14th journées Louis-André Gérard-Varet

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Local Altruism as an Environmental Ethic in CO2 Emissions Control
Masayuki Otaki

Last modified: 2015-01-14


When considering the emissions problem associated with carbon dioxide (CO2), social planning over quite a long-term horizon is considered to be necessary because it takes much time for the full absorption of CO2 by oceans and forests. Sometimes the required time horizon becomes even infinite. In addition, as Otaki (2013a) reveals the zero discount rate becomes optimal at the stationary state. These facts seem to impose patience beyond the limits of human conginition. However, this study proves the first-best emissions senario is achieved by the local aultruism, which is dubbed by parentage. Parentage is defined as the action applying zero social  discount rate to the subsequent generation. and discounting the utility of generations thereafter infinitely. In this sense the nearly first-best emissions senario is feasible within the ordinal cognition and benevolence of human beings.


CO2 Emissions Control; Intergenerational Resource Allocation; Local Altruism