BORIS Theses

BORIS Theses
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What drives climate change?

Mader, Sebastian (2019). What drives climate change?. (Thesis). Universität Bern, Bern

19mader_s.pdf - Thesis
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Anthropogenic climate change is the most demanding challenge humanity has to face in the ongoing 21st century and beyond. This dissertation delves deeper into enhancing the knowledge on the major drivers of climate change and its mitigation. Thus, all four articles focus on the macro-level analysis of countries over time, applying causal inference. Specifically, the dissertation addresses the predictors of national carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (article 1), the controversial debate on carbon leakage from developed to developing countries (article 2), the influence of social inequality on CO2 emissions (article 3), and the role of forests as climate solution as well as the drivers of forest loss and its gain (article 4). Altogether, the results suggest that population growth is a major driver of CO2 emissions and deforestation. Another key factor is increasing wealth. However, the effect of economic growth is double-edged: On the one hand, rising gross domestic product (GDP) almost proportionally boosts carbon emissions so far. On the other hand, growth in GDP contributes to enhance forest cover. Minor carbon-abating effects are observed for energy prices, technological progress, and international environmental agreements. Designating and managing protected areas drives forest gain. Furthermore, social inequality and international trade are not substantially related to CO2 emissions. Particularly, there is no evidence for carbon leakage from developed to developing countries. Given the challenge of emissions abatement, natural climate solutions are promising for near-term and large­scale sequestration of carbon. As the fourth article highlights, dangerous climate change could be prevented by doubling current forest cover.

Item Type: Thesis
Dissertation Type: Cumulative
Date of Defense: 22 August 2019
Subjects: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Institute / Center: 03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology
Depositing User: Hammer Igor
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2019 08:44
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2019 08:44

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