Policy Briefs

G. Di Bartolomeo, W. Semmler: Greenhouse gases mitigation: Global externalities and policymakers’ short-termism

The primary cause of global warming is the rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs), particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). Before the Industrial Revolution there was an equilibrium between the inflow of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the carbon outflow absorbed by oceans and plants. However, the increased use of fossil fuels—such as coal, natural gas, and oil—is recognized as the primary human activity that has disrupted this balance. It led to an average yearly increase in CO2 emissions of over 3 percent in the 2000s.

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