Household carbon and energy inequality in Latin American and Caribbean countries

Honglin Zhong, Kuishuang Feng*, Laixiang Sun, Li Cheng, Klaus Hubacek

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Reducing inequality, eradicating poverty and achieving a carbon-neutral society are recognized as important components of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In this study, we focus on carbon and energy inequality between and within ten Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Detailed carbon and energy footprint were estimated by combining the consumption profiles (2014) in ten LAC countries with environmental extended multi-regional input-output (MRIO) analysis. Our results show significant inequality of regional total and per capita carbon and energy footprint across the studied LAC countries in 2014. The top 10% income category was responsible for 29.1% and 26.3% of the regional total carbon and energy footprint, and their per capita carbon and energy footprint were 12.2 and 7.5 times of the bottom 10% earners in that region. The average carbon footprint of studied LAC countries varied between 0.53 and 2.21 t CO2e/cap (ton of CO2 equivalent, per capita), and the energy footprint ranged from 0.38 to 1.76 t SOE/cap (ton of Standard Oil Equivalent, per capita). The huge difference in total and per capita carbon emissions and energy consumption of different income groups suggests notable differences in climate change responsibility, and supports policies for achieving sustainable consumption in terms of carbon tax, renewable energy subsidy, and decarbonizing the consumption structure in different LAC countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number110979
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Volume273
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2020

    Keywords

    • Carbon footprint
    • Energy footprint
    • Inequality
    • Latin America and the caribbean
    • Multi-regional input-output analysis

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