Climate Change Justice by Eric A. Posner

By Eric A. Posner

Weather switch and justice are so heavily linked that many folks take it with no consideration international weather treaty should--indeed, must--directly handle either concerns jointly. yet, actually, this is able to be a major mistake, person who, by means of dooming powerful foreign limits on greenhouse gases, would truly make the world's bad and constructing international locations a long way worse off. this is often the provocative and unique argument of weather swap Justice. Eric Posner and David Weisbach strongly desire either a weather switch contract and efforts to enhance financial justice. yet they make a strong case that the best--and very likely only--way to get an efficient weather treaty is to exclude measures designed to redistribute wealth or deal with ancient wrongs opposed to underdeveloped nations. In transparent language, weather switch Justice proposes 4 easy ideas for designing the single form of weather treaty that may work--a forward-looking contract that calls for each state to make greenhouse--gas discount rates yet nonetheless makes each kingdom at an advantage in its personal view. this sort of treaty has the simplest likelihood of really controlling weather swap and bettering the welfare of individuals all over the world.

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We emphasize three. The first is that there will be an overall loss in global welfare. The loss increases with temperature increases and, at even modest levels, may be more than the costs of reducing emissions. Full cost-benefit analyses of climate change thus far have been limited in large part because of the complexity of the problem; the best analyses have been able to do is estimate market impacts of climate change and make best guesses about the costs of reducing emissions. They do not know what it will cost to reduce emissions, and examining only market impacts leaves out many of the most important impacts, such as those on migration and national security.

Sometimes this argument is put in terms of environmental certainty. Cap-and-trade regimes provide a hard cap on total emissions and taxes do not. While people can always purchase permits in a cap-and-trade system, so in a sense they pay to pollute, this does not increase the total amount of pollution; no matter how much people want to pay, they cannot pollute more than the overall cap allows. Because they provide environmental certainty and because they do not allow people to pay to cause harm to others, cap-and-trade regimes, it is argued, are superior to taxes.

Either they will want to give this money to poor countries as part of a climate treaty or they will not. Framing the issue as permit allocations will not fool rich countries into agreeing to vast increases in their transfers to poor countries. Moreover, transferring money to poor countries is complicated by concerns over how the money will be spent. Foreign aid and grants by international institutions have substantial restrictions. If rich countries were to give large amounts of aid through permits to poor countries, it seems likely that they would want similar restrictions.

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