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Gail Cohen, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Ricardo Marto, and Gewei Wang
We provide a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and GDP in China using both aggregate and provincial data. The Kuznets elasticity is about 0.6 for China, higher than that in advanced countries but below that of major emerging markets. The elasticity is somewhat lower for consumption-based emissions than for production-based emissions, providing mild evidence consistent with the “pollution haven” hypothesis. The Kuznets elasticity is much lower for the last three decades than for the three previous decades, suggesting a longer-term trend toward decoupling as China has become richer. Further evidence of this comes from provincial data: richer provinces tend to have smaller Kuznets elasticities than poorer ones. In addition to the trend relationship, we find that the Environmental Okun's Law holds in China.
Gail Cohen, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Ricardo Marto
For the world's 20 largest emitters, we use a simple trend/cycle decomposition to provide evidence of decoupling between greenhouse gas emissions and output in richer nations, particularly in European countries, but not yet in emerging markets. If consumption-based emissions—measures that account for countries' net emissions embodied in cross-border trade—are used, the evidence for decoupling in the richer economies gets weaker. Countries with underlying policy frameworks more supportive of renewable energy and climate change mitigation efforts tend to show greater decoupling between trend emissions and trend GDP, and for both production- and consumption-based emissions. The relationship between trend emissions and trend GDP has also become much weaker in the last two decades than in preceding decades.
Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister and Mr. Alex Mourmouras
We present estimates of welfare by country for 2007 and 2014 using the methodology of Jones and Klenow (2016) which incorporates consumption, leisure, mortality and inequality, and we extend the methodology to include environmental externalities. During the period of the global financial crisis welfare grew slightly more rapidly than income per capita, mainly due to improvements in life expectancy. This led to welfare convergence in most regions towards advanced country levels. Introducing environmental effects changes the welfare ranking for countries that rely heavily on natural resources, highlighting the importance of the natural resource base in welfare. This methodology could provide a theoretically consistent and tractable way of monitoring progress in several Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators.
Gail Cohen, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Ricardo Marto
Recent discussions of the extent of decoupling between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and real gross domestic product (GDP) provide mixed evidence and have generated much debate. We show that to get a clear picture of decoupling it is important to distinguish cycles from trends: there is an Environmental Okun's Law (a cyclical relationship between emissions and real GDP) that often obscures the trend relationship between emissions and real GDP. We show that, once the cyclical relationship is accounted for, the trends show evidence of decoupling in richer nations—particularly in European countries, but not yet in emerging markets. The picture changes somewhat, however, if we take into consideration the effects of international trade, that is, if we distinguish between production-based and consumption-based emissions. Once we add in their net emission transfers, the evidence for decoupling among the richer countries gets weaker. The good news is that countries with underlying policy frameworks more supportive of renewable energy and supportive of climate change tend to have greater decoupling between trend emissions and trend GDP, and for both production- and consumption-based emissions.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Global Monitoring Report 2008, the fifth in an annual series, is essential reading for those who wish to follow the global development agenda and debate in 2008. The year marks the midpoint toward the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is also an important year to work toward a consensus on how the world is going to respond to the challenge of climate change, building on the foundation laid at the Bali climate change conference in December 2007. The report spans this agenda. It provides a comprehensive assessment of progress toward the MDGs and related policies and actions. It addresses the challenge of climate change and environmental sustainability and assesses its implications for development. The report's assessment of MDGs at midpoint presents a mixed picture, one of both significant progress and formidable challenges. The first MDG, reducing extreme poverty by half, is likely to be met at the global level, thanks to a remarkable surge in global economic growth over the past decade. But, on current trends, the human development MDGs are unlikely to be met. Prospects are gravest for the goals of reducing child and maternal mortality, but shortfalls are also likely in the primary school completion. nutrition, and sanitation MDGs. The potential effects of climate change compound the challenge of achieving the development goals and sustaining progress. The report's messages are clear: urgent action is needed to help the world get back on track to achieve the MDGs; and urgent action is also needed to combat climate change that threatens the well-being of all countries, but particularly of poor countries and poor people. The goals of development and environmental sustainability are closely related, and the paths to those goals have important synergies.