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Unit 4 Macro: Planet Friendly Economic Growth Rates

Thursday, June 06, 2013
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A new analysis of the allocation of carbon emissions between developed and emerging economies

The developed countries must accept an annual growth rate of approximately 1.2% over the next 75 years to stabilise the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide at 450 parts per million (ppm). Likewise, growth rates in developing countries will need to be scaled back from what expectations might have been: an average of 2.9% per year.

These are the conclusions of research by Professor John Roemer and colleagues, presented at the TIGER Forum 2013 in Toulouse. 

With the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere having just been recorded at 400ppm, their study examines how the global carbon budget should be allocated to regions of the world over the next century to stop the concentration rising beyond 450 ppm.

The researchers hope that what they propose is a politically realistic solution to the problem given reasonable expectations of convergence of developing countries to the living standards of developed countries. In the absence of this understanding, they see no
acceptable resolution to global climate negotiations.

To simplify the analysis, the study divides the world into two regions: a global South, with the population of the (current) developing countries; and a global North, with the population of the developed countries. These regions are postulated to grow at UN-estimated rates over the next 50 years. Again for simplicity, they assume that the South has the economic characteristics of China, and the North, those of the United States.

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