Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Walking away from a low-carbon economy?

  • Luis Mundaca
  • Anil Markandya
  • Jorgen Norgaard
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Publication/Series: ISSF
Document type: Conference paper
Publisher: International Journal for Sustainable Innovations

Abstract english

Using the latest available data, this brief article attempts to provide the first regional decomposition analysis of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion. Covering eight regions of the world, determinants are estimated in relative and absolute terms for the period 1971-2010. We take the 2010 global surge in CO2 emissions as an entry point for the analysis. Overall, results show that most regions have recently performed worse than their historical trends and lack of meaningful progress is identified. Whereas specific drivers for certain regions suggest some level of continuous improvement (e.g. reduced energy intensity in Asia), they are incapable of offsetting the effects of economic growth and energy use. With the exception of Africa, most regions appear to have missed the low-carbon economy opportunity provided by the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. Results suggest a lack of serious environmental effectiveness of regional policy portfolios aiming at reducing CO2 emissions. Highly ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy policies across all regions are immediately needed. Additionally, absolute reductions in CO2 emissions and energy use from fossil fuels are urgently required in rich regions if we are to align production and consumption patterns with maintaining global warming below the 2°C threshold.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Climate and Energy Policy
  • Low-carbon economy
  • Decomposition Analysis


International Symposium on a Sustainable Future ‘Innovative Research & Action in Energy, Environment & Sustainable Development’
Luis Mundaca
E-mail: luis [dot] mundaca [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Visiting Address: Tegnérsplatsen 4,Lund

Telephone: + 46 46 222 00 00 Fax: + 46 46 222 02 10