Class and Climate Change in Post-Reform India

Michael, K., & Vakulabharanam, V. (2015). Class and climate change in post-reform India. Climate and Development, doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2015.1034235

27 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2014 Last revised: 21 May 2016

See all articles by Kavya Michael

Kavya Michael

TERI

Vamsicharan Vakulabharanam

University of Hyderabad - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 11, 2014

Abstract

Debates on access and entitlement to global atmospheric commons are mostly dominated by the issue of inequalities among countries. Typically, these debates ignore inequalities among groups within countries. In this paper, we address the question of carbon space sharing in India by focusing on the distribution of emissions across different Indian social groups after India implemented economic reforms in 1991. Our results question the positionality of some dominant approaches that see affluence as the key to sustainability. We establish using household consumption surveys that the elites in India are major polluters both in an absolute sense as well as in per capita terms, while the working groups are the least polluters. We find that there is a spectacular jump in the inter class component of emissions inequality from a mere 2.5% of the aggregate inequality in 1994 to about 28.9% in 2010. This finding needs careful policy attention.

Keywords: Emissions, Inequality, Class, Energy, Climate Change

JEL Classification: Q56, Q54, P48

Suggested Citation

Michael, Kavya and Vakulabharanam, Vamsicharan, Class and Climate Change in Post-Reform India (March 11, 2014). Michael, K., & Vakulabharanam, V. (2015). Class and climate change in post-reform India. Climate and Development, doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2015.1034235, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2407460 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2407460

Kavya Michael (Contact Author)

TERI ( email )

DELHI, 11
India

Vamsicharan Vakulabharanam

University of Hyderabad - Department of Economics ( email )

Gachibowli
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500046
India

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