International and intranational equity in sharing climate change mitigation burdens

Original Paper

Abstract

Is inequality within countries relevant for global climate policy? Most burden-sharing proposals for climate mitigation treat states as homogenous agents, even those that aim to protect individual rights. This can lead to free riders in some large emerging economies and expose the poor to mitigation burdens in others. Proposals that incorporate an exemption for the poor can avoid these outcomes, but do not account for the role of internal policies on the poor’s actual emissions and mitigation burdens. This will create moral hazards in the design of such agreements and risk the misallocation of mitigation costs when implemented. To ensure equitable outcomes at the individual level, international agreements would need to build in additional provisions to encourage benefiting states to reduce emissions and target exemptions to the poor. But such agreements will face political conflicts over sovereignty and the burdensomeness of such provisions.

Keywords

Climate equity Income inequality Environmental agreements Global justice 

Abbreviations

BASIC

Brazil, South Africa, India, and China

BAU

Business as usual

CDM

Clean Development Mechanism

GDR

Greenhouse Development Rights

GDP

Gross domestic product

IPCC

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

NAMA

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action

PPP

Purchasing power parity

REDD

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

TRIPS

Trade-related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

WTO

World Trade Organization

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria

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