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Climate Policy

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27th April, 2018

Cascading biases against poorer countries

Sivan Kartha, Tom Athanasiou, Simon Caney, Elizabeth Cripps, Kate Dooley, Navroz K Dubash, Teng Fei, Paul G Harris, Ceecee Holz, Bård Lahn, Darrel Moellendorf, Benito Müller, J Timmons Roberts, Ambuj Sagar, Henry Shue, Peter Singer and Harald Winkler

Introduction

A recent article by Robiou du Pont et al. suggests that wealthier countries (for example, the members of the EU) have made more ‘equitable’ contributions to the Paris goals than poorer countries (such as India and China), with most other developing countries somewhere in between. These results are counter-intuitive, given that developed countries have the majority of the responsibility for the atmospheric build-up of GHGs and the majority of the financial wherewithal to help solve the climate problem, yet their Paris pledges amount to fewer tons of mitigated emissions than developing countries. This correspondence presents a response to du Pont et. al and points out the biases towards wealthier nations in the approach and methodology adopted.

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