Cascading Biases Against Poorer Countries. (A response to Robiou du Pont et al.)
Nature Climate Change, vol 8, no 5, doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0152-7
3 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2017 Last revised: 9 Oct 2018
Date Written: 2018
The recent article by Robiou du Pont et al makes counter-intuitive claims about the degree to which different countries’ pledged mitigation contributions under the Paris Agreement are “equitable”, i.e., whether they meet benchmarks associate with various equity approaches. The analysis is flawed however, in three ways, with a cascading and systematic bias against poorer and lower-emitting countries. Firstly, the methodology is heavily driven by “grandfathering” as an allocation approach, despite the absence of any ethical justification. Second, it omits “Responsibility” as a basis, without explanation, even though it is included in the set of categories (taken from the IPCC AR5) within which the authors claim to be working. And third, the IPCC raised several other ethical considerations not covered by the authors’ particular choice of categories. Each of these three analytical shortcomings biases the results in favor of the wealthier and higher-emitting countries.
Note: (currently under review by Nature Climate Change; full text available upon request).
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