The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development
Edited by Carlo Carraro and Vito Fragnelli
Chapter 2: Can Equity Enhance Efficiency? Some Lessons from Climate Negotiations
2. Can equity enhance eﬃciency? Some lessons from climate negotiations Francesco Bosello, Barbara Buchner, Carlo Carraro and Davide Raggi 1. INTRODUCTION In the last decades, the importance of international and global environmental problems, such as acid rain, the depletion of the ozone layer and the greenhouse eﬀect, has increased continually. In the absence of a supranational authority which enforces environmental policies and regulations, emission reductions can only be achieved via voluntary initiatives and international cooperation. Given the global nature of the above environmental problems, an eﬀective international agreement which implements these emission reductions has to involve as many countries as possible, or at least a number of countries which account for a large share of total emissions. This is particularly true for global warming whose eﬀects and the mitigation policies subsequently required are pushed to an unprecedented spatial and time scale. Unfortunately, broad participation is diﬃcult to achieve (Carraro and Siniscalco, 1993). Given that emission control is costly and a ‘clean’ atmosphere is a public good, countries hardly have incentives to sign an agreement on greenhouse gases (GHG) emission control (the well known free-riding problem). Moreover, structural diﬀerences among countries (polluters most often do not suﬀer the highest damages) imply the diﬃculty of sharing the burden of emission reductions in a way that makes it convenient for most countries to sign the agreement (in some countries, abatement costs may not be smaller than the beneﬁts from avoided damages). These considerations lead...
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