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A development-based approach to global climate policy

Abstract

A common approach for addressing climate change is to reduce the cost of greenhouse gas mitigation through market-based mechanisms, which enable an economically efficient allocation of emissions. However, from a human development perspective, a market-based approach to emission allocation might not be appropriate, considering the value it places on social well-being. This research builds on previous empirical work to develop a framework for conceptualizing the relationship between carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and human development using the capability approach. The framework enables a critical examination of policy prescriptions that employ market-based methods for emission allocation due to their potential for unintended consequences for underdeveloped nations. Lastly, we offer a theoretical policy proposal aimed at preventing unintended human development consequences.

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Acknowledgments

This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers 1134943 and 1140190. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Sonja Klinsky and Dr. Braden Allenby at Arizona State University for their insightful comments on this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Susan Spierre Clark.

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Clark, S.S., Seager, T.P. & Selinger, E. A development-based approach to global climate policy. Environ Syst Decis 35, 1–10 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-015-9533-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-015-9533-x

Keywords

  • Human development index
  • Climate change
  • Development equity
  • Capability approach
  • Climate policy