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close this bookThe Global Greenhouse Regime. Who Pays? (UNU, 1993, 382 p.)
close this folderPart III National greenhouse gas reduction cost curves
close this folder12 Carbon abatement in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEnergy-environment nexus
View the documentScenarios for the future
View the documentCountry results
View the documentPolicy implications
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences


energy-environment nexus
scenarios for the future
country results
policy implications

stanislav f kolar

the countries of central and eastern europe consume more than 6 per cent of the world's primary energy and release more than 7 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. the republics of the former soviet union (fsu) consume 16 per cent of the world's energy, and release 15 per cent of the carbon. on a per capita basis, their consumption of energy is similar to that of the industrialized economies in western europe. central planners in the former socialist bloc countries often measured success by the amount of energy produced and consumed by their economies. but they did not mention that their rations' per capita income was two to three times lower than in western europe. simple arithmetic indicates that the economies of the former socialist bloc use two to three times as much energy to produce one unit of national income (see figure 12.1).

the asymmetrical economic development in central and eastern europe, initiated in 1928 in the fsu by the first five-year plan and in the late 1940s in central europe and the balkans, is largely responsible for the region's high energy intensity. the economic theories of rapid industrialization that were implemented in these countries considered energy consumption as a means towards achieving strategic goals, such as producing a given amount of steel, cement, chemicals, and other products, many of them requiring vast inputs of energy. fulfilling the production of these products had always been the first priority, and resources were allocated to ensure that such production could take place. to make the production cycle function as smoothly as possible, both energy production and energy prices were heavily subsidized.

Figure 12.1 Carbon and energy intensities compared, 1988 (indexes of carbon and energy/$GDP)

Coupled with the lack of market incentives, this situation created obvious disincentives to use energy rationally.