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Economic catch‐up and emission reductions

Jan‐Erik Lane (University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 3 July 2010



The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that spending on environmental protection will aid, rather than hamper, economic development which is itself sustainable. The paper attempts to show that a more activist role of the governments of Asia‐Pacific countries in the making and implementation of a global emissions regime is much in line with the real situation in this economically vibrant region of the world.


The paper combines information from the Living Planet Report of 2008 with data from the Energy Information Administration to display the energy‐environment conundrum in the Asia‐Pacific region.


Emissions of greenhouse gases can only decrease significantly in this region, if there is a concerted policy change towards the establishment of a green economy. Climate change can only be halted if the predicted increases in energy production induced emissions are halted, especially in the most vibrant region of the world economically.

Practical implications

The responsibility of Asia‐Pacific Governments to take part in a global energy policy cannot be avoided by the confusion of per capita and total emissions. Huge populous countries with high rates of economic growth have such large total emissions that it is in the interest of these country governments to support schemes like a global carbon tax or a global carbon‐trading scheme.


The paper addresses the energy‐environment conundrum by focussing on total emissions.



Lane, J. (2010), "Economic catch‐up and emission reductions", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 96-102.



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