Walking away from a low-carbon economy?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


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.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Climate and Energy Policy, Low-carbon economy, Decomposition Analysis
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISSF
PublisherInternational Journal for Sustainable Innovations
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
EventInternational Symposium on a Sustainable Future ‘Innovative Research & Action in Energy, Environment & Sustainable Development’ - Mumbai, India
Duration: 2013 Oct 162013 Oct 18


ConferenceInternational Symposium on a Sustainable Future ‘Innovative Research & Action in Energy, Environment & Sustainable Development’

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