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Entropy 2016, 18(3), 75; doi:10.3390/e18030075

The Impact of Entropy Production and Emission Mitigation on Economic Growth

Institute for Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany
Academic Editor: Kevin H. Knuth
Received: 7 October 2015 / Revised: 30 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 February 2016 / Published: 27 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy and the Economy)
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Entropy production in industrial economies involves heat currents, driven by gradients of temperature, and particle currents, driven by specific external forces and gradients of temperature and chemical potentials. Pollution functions are constructed for the associated emissions. They reduce the output elasticities of the production factors capital, labor, and energy in the growth equation of the capital-labor-energy-creativity model, when the emissions approach their critical limits. These are drawn by, e.g., health hazards or threats to ecological and climate stability. By definition, the limits oblige the economic actors to dedicate shares of the available production factors to emission mitigation, or to adjustments to the emission-induced changes in the biosphere. Since these shares are missing for the production of the quantity of goods and services that would be available to consumers and investors without emission mitigation, the “conventional” output of the economy shrinks. The resulting losses of conventional output are estimated for two classes of scenarios: (1) energy conservation; and (2) nuclear exit and subsidies to photovoltaics. The data of the scenarios refer to Germany in the 1980s and after 11 March 2011. For the energy-conservation scenarios, a method of computing the reduction of output elasticities by emission abatement is proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: entropy production; emissions; critical limits; pollution functions; output elasticities; economic growth entropy production; emissions; critical limits; pollution functions; output elasticities; economic growth

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kümmel, R. The Impact of Entropy Production and Emission Mitigation on Economic Growth. Entropy 2016, 18, 75.

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