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National carbon dioxide emissions: geography matters

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This article examines the role of geographical factors as determinants of cross-country differences in per capita carbon dioxide emissions. Such differences have been explained by economists mostly in terms of per capita income. Geographical factors on the other hand have been neglected by economic analysis. We examine the effects of cold and hot climates, transportation requirements and the availability of renewable energy sources on emissions. We find that with the exception of cooling requirements as measured by hot climates, all these geographical factors are statistically significant determinants of emissions in accordance with our expectation. Furthermore, cold climates and the availability of renewable resources are also substantively important.

Keywords: carbon dioxide; climate; global; quantitative analysis; renewable energy; transportation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2004


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