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Sharing global CO2 emission reductions among one billion high emitters.

ABSTRACT: We present a framework for allocating a global carbon reduction target among nations, in which the concept of "common but differentiated responsibilities" refers to the emissions of individuals instead of nations. We use the income distribution of a country to estimate how its fossil fuel CO(2) emissions are distributed among its citizens, from which we build up a global CO(2) distribution. We then propose a simple rule to derive a universal cap on global individual emissions and find corresponding limits on national aggregate emissions from this cap. All of the world's high CO(2)-emitting individuals are treated the same, regardless of where they live. Any future global emission goal (target and time frame) can be converted into national reduction targets, which are determined by "Business as Usual" projections of national carbon emissions and in-country income distributions. For example, reducing projected global emissions in 2030 by 13 GtCO(2) would require the engagement of 1.13 billion high emitters, roughly equally distributed in 4 regions: the U.S., the OECD minus the U.S., China, and the non-OECD minus China. We also modify our methodology to place a floor on emissions of the world's lowest CO(2) emitters and demonstrate that climate mitigation and alleviation of extreme poverty are largely decoupled.

SUBMITTER: Chakravarty S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2706272 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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