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Sharing the effort of the European Green Deal among countries

Partitioning of climate targets among subsidiary entities is becoming a major challenge for implementation of climate policies around the globe. We propose a transparent and reproducible method based on three ethical principles (capability, responsibility, and equality). We demonstrate and discuss the applicability of our approach to the EU effort sharing negotiations to achieve the Green Deal emission reduction target for 2030 among EU Member States. The method lends itself to serve agreements worldwide on sharing the effort among subsidiary entities.

Description & methodology

See: Sharing the effort of the European Green Deal among countries, Nature Communications. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-31204-8


To demonstrate the applicability of our ethically-informed effort sharing approach, we have developed an online tool allowing users to test different combinations of ethical principles (and their interpretations) and see the implications on resulting EU effort sharing distributions.

There are three results which can be created by the tool, indicated by three links in the menu bar at the top of the screen. The first (leftmost) link “EU adaptation (manual)” shows the 2030 emissions reduction targets for the EU given any combination of the three equity principles (and respective interpretation of each) and their weighting as chosen by a user is applied. The middle link “Optimal-weighting allocation” replicates the results of Figure 4 of the paper (as linked in the section above), and identifies the possible negotiation convergence points for any three equity interpretations. Finally, the rightmost link “Individual country ternary charts” corresponds to the results as given in Figure 3 in the paper (see above), showing the resulting country emission reductions for a single country for any combination of the three equity principles across any of their respective interpretations.

>> The tool can be found here

Background literature

Allocation of carbon budgets at the global level:

Williges, K., Meyer, L., Steininger, K.W., Kirchengast, G. (2022), Fairness critically conditions the carbon budget allocation across countries, Global Environmental Change 74, 102481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102481

Allocation of carbon budgets across sectors:

Steininger, K. W., Meyer, L., Nabernegg, S., Kirchengast, G. (2020). Sectoral carbon budgets as an evaluation framework for the built environment. Buildings and Cities 1(1), 337-360. https://doi.org/10.5334/bc.32

We acknowledge financial support for this research by:

MSc (WU) Dr.rer.soc.oec.

Keith Andrew Williges

Telefon:+43 316 380 - 8419

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr.rer.soc.oec.

Karl Steininger

Telefon:+43 316 380 - 8441

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