Global CO2 efficiency: Country-wise estimates using a stochastic cost frontier
This paper examines global carbon dioxide (CO2) efficiency by employing a stochastic cost frontier analysis of about 170 countries in 1997 and 2007. The main contribution lies in providing a new approach to environmental efficiency estimation, in which the efficiency estimates quantify the distance from the policy objective of minimum emissions. We are able to examine a very large pool of nations and provide country-wise efficiency estimates. We estimate three econometric models, corresponding with alternative interpretations of the Cancun vision (Conference of the Parties 2011). The models reveal progress in global environmental efficiency during a preceding decade. The estimates indicate vast differences in efficiency levels, and efficiency changes across countries. The highest efficiency levels are observed in Africa and Europe, while the lowest are clustered around China. The largest efficiency gains were observed in central and eastern Europe. CO2 efficiency also improved in the US and China, the two largest emitters, but their ranking in terms of CO2 efficiency deteriorated. Policy implications are discussed.