — as much as 30% of global emissions are linked to production for export and are therefore not subject to mitigation policy. Furthermore, conventions are often mistakenly conflated with responsibility for climate change. This research proposes a weighting metric rooted in normative ethics to allocate Emissions Embodied in Trade (EET) between trading partners — Equity Weighted-Based Accounting (EWBA). Additionally, this study quantifies subsistence and luxury emissions. The metric is constructed to weigh EET inversely to how vital a given trade is for each country taking part. Need to engage in trade is quantified using use-value for money and products exchanged in a given trade, derived from the relation between human welfare and income and its mapping onto products purchased. New NEIs are then computed and compared with those by PBA and CBA. It is found that EWBA emissions suggest higher abatement responsibility than PBA emissions for most affluent countries, though usually less than if EET were divided equally between producers and consumers. EWBA provides a policy-ready alternative to PBA that is arguably fairer than CBA. If adopted as the convention in international climate policy, NEIs computed using EWBA would better reflect responsibility for climate change and emissions abatement, yielding more equitable and effective climate policy.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Horen Greenford, Daniel Stephen
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:19 September 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Matthews, H. Damon
Keywords:climate policy, emissions accounting, input-output, consumption-based accounting, climate justice, use-value, climate change, equity, burden sharing, welfare economics, subsistence emissions
ID Code:981942
Deposited By: Daniel Stephen Horen Greenford
Deposited On:08 Nov 2016 19:25
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54
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References:

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