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Trends and Breaks in Per-Capita Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 1870-2028

We consider per-capita carbon dioxide emission trends in 16 early industrialized countries over the period 1870-2028. Using a multiple-break time series method we find more evidence for very early downturns in per-capita trends than for late downturns during the oil price shocks of the 1970s. Only for two countries do downturns in trends imply downward sloping stable trends. We also consider trends in emission composition and find little evidence for in-sample peaks for emissions from liquid and gaseous fuel uses. These results lead us to reject the oil price shocks as events causing permanent breaks in the structure and level of emissions, a conclusion often made in analyses using shorter postwar data.

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Energy Specializations: Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases; Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation; Energy and the Environment – Other

JEL Codes:
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General
Q59 - Environmental Economics: Other

Keywords: CO2 emissions, oil price shocks, breaks and trends

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol25-No4-3

Published in Volume 25, Number 4 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.