An equity hurdle in international climate negotiations.
After a lengthy
1. A situation in which further action is blocked; a deadlock.
2. A drawing position in chess in which the king, although not in check, can move only into check and no other piece can move.
in the United Nations climate
negotiations over creation of a comprehensive global climate treaty,
active discussion of how to equitably distribute
Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
reductions is now squarely back on the table. While one cannot imagine a
successful international treaty to limit dangerous levels of greenhouse
gases that did not satisfy at least a general notion of fairness, much
work will be needed to overcome the serious divisions that now exist
among different parties on how to best allocate this critical global
responsibility. This is particularly true in the current political
climate in some countries, such as in the
officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world’s third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.
, where the
political climate makes it difficult to discuss more ambitious goals for
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This article will briefly summarize the history of the discussion
of equity in the U.N. climate negotiations and will highlight a problem
that many analysts working on this issue today may not recognize as a
potential hurdle to the agreement of the United States to a new climate
treaty. The issue I will highlight is especially a problem for any
treaty that includes a notion of equity that conceives of the atmosphere
in which individuals, groups, or nations may claim
shares. This approach does not mesh well with the legal and regulatory
framework of the United States, which is more capable of controlling
greenhouse gas pollution to ensure public safety and health but less
capable of distributing shares in a putative commons.
The global community has been working for the past
develop a comprehensive treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to
safe levels. The first climate treaty was proposed in 1992 at the Rio
Earth Summit in Brazil. It lead to the creation of the U.N. Framework
Convention on Climate Change (
), which was
tr.v. rat·i·fied, rat·i·fy·ing, rat·i·fies
To approve and give formal sanction to; confirm. See Synonyms at approve.
parties, including the United States, and which took effect in 1994.
Although it represented a landmark piece of diplomacy at the time,
the framework convention itself called only for voluntary reductions in
greenhouse gases. As a result, most parties to the convention considered
it to be inadequate. Since that time, the UNFCCC has been struggling to
create a treaty binding the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the
developed and in the developing world. Altogether, 18 countries in the
world are responsible for 80 percent of global emissions (E.U. Climate
Expert Group 2008). Only a treaty that includes all or most of them has
a chance of achieving the emissions reductions necessary to keep
the gradual increase of the temperature of the earth’s lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution.
within levels to which we could feasibly adapt. The chief
A point, issue, or situation that causes or is likely to cause an impasse.
Noun 1. sticking point – a point at which an impasse arises in progress toward an agreement or a goal
is finding the right balance of responsibilities among
developed and developing countries in this group. Who will reduce their
emissions, how fast, and by what amount to achieve a
v. pre·de·ter·mined, pre·de·ter·min·ing, pre·de·ter·mines
1. To determine, decide, or establish in advance:
of climate stabilization?
The only guidance provided by the original treaty is that the
assembled parties have “common but differentiated responsibilities
and respective capabilities” to reduce their emissions, or, as it
has come to be known, ”
.” In essence, two criteria have
come to mark what differentiates the responsibilities of different
countries: (1) their historical emissions and (2) their development
needs. Historical emissions matter because the main
1. Of or relating to anthropogenesis.
2. Caused by humans:
greenhouse gas – C[O.sub.2] – continues to force increases in
temperatures for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, depending on
the source. The almost one degree Celsius of global warming humans have
caused so far is due largely to the emissions produced by today’s
developed world. In addition, development needs matter when it comes to
assigning mitigation targets. The crushing poverty still experienced in
many parts of the developing world is a reason to accept a slower
transition from dirtier carbon-intensive fuels, which still tend to be
cheaper, to cleaner fuels. Combining the two ideas, the conclusion is
that developed countries should make deeper cuts in their emissions
first, followed by cuts from developing countries. This crude
formulation has effectively served over the past twenty years as a
functional definition of climate equity, or as an appropriate baseline
to measure who should cut their emissions the most and to what level of
stringency those parties making cuts should be bound. Those who embrace
CBDR in its most extreme form say it implies that only developed
countries should cut their emissions, and those and only those cuts
should be legally binding in an international regime. Developing
countries, no matter what their emissions growth profile, should, at
most, make voluntary cuts to their emissions, if supported by developed
This formula, if developed into something like a global
“polluter pays” principle that places all responsibility for
emissions cuts on developed nations, confronts an insuperable physical
hurdle. The largest growth occurs now in developing countries, both in
terms of emissions and population (see figure 1). The development goals
of China or India (the first and third largest emitters at this time)
require a lot more production of reliable electricity, and the cheapest
way to do that now is still by burning fossil fuels.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
For this reason, even if developed countries lowered their
greenhouse gas emissions to zero and developing countries proceeded on a
“business as usual” (
BAU Behavioral Analysis Unit
BAU Al-Balqa’ Applied University
) path, the world would exceed
dangerous levels of emissions and dangerous levels of warming. Again
though, this isn’t true of all developing countries, but only the
major emerging emitter nations such as China, India, Indonesia,
Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa.
, Brazil, and Mexico. A treaty that could contribute to meaningful
global mitigation of greenhouse gases would have to encourage or mandate
equally robust – though certainly not equal – participation in
mitigation efforts by the major emitters in both the developed and the
developing world. A cooperative effort by all major emitters makes all
the difference between a decent chance of achieving some level of
climate safety and very little chance at all.
What counts as “climate safety”? Generally, it is a level
of stabilization of human-caused temperature increase to which we could,
still with significant effort, adapt. It does not mean absolute safety
from the impacts of climate change, since at this point the atmosphere
already holds too much C[O.sub.2], which will continue to force up the
global temperature, even if all emissions were to miraculously stop
Since 2009, when the majority of the parties to the UNFCCC endorsed
it at the Copenhagen climate summit, the internationally accepted target
has been to stabilize temperature increase caused by humans at 2 degrees
Celsius over pre-industrial levels, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. While
there have been ample calls for stabilization at lower temperatures, it
looks highly unlikely at this point that anything better than the
2[degrees]C target is possible, and indeed that target is beginning to
look increasingly out of reach (World Bank and Potsdam Institute 2012).
At the G8 summit in July 2009 in L’Aquila, Italy, developed
countries affirmed the 2[degrees]C target, the consensus view from the
that achieving that target
required a global cut in emissions of 50 percent by 2050, and,
, that developed countries should make a cut of 80 percent by
2050 as their fair share of cumulative emission reductions (G8 2009,
paragraph 65). This was a notable step forward by these parties, since
it represented a bold, though not completely uncontroversial embrace of
CBDR, given that it articulated a higher cut in emissions for developed
countries. But later that year at the UNFCCC summit in Copenhagen,
developing countries, led by China, blocked these same parties from
enshrining the 80 percent target in the outcome document that emerged
from that meeting (the “Copenhagen Accord”). The most
straightforward explanation is that allowing this language in the
outcome document would have implied that developing countries would be
responsible for whatever emission reductions remained beyond the 80
percent committed to by developed countries in order to achieve the
Since then, the question of how to differentiate the mitigation
responsibilities of developed and developing countries under CBDR has
remained at a
. Before turning to the current effort to try to
work out a new agreement that could overcome this
1. A road or passage having no exit; a cul-de-sac.
2. A situation that is so difficult that no progress can be made; a deadlock or a stalemate:
, it is
important to see that the difference is vast between a world in which
the major emerging economies get a jumpstart on reducing their emissions
at a slower pace – but one nonetheless comparable to the pace of
developed countries – and a future in which they wait longer to reduce
their emissions. An approach that would put the entire burden for
mitigation on developed countries, or one that never resolves the issues
around CBDR, is simply not physically viable as a pathway toward
achieving some modicum of climate safety.
In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) looked
at three possible scenarios for achieving the 2[degrees]C target: 1) a
BAU scenario; 2) a scenario in which the G8 parties fulfill their pledge
to reduce their emissions 80 percent by 2050 below a 2005 baseline and
developing countries delay meaningful mitigation efforts until 2050; and
3) a scenario in which the G8 pledge is met and developing countries do
more than nothing but less than the G8 parties, namely, they cap their
emissions at 2025 levels and achieve 26 percent cuts below their 2005
levels by 2050 (the “full participation” scenario illustrated
in Figure 2). If the G8 target is met and developing countries delay
action (and maintain emissions in 2050 only at 2050 levels), we will
have only an 11 percent chance of holding temperature increase at
2[degrees]C. If the G8 target is met and developing countries take on
essentially a third of these cuts in twice the amount of time, we would
have a 75 percent chance of stabilizing temperature increase at
[degrees] Celsius Reference 0-2 1.18% 2-3 29.39% 3-4 37.8% 4-5 18.9% 5-6 8.1% 6-8 4.7% [degrees] Celsius Developing Country Delay 0-2 0.6% 2-3 11.1% 3-4 47.2% 4-5 27.0% 5-6 10.1% 6-8 4.0% [degrees] Celsius Full Participation 0-2 74.8% 2-3 20.9% 3-4 4.4% 4-5 5-6 6-8 [degrees] Fahrenheit Reference 0-3.6 1.18% 3.6-5.4 29.39% 5.4-7.2 37.8% 7.2-9.0 18.9% 9.0-10.8 8.1% 10.8-14.4 4.7% [degrees] Fahrenheit Developing Country Delay 0-3.6 0.6% 3.6-5.4 11.1% 5.4-7.2 47.2% 7.2-9.0 27.0% 9.0-10.8 10.1% 10.8-14.4 4.0% [degrees] Fahrenheit Full Participation 0-3.6 74.8% 3.6-5.4 20.9% 5.4-7.2 4.4% 7.2-9.0 9.0-10.8 10.8-14.4 Figure 2: Probability of observed temperature changes in 2100 (Scenarios: EPA; Figure: Center for American Progress) Note: Table made from pie chart.
Although this comparison is encouraging, the language of the
framework convention and the dynamics of the climate negotiations to
date have not encouraged the full participation scenario described by
When the framework convention was able to create a binding treaty
for emission reductions, the result was the
see global warming.
which embraced a version of CBDR. Kyoto bound only developed countries
(or “Annex 1” parties in the treaty) to reduce their
emissions, while developing countries (“non-Annex 1” parties)
were asked to enact only voluntary measures, at least through the first
commitment period of the treaty out to 2012. For this reason, the United
States never ratified Kyoto. In fact, the U.S. Senate never considered
ratifying it; instead, it unanimously communicated to the
that it would never
v. to confirm and adopt the act of another even though it was not approved beforehand. Example: An employee for Holsinger’s Hardware orders carpentry equipment from Phillips Screws and Nails although the employee was not authorized to buy anything.
a treaty shaped like Kyoto
(U.S. Senate 1997). In large part, the objections arose because the
treaty assigned different sets of rules to the U.S. and some of our
largest economic competitors, in particular, China and India.
This outcome essentially doomed the Kyoto process to never
achieving a significant reduction in global emissions. Since the U.S. is
the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the largest
historical emitter, it’s difficult to imagine a workable
international climate regime that does not include the U.S. as a full
participant. And, to be sure, the failure of the U.S. to join Kyoto
ensured that countries like China and India would refuse considering an
evolution of the treaty to one in which they would eventually make
binding emission cuts themselves, even at a lower level of ambition than
developed countries. Without the inclusion of these parties as
participants in the treaty, it simply did not cover a high enough
percentage of the word’s emissions to make a dent in global
emission levels even if ambition for
Bound by signed agreement:
n. pl. sig·na·to·ries
One that has signed a treaty or other document.
parties had been
significantly increased. By the time the Kyoto Protocol came up for
authorization of its second commitment period in 2012, the Annex 1
parties in the agreement comprised only some 15 percent of total global
emissions. If those parties agreed to cut all of their greenhouse gas
emissions completely, and the rest of the world continued on a BAU path,
then achieving climate safety would be impossible.
This is not to say though that the framework convention has not
achieved anything since creating the Kyoto Protocol. Staring with the
2009 Copenhagen Accord, a series of “bottom up” agreements
emerged, culminating in the 2010 Cancun Agreements, which created the
conditions whereby over a hundred countries, responsible for some 80
percent of global emissions, officially registered what they were
willing to do unilaterally to reduce their emissions by 2020. Included
among these parties are all the major emitters in the developed and
developing world, including the U.S. as well as all the major developing
countries not bound to reduce their emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
Just as importantly, included in these agreements were provisions for
measuring, reporting, and verifying these pledges. In addition, there
were provisions for the exploration of new mechanisms to promote
reducing emissions in the forestry sector, the promotion of new market
mechanisms to reduce emissions, and the formation and support of
national adaptation plans. Added to all of this was a commitment to
raise $30 billion in “fast start” finance for developing
countries between 2009 and 2012 to foster a faster transition to low- or
zero-carbon growth as well as the creation of a new global institution,
the Green Climate Fund, with a mandate to raise the majority of $100
billion annually for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries
starting in 2020.
Unfortunately, all of this success does not yet add up to a pathway
to climate safety. Unless these voluntary pledges to reduce emissions by
2020 increase by at least a third and perhaps by half, then it will be
impossible to eventually stabilize global temperature increase at
2[degrees]C (see Light 2013). This will require a larger effort by all
parties, which will in turn entail revisiting the meaning of CBDR and
the overall question of an equitable distribution of mitigation efforts.
If this effort cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties,
and in a way that ensures an adequate level of emission reductions by
the largest greenhouse gas polluters, then this international process
will not be able to meaningfully contribute to achieving climate safety.
Toward Equity in the Post-2015 Agreement
There are plenty of good attempts in the philosophical literature
to try to estimate the best distribution of global reductions in
greenhouse gases, including the work of
, Dale Jamieson,
Henry Shue, and others (for a sample, see Gardiner et. al. 2010). I will
not engage with that literature here. Instead, I want to first describe
the context in which debates over equity will play out over the rest of
this decade in the actual international climate negotiations and to
second examine one overlooked hurdle to their reconciliation that
remains unacknowledged in the literature on
or by those
actively engaged in these negotiations.
In 2011, at the UNFCCC’s annual summit, held this time in
Durban, South Africa, an effective reset was called and the parties
agreed to start a new three year process to create a comprehensive
climate agreement by 2015, which would go into force by 2020 or later,
to replace the Kyoto Protocol and the Cancun Agreements. While the
details of how this agreement came about are both complicated and
fascinating (see Light 2011), for the present purposes, one critical
part of the negotiation was the language selected in describing this new
agreement. Specifically, the aim is to create either a “protocol,
another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the
Convention applicable to all Parties” (United Nations 2011a,
paragraph 2, emphasis added).
This new treaty track, which is now called the ”
Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” (or
), may or
may not set a specific level of ambition for each party to hit either by
2050 or by some mid-term target. But in stipulating that the outcome
should be “applicable to all Parties,” the agreement
presupposes that, whatever cuts the parties agree to, the same legal
requirements will be common for all. This one caveat offers a compelling
opportunity to rethink both CBDR and equity under the framework
convention. While it is still assumed that the level of ambition for the
parties to reduce their emissions will be differentiated – consistent
with a rudimentary interpretation of CBDR – the idea of creating
something like the Kyoto Protocol that would bind only developed
countries to reduce their emissions is effectively off the table. The
U.S. celebrated the inclusion of this one phrase as a major achievement
at Durban, and as a step toward creating a treaty with a better chance
Nonetheless, this outcome was certainly not uncontroversial. The
Indian delegation pushed hard to get references to “equity”
included in the final Durban agreement; this was blocked by the United
States in fear that it would lock the new treaty into a structure that
would duplicate the interpretation of CBDR used in the Kyoto Protocol to
create the firewall between the obligations of developed and developing
countries. But to resolve these differences, negotiators agreed that
workshops on equity would begin alongside the new treaty process to try
to bring the parties closer together on how this notion could function
in a treaty that would be applicable to all on the same terms. In this
light we can see that in some respects the Kyoto Protocol took an easy
way out of this problem by simply avoiding it altogether, at least for
the first commitment period of the treaty, by not requiring developing
countries to make mandatory emission cuts. But now that option is not
available, so the parties have to dig deep and try to come up with an
equitable distribution of their mitigation commitments.
This conversation started in May 2012 at an intercessional meeting
of the UNFCCC in Bonn, Germany, where a two-day workshop was held on
. Unfortunately, the old divisions that
have haunted these talks quickly reemerged. I will focus here on only
one of the problems.
It was clear at the outset of this process that many parties are
attracted to the simplest division of responsibilities, one based solely
on historical per-capita equality. While there are many forms of the
argument, they tend to look something like this:
1. Start with an assumption that the global commons can only absorb
X tons of carbon before reaching unacceptable levels of global
2. Divide X by the global population and allocate an equal amount
of emissions for all people on a country-by-country basis.
the amount of emissions that any country has
historically contributed (back to an accepted baseline year) from its
4. From 2 and 3 assess the amount of future emissions allowable for
each country starting now, expressing this figure as positive allowable
emissions (here, some forms of this argument would express this amount
as an “emission right” or “development right”).
5. If a country has already emitted more than its fair share of
C[O.sub.2] since the base line year (which is true of the United States
in all of these treatments), then it has a “carbon debt” and
must either radically reduce its emissions to zero or compensate those
countries which have not emitted their fair share of historical
greenhouse gases for holding back on the emissions they still have a
right to emit.
We can see this reasoning at work in the discussions over equity
even prior to the Durban meeting which were pressed again most strongly
by India. In a submission to the convention on October 10, 2011, the
Indian government put the point this way:
... India believes, [that the reference to "equitable access to sustainable development" in a previous agreement of the convention] takes within its fold an approach premised on an understanding of the atmosphere as a global common to which all nations must have equitable access. Equitable access, for its part, must derive from the notion that all human beings have an equal entitlement to the global atmospheric space, and that in determining just shares of the remaining atmospheric space, past usage (or over-usage) of the global atmospheric space must be taken into account. For developing countries like India with serious energy poverty and developmental challenges, a climate regime built on principles that do not ensure equity will impose severe limitations on its ability to lift its people out of poverty. It is imperative therefore that the equitable basis on which the climate regime is to be structured first be discussed and fleshed out, and next be used as the optic through which the regime is interpreted and developed (United Nations 2011b, 4).
There are a number of interesting and important ethical claims
embedded in this statement, which I will not take up here (but see
Broome 2012 for a more general discussion of such issues). However, as
one might imagine, the United States, and some other developed
countries, have categorically rejected anything like the idea of equal
distribution of rights to emit, or development rights
described in this way, no matter what arguments could be mustered in
Concerns about development rights as described here include whether
it is fair to
tr.v. pe·nal·ized, pe·nal·iz·ing, pe·nal·iz·es
1. To subject to a penalty, especially for infringement of a law or official regulation. See Synonyms at punish.
people for emissions produced by their ancestors;
whether the terms of the distributions proposed in these schemes are
Capable of being defended, protected, or justified:
against competing accounts; and whether countries will ever
agree to sign onto a treaty that effectively demands they cut their
emissions to zero or begin paying a global tax to other countries. It is
doubtful that signing such an agreement would garner much popular
support (at least in the countries that would have emissions deficits)
or that leaders who embrace such an agreement would stay in office for
These concerns raise the ever-present question of how the structure
of any international agreement does or does not
v to stick together, to unite, to form a solid mass.
with a given
country’s national circumstances. While I would not endorse a
position that national priorities should
international ambitions, I do think that international negotiations
would be better served by a more informed understanding of the hurdles
that a proposed agreement would face among the parties we would most
want in a comprehensive global climate agreement. Because a global
treaty that does not include the U.S. as an active participant is
unlikely to be a successful treaty, domestic hurdles in the U.S. are
worth noting, and perhaps considering, in the structure of an agreement.
In this context, one common refrain by U.S. participants in
international climate talks is that the rule that the Senate must ratify
a treaty by a vote of two-thirds of its members makes it incredibly
difficult for the U.S. to sign onto any treaty. Given how difficult it
is to get anything through the U.S. Senate because of the 60-vote
threshold to get over the threat of a
term used to designate obstructionist tactics in legislative assemblies. It has particular reference to the U.S. Senate, where the tradition of unlimited debate is very strong. It was not until 1917 that the Senate provided for cloture (i.e.
, the idea of getting
six additional votes is
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.
[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin
. More interesting than this problem are
the problems that might prevent the executive branch from even trying to
lobby the Senate to support a new climate treaty. It is here where we
can see a unique hurdle to the sorts of per-capita emissions solutions
to the distribution of global mitigation efforts described above.
If the U.S. were to sign onto an international treaty that accepted
a notion of greenhouse gases such as that described in the Indian
submission, it could potentially dismantle the current basis for
regulating these substances at home. At issue is the description of
greenhouse gases as the source of a positive right – a resource, if you
will – rather than as a
Something that pollutes, especially a waste material that contaminates air, soil, or water.
. In the Indian submission greenhouse
gases are described in positive terms, such as representing “just
shares of the remaining atmospheric space.” But at present, the
only basis for regulation of C[O.sub.2], for example, is in negative
terms as a form of pollution.
The origin of this designation goes back to the 2007 Massachusetts
v. E.P.A. decision (549 U.S. 497). There, the Supreme Court ruled in
favor of 12 states and several cities that had sued the George W. Bush
Administration over its refusal to determine whether C[O.sub.2] and
other greenhouse gases constituted
under the Clean Air Act.
In the 5-4 decision, the court determined that global warming could
present a potential threat to these states and cities for various
reasons and so the E.P.A. was required to undertake an
“endangerment finding” to determine if these substances needed
to be regulated to protect the health and safety of Americans. While the
Bush Administration never started the process of producing this finding,
the new Obama Administration started the process a few months into its
first year and announced in December 2009 that these gases did meet the
standard of a dangerous pollutant under the Clean Air Act.
While the Obama Administration was making this executive
determination, the U.S. Congress was trying to pass a comprehensive
energy and climate bill. Unfortunately, while the House version of this
legislation (the “Waxman-Markey” bill) passed, companion
legislation in the Senate never even made it to a floor vote. As a
result, the determination of greenhouse gases as a pollutant under the
Clean Air Act became the basis for a “plan B” by the Obama
Administration to join the rest of the world in reducing its emissions.
The results have been impressive with E.P.A. regulations passed on the
basis of this authority limiting emissions from mobile sources, the
completion of a set of rules on regulating emissions from new stationary
sources (which is likely to soon be approved and may make it
prohibitively costly to ever build another coal-fired power plant in the
U.S. again), soon to followed by an attempt to create a rule to regulate
emissions from existing stationary sources.
Now, many environmental critics of the administration find these
regulations to be insufficient to meet the U.S.’s global
responsibility to reduce our emissions given the amount we have
historically emitted. And in general this process of emissions reduction
by direct regulation is fraught with both legal challenges and regular
attempts by Congress to either slow them down or undermine their
authority altogether. But no matter how much one may
efforts, it is undeniable that the authority to regulate greenhouse
gases in the U.S. stems from a description of them as harmful pollution.
If the Obama Administration were to embrace a global treaty that instead
defined greenhouse gases as the source of a positive right, as suggested
in the Indian version of a per-capita understanding of climate equity,
then it would undermine its defense so far of its legal authority. The
administration would otherwise have to defend a contradictory conception
of the same set of substances in two different arenas. This would make
it far more likely that an attempt to overturn the basis of these
regulations would succeed. Since these regulations have so far helped to
lower U.S. emissions to 6.9 percent below 2005 levels, which is getting
us closer to our pledge in Copenhagen to lower emissions 17 percent
below 2005 levels by 2020, it would not help global climate
stabilization efforts to throw a wrench into them now (U.S. E.PA. 2013).
Although this consideration is not absolutely defeating for
embracing something like a development rights or emissions rights
approach to equity in the international climate negotiations, it does at
least demonstrate how a new treaty has
to grapple with
combination of philosophical and practical considerations that are made
all the more difficult by national circumstances. While there may well
be an optimal allocation of global reductions in emissions in the
abstract, the reality is that a global environmental treaty may not be
the best vehicle for carrying that allocation forward, in view of the
rule of law in different countries.
Pointing out tensions like these though does not mean that a new
equitable, workable, and effective climate treaty is beyond our reach.
Over the next few years, as we approach the 2015 Durban deadline, we
will see the emergence of several cooperative efforts among state actors
and non-governmental organizations to try to produce a more flexible,
less abstract notion of climate equity that rethinks CBDR and could be
represented in a new treaty (see for example the Climate Justice
Dialogue, sponsored by the
World Resources Institute
and the Mary
Robinson Foundation). This process will create ample opportunities for
more publicly engaged philosophers and policy experts to have a role in
shaping a new international climate regime.
Broome, John. 2012. Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World.
Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
E.U. 2008. Climate Change Expert Group. The 2[degrees]C Target.
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G8. 2009. “Responsible Leadership for a Sustainable
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, Dale Jamieson, and Henry Shue, eds.
2010. Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford: Oxford University
Light, Andrew. 2011. “Why Durban Matters.” Washington,
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Light, Andrew. 2013 (forthcoming). “Beyond Durban: A New
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PBL Philippine Basketball League
PBL Peripheral Blood Leukocyte
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
) is a Dutch research institute that advises the Dutch government on environmental policy issues.
. 2012. “Trends
in Global CO2 Emissions.” Accessed April 23, 2013.
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the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. New York: The United Nations.
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Andrew Light George Mason University Center for American Progress