Climate Equity

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Fossil fuel production in a 2°C world: The equity implications of a diminishing carbon budget

SEI discussion brief

Author(s): Kartha, S. ; Lazarus, M. ; Tempest, K.
Date: September 2016

Research Area(s): Climate Equity ; Climate Mitigation Policy

This discussion brief examines the equity implications of constraining future fossil fuel production as part of efforts to limit the global surface temperature increase to 2°C. The brief begins with a short overview of the scientific and political context of fossil supply issues, before delving into the two broad equity perspectives. It then presents some quantitative insights into the financial implications (expressed in terms of rents) of historical fossil fuel extraction, and the anticipated financial consequences of constraining extraction. It also quickly reviews some explanations for the lack of deeper examination of these equity related issues in the scholarly literature and policy discourse. The closing section provides some final comments and directions for future research.
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The Three Salient Global Mitigation Pathways Assessed in Light of the IPCC Carbon Budgets

SEI discussion brief, co-authored with EcoEquity

Author(s): Baer, P. ; Kartha, S. ; Athanasiou, T.
Date: November 2013

Research Area(s): Climate Equity

This briefing paper examines the levels of risk associated with three widely discussed global mitigation pathways: a 1.5°C marker pathway, a 2°C marker pathway, and a G8 marker pathway, in light of the latest IPCC report. These pathways or very similar ones them figure in a very large number of analyses and policy debates, as they correspond to three extremely important socio-political storylines. The authors assesses the three pathways in the light of Working Group I's recently released contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, which provides three specific global carbon dioxide (CO2) budgets, and associates them with specific risks of a global surface temperature increase of more than 2°C by the end of this century, relative to the 1850-1900 average.
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Modeling Pessimism: Does Climate Stabilization Require a Failure of Development?

Environmental Development, in press, available online 31 May 2012

Author(s): Stanton, E.A.
Date: May 2012

Research Area(s): Climate Economics ; Climate Equity

Climate-economics models often assume that middle-income countries' per capita incomes will catch up with those of today’s high income countries, while low-income countries will lag behind. This article reviews current practices in modeling income growth in integrated assessment models of climate and economy; provides an empirical illustration of the impact that more optimistic economic development expectations would have on emissions mitigation targets; discusses the kinds of policies necessary to adequately reduce emissions per dollar of economic output in a scenario of robust economic development for the poorest countries; and concludes with recommendations for integrated assessment modelers.
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Development without Carbon as Climate Policy

E3 Network working paper

Author(s): Stanton, E.A.
Date: January 2012

Research Area(s): Climate Economics ; Climate Equity

Climate-economics models' projections of slow economic growth in the developing world create the expectation that the poorest countries will use up a relatively small share of the global 21st century emissions budget, leaving more "emissions space" for high- and middle-income countries. Making poverty reduction a central goal of climate policy, however, would require considering scenarios in which incomes converged around the world. This article reviews recent literature connecting climate, poverty and energy; establishes equity's critical role in climate policy; demonstrates the importance of economic growth assumptions in climate modeling; and concludes with several policy recommendations for climate-economics modeling.

Note: This paper draws on material from the report Development Without Carbon: Climate and the Global Economy through the 21st Century.
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Development without Carbon: Climate and the Global Economy through the 21st Century

SEI Report

Author(s): Stanton, E.A.
Date: November 2011

Research Area(s): Climate Economics ; Climate Equity

Economic development and the eradication of energy poverty are increasingly seen as key components in a comprehensive strategy to prevent dangerous climate change, along with emission reductions and adaptation measures. But most climate economics models used to guide policymakers assume very little economic growth in the poorest countries. This report reviews the literature regarding the connection between energy, poverty, and emissions mitigation; sets out principles for an equitable climate policy; and explores three scenarios for future economic growth and emissions. It also includes a case study showing the impact of these three scenarios on Latin America and the Caribbean.
This report is part of a package that also includes Energy-Water-Climate Planning for Development without Carbon in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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