Inequality in CO2 emissions across countries and its relationship with income inequality: a distributive approach

Emilio Padilla, Alfredo Serrano

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106 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyzes the inequality in CO2 emissions across countries (and groups of countries) and the relationship of this inequality with income inequality across countries for the period (1971-1999). The research employs the tools that are usually applied in income distribution analysis. The methodology used here gives qualitative and quantitative information on some of the features of the inequalities across countries that are considered most relevant for the design and discussion of policies aimed at mitigating climate change. The paper studies the relationship between CO2 emissions and GDP and shows that income inequality across countries has been followed by an important inequality in the distribution of emissions. This inequality has diminished mildly, although the inequality in emissions across countries ordered in the increasing value of income (inequality between rich and poor countries) has diminished less than the "simple" inequality in emissions. Lastly, the paper shows that the inequality in CO2 emissions is mostly explained by the inequality between groups with different per capita income level. The importance of the inequality within groups of similar per capita income is much lower and has diminished during the period, especially in the low middle income group. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1762-1772
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006


  • CO emissions 2
  • Environmental Kuznets curve
  • Inequality across countries


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