The benefits and costs of CO2 emissions are commonly dislocated across space, time, and organizational level. When beneficiaries have greater political influence than those impacted, the result will be tragically suboptimal. Appeals to conscience and the responsibility of beneficiaries will not solve the problem; so long as interests are dislocated, use of fossil energy must be curtailed by effective policy
Most scenarios that avoid 2°C of global warming require large-scale deployment of negative emissions technologies. We review the impacts and resource demands of such deployment, and conclude that it's cheaper, easier and less risky to tackle global warming before fossil CO2 is in the atmosphere.
China's coal-based energy system and emissions-intensive manufacturing technologies produce drastically more CO2 emissions the same sectors in developed countries. We identify specific industries and provinces where improvements are most needed to reduce the CO2-penalty of trade with China.
Peak warming will be proportional to cumulative CO2 emissions, but the rate and velocity of climate change may be very different under different emissions pathways, even when cumulative emissions are equal. Thus, the ability of ecosystems to adapt or migrate is sensitive to the pathway of emissions.
US CO2 emissions dropped 11% between 2007-2013; a trend has been widely attributed to the increased use of natural gas over coal. We decompose the drivers of the decline and show that the recent economic downturn and not the gas boom deserves most of the credit for the decrease in emissions.