Greenhouse Development Rights

by P&P

The Greenhouse Development Rights Framework is a joint publication of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Christian Aid, EcoEquity and the
Stockholm Environment Institute. The authors are Paul Baer and Tom Athanasiou of EcoEquity and Sivan Kartha and Eric Kemp-Benedict of the Stockholm Environment Institute. From the second edition, November 2008:

Ultimately, the international climate impasse demands strategies that directly reconcile the twin challenges of climate and development, without trying to employ equal emissions rights as a proxy. Which is to say that the situation demands a climate regime that acknowledges the right to development, and then places that right at its structural core. The bottom line is that such a regime must secure for the developing nations a viable portion of the scant remaining atmospheric space, and in a manner that allows them to prosper within it.

It is this objective that has driven the design of the Greenhouse Development Rights framework. GDRs is an effort-sharing approach that embodies the right to development as a “development threshold,” below which individuals – by definition poor – are not expected to share the effort of mitigating the climate problem. ...

[T]he GDRs framework begins with the individual, and directly examines intra-national income and consumption disparities. By so doing, it highlights the indisputable fact that it is people – not nations or economies – that possess the right to development, and, similarly, that the capacity and responsibility of its individuals is the source of each nation’s obligations. All of which is to say that the GDRs approach takes inequality within countries as seriously as it takes inequality between countries. To be sure, this intra-national focus will be controversial, but it is also, we believe, the key to breaking out of the North / South trap and, thus, the climate impasse.

Associated Articles

A Right to Development Jun 29, 2009
The Story of the Trillion Tons of Carbon Jun 11, 2009

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