Sustainability in the Presence of Global Warming: Theory and Empirics

51 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2013

See all articles by Humberto Llavador

Humberto Llavador

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences

John E. Roemer

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Joaquim Silvestre

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 7, 2013

Abstract

Mankind must cooperate to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperature, with its concomitant effects on sea level, rainfall, drought, storms, agricultural production, and human migration. What is the appropriate way of evaluating how the costs of reducing GHG emissions should be shared across the present and future generations, and within the next few generations, across regions of the world? How should the intergenerational and inter-regional resource allocation be regulated?

These are normative questions: their answers depend upon the theory of distributive justice held. We argue, with respect to the intergenerational question, for a theory of justice that is motivated by the concept of sustainability. With respect to the inter-regional issue, we do not take a fundamentally normative approach, but rather a political approach, where we propose what we believe is a politically acceptable solution to the bargaining problem that is at present taking place between major national actors (think: the US and China) concerning the reductions in GHGs that should be implemented. One reason for the difference in our approaches to these two problems is that future generations cannot bargain with us, and so we should take an ethical posture towards them. Major nations of the world, however, are actively engaged in arguing and bargaining over the second problem, and our role with respect to these negotiations is to behave like an arbitrator and propose what (we believe) is a mutually acceptable solution.

Suggested Citation

Llavador, Humberto and Roemer, John E. and Silvestre, Joaquim, Sustainability in the Presence of Global Warming: Theory and Empirics (November 7, 2013). UNDP-HDRO Occasional Papers No. 2011/5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2351469

Humberto Llavador

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
(34) 93 542 23 81 (Phone)
(34) 93 542 17 46 (Fax)

John E. Roemer (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5249 (Phone)
203-432-6196 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~jer39/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Joaquim Silvestre

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States

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