A framework for equitable apportionment of emission reduction commitments to mitigate global warming

Joy P. Vazhayil (Centre for Energy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India)
Vinod K. Sharma (Centre for Disaster Management and Environment, Indian Institute of Public Administration, Delhi, India)
R. Balasubramanian (Centre for Energy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Publication date: 13 September 2011



In the context of the negotiations for apportionment of emission reduction post‐Kyoto regime, issues of equity and fairness have emerged. The purpose of this paper is to generate a model for equitable emission reduction apportionment.


The mathematical model has been designed utilizing mitigation capacity (based on gross domestic product (GDP)) and cumulative excess emissions as the criteria for apportionment. Quantitative results have been arrived at, using cumulative γ and parabolic mitigation emission reduction trajectories to demonstrate the impact on stakeholders.


The apportionment outcomes are independent of the specific trajectory fine‐tuned in the feasibility region. Since the apportionment takes into account entitlements and the mitigation capacity, Africa and India have negligible reduction targets in tune with the development goals in these economies. Substantial reduction commitments would fall on the USA and the EU countries. China gets a moderate target due to higher emissions and GDP.

Research limitations/implications

The approach is in consonance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibility enunciated in the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. The method can easily incorporate emissions trading. The issue of population as a driving factor of emissions has been partially accounted for by considering the entire national GDP as an emission reduction responsibility factor, without considering population based GDP entitlements.


The generalized framework can be extended to situations involving responsibility apportionment in public policies dealing with externalities. The framework is original and will be useful to policymakers and other stakeholders dealing with climate change, as well as researchers looking at externalities of a global or national dimension.



Vazhayil, J., Sharma, V. and Balasubramanian, R. (2011), "A framework for equitable apportionment of emission reduction commitments to mitigate global warming", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 381-406. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506221111169881

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.