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Club convergence of sectoral CO2 emissions in the European Union

Morales-Lage, Rafael, Bengochea-Morancho, Aurelia, Camarero, Mariam, Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada
Energy policy 2019 v.135 pp. 111019
European Union, carbon dioxide, energy, energy industry, environmental policy, fuel combustion, greenhouse gas emissions, heat, international agreements, manufacturing, politics, power generation, Eastern European region, France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom
An understanding of the evolution of sectoral CO₂ emissions for all EU countries in recent decades would clearly be useful for political authorities when designing future environmental policies. This paper investigates the process of convergence in sectoral per capita CO₂ emissions, with a focus on the energy sector. The concept of club convergence is used to analyse emissions in 28 EU countries from 1971 to 2012, with special attention paid to the energy subsectors (power generation and heating, manufactures and construction, transportation, and other minor fuel combustion). We find that core European countries (France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK) are included in the best performing clubs, no matter the sector or subsector, whereas among Central and Eastern European Countries, a few diverge from the average towards higher emissions. Relative convergence among a large number of EU members would, therefore, support the relevance of both the EU abatement policy and international agreements in this process.