The emerging climate crisis must be seen against the backdrop of an ongoing development crisis. The scientific imperative of climate change requires extensive emissions reductions in all countries, but it is politically unrealistic and ethically unacceptable to expect those struggling against poverty to focus their limited resources on averting climate change. Developing countries must still transition toward a low-GHG development path, but the global consuming class – the industrialized world and elites within developing countries – must provide the financial and technological resources that will enable this transition.
The Greenhouse Development Rights (GDRs) Framework, developed by SEI and Ecoequity, presents a burden-sharing framework based on a straightforward accounting of national responsibility and capacity that requires those who consume and emit more than a specified "development threshold" to carry the global cost of an emergency climate program. Thus, the relatively wealthy population of the world who have produced higher levels of emissions can thereby protect the right to development of the world's poor. The GDRs framework could provide the basis of a solution to the burden‐sharing problem at the heart of the climate negotiating impasse. It could enable a climate regime that ensures ambitious mitigation globally to avert a climate disaster, while safeguarding the right to development in the South. (Download the Second edition of the GDRs Framework).