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Qui emet du CO2 ? Panorama critique des inegalites ecologiques en France

Antonin Pottier, Emmanuel Combet (), Jean-Michel Cayla, Simona de Lauretis and Franck Nadaud ()
Additional contact information
Emmanuel Combet: ADEME
Simona de Lauretis: CIRED
Franck Nadaud: CIRED

No 2020.15, Working Papers from FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Abstract: This article provides an overview of the inequalities in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between French households. It presents in a detailed and critical manner the methodological conventions used to compute "household emissions", and the related assumptions. The most common principle of attribution, the carbon footprint, which assigns to households the emissions of the products they consume, conveys implicit conceptions of responsibility. It focuses attention on the contributions of individuals, on their choices, and may obscure the role of non-individual actors as well as the collective component of GHG emissions, and neglect the dimensions of responsibility not related to consumption choices. We estimate the distribution of household carbon footprints based on data from the 2011 French Expenditure Survey. Household emissions tend to increase with income, but they also show a strong variability linked to geographical and technical factors that force to use fossil fuels. Based on sectoral surveys (ENTD 2008; PHEBUS 2013), we also reconstruct household CO2 emissions linked to housing and transport energy. For transport, emissions are proportional to the distances travelled due to the predominant use of private cars. Urban settlement patterns constraint both the length of daily commuting and access to less carbon-intensive modes of transport. For housing, while house size increases with income and distance from urban centres, the first factor to account for variability of emissions is the heating system. It has little to do with income but more to do with settlement patterns, which constrain access to the various energy carriers. Finally, we discuss the difficulties, both technical and conceptual, involved in estimating emissions from the super-rich (the top 1 percent).

Keywords: greenhouse gas emissions; carbon footprint; emissions inequality; household expenditure distribution; responsibility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 D30 Q56 R20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 58 pages
Date: 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene and nep-env
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Journal Article: Qui émet du CO 2 ? Panorama critique des inégalités écologiques en France (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Qui emet du CO2? Panorama critique des inegalites ecologiques en France (2020) Downloads
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