Spotlight Cancún: The Equitable Sharing of Atmospheric and Development Space

Martin Khor
Another in a series from the Triple Crisis Blog and the Real Climate Economics Blog on the Cancún Climate Summit.

Triple Crisis blogger Martin Khor published the following policy brief for the South Centre on why global temperature and emissions reductions targets must take both the environmental and developmental imperative into account.

The Equitable Sharing of Atmospheric and Development Space

In the quest for an international climate agreement on actions to address the climate change crisis, three aspects have to be the basis simultaneously: the environmental imperative, the developmental imperative, and the equity imperative. This EDE formula requires that the different pieces of the climate negotiations be seen and addressed as a whole, in a holistic way.  In particular, setting the global goal for emission reduction has to take account of the environmental imperative, and also deal with the emission reduction of Annex I and non Annex I parties.  A global carbon budget of how much more emissions should be allowed between now and 2050 should be fixed, and also how that budget should be allocated especially between developed and developing countries.

Thus a fixing of a temperature target and of a global emissions reduction goal must be done within a paradigm or framework for the equitable sharing of the atmospheric space and the development space.   The sharing of the mitigation efforts, and the support (finance and technology transfer) that must accompany this sharing, is a most critical piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

The UN Climate Convention recognises the equity principle; that developed countries take the lead in emission reduction, and that developing countries have development imperatives, and their ability to undertake climate actions depend on the extent of support they receive from the developed countries.  Annex I countries will also meet the agreed full incremental costs of implementing developing countries’ climate policy measures.

Read the full policy brief at the South Centre.

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