Advertisement

Equity, burden sharing and development pathways: reframing international climate negotiations

  • Aurélie MéjeanEmail author
  • Franck Lecocq
  • Yacob Mulugetta
Original Paper

Abstract

Distribution issues have been critical in international negotiations on climate change. These have been framed as a ‘burden sharing’ problem since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Three key difficulties are associated with this approach under a cap-and-trade system, namely the lack of consensus over what is equitable, uncertainty over estimates of policy costs, and lack of political realism and economic effectiveness of large-scale international transfers. These difficulties point to the risk of failure of post-2020 negotiations if these are based on the same premises of ‘sharing the emission reduction pie’ within a cap-and-trade regime. History has shown that different development paths can lead to similar economic performances with contrasted emission intensities. This paper proposes some insights into what could constitute a way forward, by recasting the discussion about emission reductions from a development perspective. It concludes that climate negotiations should depart from the current framework and shift to a debate focused on choosing a development path that would address domestic issues, while aligning pure climate policies with development policies.

Keywords

Burden sharing Sustainable development Equity Development pathways 

Abbreviations

GDP

Gross domestic product

GHG

Greenhouse gases

LDCs

Least developed countries

NAMAs

Nationally appropriate mitigation actions

UNFCCC

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Notes

Acknowledgments

Aurélie Méjean acknowledges funding from the Chair ‘Modelling for sustainable development’ (led by Ecole des Ponts ParisTech and Mines ParisTech).

References

  1. Agarwal, A., & Narain, S. (1991). Global Warming in an Unequal World, a case of environmental colonialism. New Delhi: Center for Science and Environment.Google Scholar
  2. Arthur, W. B. (1989). Competing technologies, increasing returns, and lock-in by historical events. The Economic Journal, 99(394), 116–131. doi: 10.2307/2234208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baer, P. (2013). The greenhouse development rights framework for global burden sharing: Reflection on principles and prospects. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 4(1), 61–71. doi: 10.1002/wcc.201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baer, P., Athanasiou, T., Kartha, S., & Kemp-Benedict, E. (2009). Greenhouse Development Rights: A proposal for a fair global climate treaty. Ethics, Place & Environment, 12(3), 267–281. doi: 10.1080/13668790903195495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beitz, C. R. (1979). Political theory and international relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bertaud, A., & Richardson, H. W. (2004). Transit and density: Atlanta, the United States and Western Europe. In H. W. Richardson & C.-H. C. Bae (Eds.), Urban Sprawl in Western Europe and the United States. Hants: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
  7. Blyth, W., Bradley, R., Bunn, D., Clarke, C., Wilson, T., & Yang, M. (2007). Investment risks under uncertain climate change policy. Energy Policy, 35(11), 5766–5773. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2007.05.030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowen, H. R. (1943). The interpretation of voting in the allocation of economic resources. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 58(1), 27–48. doi: 10.2307/1885754.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burton, M. (1985). The implementation of the EC milk quota. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 12(3), 461–471. doi: 10.1093/erae/12.3.461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Caney, S. (2009). Justice and the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions. Journal of Global Ethics, 5(2), 125–146. doi: 10.1080/17449620903110300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chao, H., & Peck, S. (2000). Greenhouse gas abatement: How much? and Who pays? Resource and Energy Economics, 22(1), 1–20. doi: 10.1016/S0928-7655(99)00016-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chichilnisky, G., & Heal, G. (1994). Who should abate carbon emissions?: An international viewpoint. Economics Letters, 44(4), 443–449. doi: 10.1016/0165-1765(94)90119-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Den Elzen, M. G. J., Schaeffer, M., & Lucas, P. L. (2005). Differentiating future commitments on the basis of countries’ relative historical responsibility for climate change: Uncertainties in the “Brazilian Proposal” in the context of a policy implementation. Climatic Change, 71(3), 277–301. doi: 10.1007/s10584-005-5382-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dinda, S. (2004). Environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis: A survey. Ecological Economics, 49(4), 431–455. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2004.02.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Finon, D. (2013). The transition of the electricity system towards decarbonization: The need for change in the market regime. Climate Policy, 13(Supp 01), 130–145. doi: 10.1080/14693062.2012.741832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fleurbaey, M., Kartha, S., Bolwig, S., Chee, Y. L., Chen, Y., Corbera, E., & Sagar, A. D. (2014). Sustainable development and equity. In O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, & J. C. Minx (Eds.), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of climate change contribution of working group III to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change Cambridge. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Frankfurt, H. (1987). Equality as a moral ideal. Ethics, 98(1), 21–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Glachant, M., Dussaux, D., Meniere, Y., & Dechezlepretre, A. (2013). Greening global value chains: Innovation and the international diffusion of technologies and knowledge (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. ID 2272536). Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2272536.
  19. Global Commons Institute (GCI). (1997). “Contraction and Convergence A global solution to a global problem. Retrieved from http://www.gci.org.uk/Documents/ZEW_CONTRACTION_&_CONVERGENCE.pdf.
  20. Godard, O. (2000). Sur l’éthique, l’environnement et l’économie. La justification en question. Godard, Olivier. “Sur l’éthique, l’environnement et l’économie: Cahier du laboratoire d’économétrie de l’École polytechnique, p. 513.Google Scholar
  21. Goulder, L. H. (1995). Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader’s guide. International Tax and Public Finance, 2(2), 157–183. doi: 10.1007/BF00877495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Government of the Republic of Ghana (GRoG). (2010). An agenda for shared growth and accelerated development for a better Ghana. Accra, Ghana: GRoG. Retrieved from http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2012/cr12203.pdf.
  23. Greening, L. A., Greene, D. L., & Difiglio, C. (2000). Energy efficiency and consumption—the rebound effect—a survey. Energy Policy, 28(6–7), 389–401. doi: 10.1016/S0301-4215(00)00021-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gritsevskyi, A., & Nakićenovi, N. (2000). Modeling uncertainty of induced technological change. Energy Policy, 28(13), 907–921. doi: 10.1016/S0301-4215(00)00082-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grubb, M. (1990). The greenhouse effect: Negotiating targets. International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944), 66(1), 67–89. doi: 10.2307/2622190.Google Scholar
  26. Grubb, M. (1995). Seeking fair weather: Ethics and the international debate on climate change. International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), 71(3), 463–496. doi: 10.2307/2624836.Google Scholar
  27. Grubb, M., Vrolijk, C., & Brack, D. (1999). The Kyoto protocol, a guide and an assessment. London: Royal Institute of International Affairs.Google Scholar
  28. Grübler, A., Johansson, T. B., Mundaca, L., Nakicenovic, N., Pachauri, S., Riahi, K., et al. (2012). Energy primer. In T. B. Johansson, A. Patwardhan, N. Nakicenovic, & L. Gomez-Echeverri (Eds.), Global energy assessment (GEA). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:  10.1017/CBO9780511793677.007.
  29. Hope, C., Anderson, J., & Wenman, P. (1993). Policy analysis of the greenhouse effect—An application of the PAGE model. Energy Policy, 21(3), 327–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hourcade, J. C. (1996). Estimating the costs of mitigating greenhouse gases. In: P. J. Bruce, H. Lee, & E. F. Haites (Eds.), Climate change 1995. Economic and social dimensions of climate change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Vol. chap. 8, pp. 263–296, p. 448). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Hourcade, J.-C. (2002). Dans le labyrinthe de verre. La négociation internationale sur l’effet de serre. Critique Internationale, 15, 143–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hourcade, J.-C., & Kostopoulou, M. (1994). Quelles politiques face aux chocs energetiques France, Italie, Japon, RFA: Quatre modes de resorption des desequilibres. Futuribles. Retrieved from http://www.gesis.org/sowiport/search/id/iz-solis-90191900/.
  33. Hourcade, J. C., Perrissin Fabert, B., & Rozenberg, J. (2012). Venturing into uncharted financial waters: An essay on climate-friendly finance. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 12(2), 165–186. doi: 10.1007/s10784-012-9169-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hourcade, J.-C., & Shukla, P. (2013). Triggering the low-carbon transition in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Climate Policy, 13(sup01), 22–35. doi: 10.1080/14693062.2012.751687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. IEA. (2012). World Energy Outlook 2012. Paris, France: International Energy Agency. Retrieved from http://iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/WEO_2012_Iraq_Energy_Outlook-1.pdf.
  36. Jacoby, H. D., Schmalensee, R., & Sue Wing, I. (1999). Toward a useful architecture for climate change negotiations. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Retrieved from http://mit.edu/globalchange/www/abstracts.html#a49.
  37. Jordan, A., van Asselt, H., Berkhout, F., Huitema, D., & Rayner, T. (2012). Understanding the paradoxes of multilevel governing: Climate change policy in the European Union. Global Environmental Politics, 12(2), 43–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Joskow, P. L., Schmalensee, R., & Bailey, E. M. (1998). The market for sulfur dioxide emissions. The American Economic Review, 88(4), 669–685.Google Scholar
  39. Lecocq, F., & Crassous, R. (2003). International climate regime beyond 2012: Are quota allocation rules robust to uncertainty? (No. 3000) (p. 44). Washington, D.C.: World Bank. Retrieved from http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/IW3P/IB/2003/04/11/000094946_03040204051835/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf.
  40. Lecocq, F., & Hourcade, J.-C. (2012). Unspoken ethical issues in the climate affair: Insights from a theoretical analysis of negotiation mandates. Economic Theory, 49(2). Retrieved from http://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00716658.
  41. Lindahl, E. (1919). Just taxation—a positive solution. In R. A. Musgrave, & A. T. Peacock (Eds.), Classics in the theory of public finance. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  42. Markandya, A. (2011). Equity and distributional implications of climate change. World Development, 39(6), 1051–1060. doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2010.01.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McKibbin, W. J., & Wilcoxen, P. J. (2002). The role of economics in climate change policy. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(2), 107–129. doi: 10.2307/2696499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED). (2010). Growth and Transformation Plan 2010/11–2014/15. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: MoFED. Retrieved from http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2011/cr11304.pdf.
  45. Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN). (2012). Economic development and poverty reduction strategy 2013–2018: Shaping our Future. Kigali, Rwanda: MINECOFIN. Retrieved from http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2013/cr13360.pdf.
  46. Müller, B. (1999). Justice in global warming negotiations: How to obtain a procedurally fair compromise (No. EV26). Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Retrieved from http://www.oxfordenergy.org/1998/03/justice-in-global-warming-negotiations-how-to-obtain-a-procedurally-fair-compromise/.
  47. Müller, B. (2001). Varieties of distributive justice in climate change. Climatic Change, 48(2–3), 273–288. doi: 10.1023/A:1010775501271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Neumayer, E. (2000). In defence of historical accountability for greenhouse gas emissions. Ecological Economics, 33(2), 185–192. doi: 10.1016/S0921-8009(00)00135-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nordhaus, W. D. (1993). Optimal greenhouse-gas reductions and tax policy in the “Dice” Model. American Economic Review, 83(2), 313–317.Google Scholar
  50. Nordhaus, W. D. (1994). Managing the global commons: The economics of climate change. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  51. Nozick, R. (1974). Anarchy, state, and utopia. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  52. OECD. (1975). The polluter pays principle: Definition, analysis, implementation. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.Google Scholar
  53. Paltsev, S. V. (2000). The Kyoto Protocol: “Hot air” for Russia?. Google Scholar
  54. Parfit, D. (1984). Reasons and persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Paterson, M. (1996). International justice and global warming. In The ethical dimensions of global change. Macmillan Publishers Limited.Google Scholar
  56. Pearce, F. (2000, November 23). Climate Summit. New Scientist. The Hague. Retrieved from http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn205-climate-summit.html#.UgpEGG2euZR.
  57. Phylipsen, G., Bode, J., Blok, K., Merkus, H., & Metz, B. (1998). A Triptych sectoral approach to burden differentiation; GHG emissions in the European bubble. Energy Policy, 26(12), 929–943. doi: 10.1016/S0301-4215(98)00036-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Pindyck, R. S. (1979). Energy price increases and macroeconomic policy. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  59. Pogge, T. W. M. (1989). Realizing rawls. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Rajamani, L. (2012). The Durban platform for enhanced action and the future of the climate regime. International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 61(02), 501–518. doi: 10.1017/S0020589312000085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ranson, M., & Stavins, R. N. (2012). Post-durban climate policy architecture based on linkage of cap-and-trade systems (Working Paper No. 18140). National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w18140.
  62. Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Rawls, J. (1993). The law of peoples. Critical Inquiry, 20(1), 36–68. doi: 10.2307/1343947.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ringius, L., Torvanger, A., & Holtsmark, B. (1998). Can multi-criteria rules fairly distribute climate burdens?: OECD results from three burden sharing rules. Energy Policy, 26(10), 777–793. doi: 10.1016/S0301-4215(98)00032-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ringius, L., Torvanger, A., & Underdal, A. (2002). Burden sharing and fairness principles in international climate policy. International Environmental Agreements, 2(1), 1–22. doi: 10.1023/A:1015041613785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Samuelson, P. A. (1954). The pure theory of public expenditure. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 36(4), 387–389. doi: 10.2307/1925895.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sathaye, J., Najam, A., Cocklin, C., Heller, T., Lecocq, F., Llanes-Regueiro, J., et al. (2007). Sustainable development and mitigation. In B. Metz, O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave, & L. A. Meyer (Eds.), Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of working group III to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.Google Scholar
  68. Shalizi, Z., & Lecocq, F. (2010). To mitigate or to adapt: Is that the question? Observations on an appropriate response to the climate change challenge to development strategies. World Bank Research Observer, 25(2), 295–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Shue, H. (1999). Global environment and international inequality. International Affairs, 75(3), 531–545. doi: 10.1111/1468-2346.00092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Shukla, P. R. (2006). Aligning justice and efficiency in the global climate change regime: A developing country perspective. Advances in the Economics of Environmental Resources, 5, 121–144. doi: 10.1016/S1569-3740(05)05006-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Shukla, P. R., Dhar, S., & Mahapatra, D. (2008). Low-carbon society scenarios for India. Climate Policy, 8(sup1), S156–S176. doi: 10.3763/cpol.2007.0498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sijm, J., Jansen, J., & Torvanger, A. (2001). Differentiation of mitigation commitments: The multi-sector convergence approach. Climate Policy, 1(4), 481–497. doi: 10.3763/cpol.2001.0149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Smith, K. R., Swisher, J., & Ahuja, D. R. (1993). Who pays (to solve the problem and how much)? In P. Hayes & K. R. Smith (Eds.), The global greenhouse regime: Who pays?. Oxford: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  74. Sorrell, S., & Dimitropoulos, J. (2008). The rebound effect: Microeconomic definitions, limitations and extensions. Ecological Economics, 65(3), 636–649. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.08.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Starkey, R. (2011). Assessing common(s) arguments for an equal per capita allocation. The Geographical Journal, 177(2), 112–126. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2010.00359.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Stiglitz, J. (1998). Distinguished lecture on economics in government: The private uses of public interests: Incentives and institutions. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 12(2), 3–22. doi: 10.2307/2646959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Streeten, P., & Burki, S. J. (1978). Basic needs: Some issues. World Development, 6(3), 411–421. doi: 10.1016/0305-750X(78)90116-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Tol, R. S. J. (1999). Kyoto, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness: Applications of FUND. The Energy Journal, 20(Special Issue), 131–156.Google Scholar
  79. UNDP. (1990). Human development report. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  80. Van Asselt, H. (2010). Emissions trading: The enthusiastic adoption of an Alien Instrument? In Climate change policy in the European Union: Confronting the dilemmas of mitigation and adaptation? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  81. Victor, D. G., Zhou, D., Ahmed, E. H. M., Dadhich, P. K., Olivier, J. G. J., Rogner, H.-H., et al. (2014). Introductory Chapter. In O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, et al. (Eds.), Climate change 2014: Mitigation of climate change. Contribution of working group III to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Waisman, H.-D., Guivarch, C., & Lecocq, F. (2013). The transportation sector and low-carbon growth pathways: Modelling urban, infrastructure, and spatial determinants of mobility. Climate Policy, 13(sup01), 106–129. doi: 10.1080/14693062.2012.735916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wei, T., Yang, S., Moore, J. C., Shi, P., Cui, X., Duan, Q., & Dong, W. (2012). Developed and developing world responsibilities for historical climate change and CO2 mitigation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(32), 12911–12915. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1203282109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Weitzman, M. L. (1974). Prices vs. quantities. The Review of Economic Studies, 41(4), 477–491. doi: 10.2307/2296698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Winkler, H., Jayaraman, T., Pan, J., de Oliveira, A. S., Zhang, Y., Sant, G., et al. (2011). Equitable access to sustainable development. Contribution to the body of scientific knowledge: A paper by experts from BASIC countries, BASIC expert group: Beijing, Brasilia, Cape Town and Mumbai. Retrieved from http://www.rcsd.org.cn/FCKeditor/userimages/rcsd-20111221111920.pdf.
  86. Yohe, G. W. (2001). Mitigative capacity—the mirror image of adaptive capacity on the emissions side. Climate Change, 49(3), 247–262. doi: 10.1023/A:1010677916703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aurélie Méjean
    • 1
    Email author
  • Franck Lecocq
    • 1
  • Yacob Mulugetta
    • 2
  1. 1.CIRED, Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement (CNRS, Agro ParisTech, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, EHESS, CIRAD)Nogent-Sur-MarneFrance
  2. 2.Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public PolicyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations