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

See all articles by Sivan Kartha

Sivan Kartha

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Tom Athanasiou

Climate Equity Reference Project

Simon Caney

University of Birmingham

Elizabeth Cripps

University of Edinburgh

Kate Dooley

University of Melbourne

Navroz K. Dubash

Center for Policy Research (India)

Teng Fei

Tsinghua University

Paul G. Harris

The Education University of Hong Kong

Christian Holz

Carleton University - Department of Geography and Environmental Studies; Climate Equity Reference Project

Bård Lahn

Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO)

Darrel Moellendorf

Goethe University Frankfurt

Benito Muller

Oxford Climate Policy

J. Timmons Roberts

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Ambuj D. Sagar

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Henry Shue

University of Oxford

Peter Singer

Princeton University - Center for Human Values

Harald Winkler

University of Cape Town; University of Cape Town

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

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).

Suggested Citation

Kartha, Sivan and Athanasiou, Tom and Caney, Simon and Cripps, Elizabeth and Dooley, Kate and Dubash, Navroz K. and Fei, Teng and Harris, Paul and Holz, Christian and Lahn, Bård and Moellendorf, Darrel and Muller, Benito and Roberts, J. Timmons and Sagar, Ambuj D. and Shue, Henry and Singer, Peter A. D. and Winkler, Harald, Cascading Biases Against Poorer Countries. (A response to Robiou du Pont et al.) (2018). Nature Climate Change, vol 8, no 5, doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0152-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3022357 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3022357

Sivan Kartha

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) ( email )

11 Curtis Avenue
Somerville, MA 02144-1224
Sweden

Tom Athanasiou

Climate Equity Reference Project ( email )

United States

Simon Caney

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, VT Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Elizabeth Cripps

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

Kate Dooley

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

Navroz K. Dubash

Center for Policy Research (India) ( email )

Dharma Marg
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi, 110 021
India
+91-11-2611-5273 (Phone)
+91-11-2687-2746 (Fax)

Teng Fei

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

Paul Harris

The Education University of Hong Kong ( email )

Department of Social Sciences
10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, New Territories
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Christian Holz (Contact Author)

Carleton University - Department of Geography and Environmental Studies ( email )

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Canada

Climate Equity Reference Project ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://climateequityreference.org

Bård Lahn

Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) ( email )

P.O. Box 1129 Blindern
Oslo, N-0317
United States

Darrel Moellendorf

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Benito Muller

Oxford Climate Policy ( email )

Wolfson College
Oxford, OX2 6UD
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.oxfordclimatepolicy.org

J. Timmons Roberts

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

Ambuj D. Sagar

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Henry Shue

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Peter A. D. Singer

Princeton University - Center for Human Values ( email )

5 Ivy Lane
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-2202 (Phone)
609-258-1285 (Fax)

Harald Winkler

University of Cape Town ( email )

3rd Floor, leslie Commerce Building
Engineering Mall, Upper Campus
Cape Town, Western Cape 8000
South Africa

University of Cape Town ( email )

3rd Floor, leslie Commerce Building
Engineering Mall, Upper Campus
Cape Town, Western Cape 8000
South Africa

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