Modeling Global Fossil CO2 Emissions with Lognormal Distribution: A Climate Policy Tool
29 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2023
Date Written: August 15, 2023
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have emerged as a critical issue with profound impacts on the environment, human health, and the global economy. The steady increase in atmospheric CO2 levels, largely due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, has become a major contributor to climate change and its associated catastrophic effects. To tackle this pressing challenge, a coordinated global effort is required, which necessitates a deep understanding of emissions patterns and trends. In this paper, we explore the use of statistical modeling, specifically the lognormal distribution, as a framework for comprehending and predicting CO2 emissions.
We build on prior research that suggests a complex distribution of emissions and seek to test the hypothesis that a simpler distribution can still offer meaningful insights for policymakers. We utilize data from three comprehensive databases and analyze six candidate distributions (exponential, Fisk, gamma, Lomax, lognormal, and Weibull) to identify a suitable model for global fossil CO2 emissions. Our findings highlight the adequacy of the lognormal distribution in characterizing emissions across all countries and years studied. Furthermore, to provide an additional support for this distribution we provide statistical evidence supporting the applicability of Gibrat's law to those CO2 emissions. Finally, we employ the lognormal model to predict emission parameters for the coming years and propose two policies for reducing total fossil CO2 emissions. Our research aims to provide policymakers with accurate and detailed information to support effective climate change mitigation strategies.
Keywords: Lognormal distribution, Climate change mitigation, Global fossil CO2 emissions, Gibrat's law
JEL Classification: Q52, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation