Transboundary Damage in Climate Change: Criteria for Allocating Responsibility

21 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2014

Date Written: July 9, 2014

Abstract

This paper suggests that excessive emissions of greenhouse gases should count under international law as a type of prohibited transboundary damage and proposes four specific criteria by which to judge whether emissions are excessive: extent of effort to reduce emissions (‘due diligence’), costs of possible additional reductions (‘necessity’), current emissions per capita (actual results to date), and percentage of total cumulative emissions (national encroachment on global budget). As a case-study, the four criteria are applied to the United States, which is judged to be highly responsible for transboundary damage and appropriately subject to litigation.

Keywords: climate change, emissions, greenhouse gases, transboundary damage, liability, United States, carbon budget, responsibility

Suggested Citation

Shue, Henry, Transboundary Damage in Climate Change: Criteria for Allocating Responsibility (July 9, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2464225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2464225

Henry Shue (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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