Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from national climate legislation

Eskander, Shaikh M.S.U. ORCID: 0000-0002-3325-5486 and Fankhauser, Sam ORCID: 0000-0003-2100-7888 (2020) Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from national climate legislation. Nature Climate Change, 10 (8). 750 - 756. ISSN 1758-678X

[img] Text (Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from national climate legislation) - Accepted Version
Download (715kB)

Identification Number: 10.1038/s41558-020-0831-z


The international response to climate change has been inadequate, but not zero. There are 1,800 climate change laws worldwide. We use panel data on legislative activity in 133 countries over the period 1999–2016 to identify statistically the short-term and long-term impact of climate legislation. Each new law reduces annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 0.78% nationally in the short term (during the first three years) and by 1.79% in the long term (beyond three years). The results are driven by parliamentary acts and by countries with a strong rule of law. In 2016, current climate laws were associated with an annual reduction in global CO2 emissions of 5.9 GtCO2, more than the US CO2 output that year. Cumulative CO2 emissions savings from 1999 to 2016 amount to 38 GtCO2, or one year’s worth of global CO2 output. The impact on other greenhouse gases is much lower.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2020 16:15
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2024 04:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics