Towards An Equitable Framework For Global Climate Policy: 'Greenhouse Development Rights'
Cambridge Review of International Affairs 21:4, 649-69
Fieldman, G.; Athanasiou, T.
Climate Mitigation Policy
The assignment of obligations to pay for mitigation of greenhouse gas
emissions and for adaptation to unavoidable climate change is a critical and controversial
component of international negotiations under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change. In this article we present a new framework called
'Greenhouse Development Rights' (GDRs): a formula for the calculation of national
obligations on the basis of quantified capacity (wealth) and responsibility (contribution to
climate change). GDRs seek to preserve the 'right to development' by exempting from
obligation any income and emissions under a 'development threshold'. By taking into account
the distribution of income and emissions within countries, and calculating national
obligations as if they were the aggregated obligations of individuals, the framework treats
every global citizen identically, and allocates obligations even to poor countries that are
proportional to their actual middle-class and wealthy populations.