Fairly Sharing 1.5: National Fair Shares of a 1.5°C-Compliant Global Mitigation Effort

International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 18, Special Issue: Achieving 1.5°C and Climate Justice, pp. 117-134. [doi: 10.1007/s10784-017-9371-z]

34 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2017 Last revised: 12 Feb 2018

See all articles by Christian Holz

Christian Holz

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

Sivan Kartha

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Tom Athanasiou

Climate Equity Reference Project

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

The problem of fairly distributing the global mitigation effort is particularly important for the 1.5°C temperature limitation objective, due to its rapidly depleting global carbon budget. Here, we present methodology and results of the first study examining national mitigation pledges presented at the 2015 Paris climate summit, relative to equity benchmarks and 1.5°C-compliant global mitigation. Uniquely, pertinent ethical choices were made via deliberative processes of civil society organizations, resulting in an agreed range of effort-sharing parameters. Based on this, we quantified each country’s range of fair shares of 1.5°C-compliant mitigation, using the Climate Equity Reference Project’s allocation framework. Contrasting this with national 2025/2030 mitigation pledges reveals a large global mitigation gap, within which wealthier countries’ mitigation pledges fall far short, while poorer countries’ pledges, collectively, meet their fair share. We also present results for individual countries (e.g. China exceeding; India meeting; EU, USA, Japan, and Brazil falling short). We outline ethical considerations and choices arising when deliberating fair effort sharing and discuss the importance of separating this choice making from the scholarly work of quantitative ‘‘equity modelling’’ itself. Second, we elaborate our approach for quantifying countries’ fair shares of a global mitigation effort, the Climate Equity Reference Framework. Third, we present and discuss the results of this analysis with emphasis on the role of mitigation support. In concluding, we identify twofold obligations for all countries in a justice-centred implementation of 1.5°C-compliant mitigation: (1) unsupported domestic reductions and (2) engagement in deep international mitigation cooperation, through provision of international financial and other support, or through undertaking additional supported mitigation activities. Consequently, an equitable pathway to 1.5°C can only be imagined with such large-scale international cooperation and support; otherwise, 1.5°C-compliant mitigation will remain out of reach, impose undue suffering on the world’s poorest, or both.

Keywords: Effort-sharing, Fair shares, Climate justice, Equity, Mitigation, NDCs, UNFCCC

Suggested Citation

Holz, Christian and Kartha, Sivan and Athanasiou, Tom, Fairly Sharing 1.5: National Fair Shares of a 1.5°C-Compliant Global Mitigation Effort (2018). International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 18, Special Issue: Achieving 1.5°C and Climate Justice, pp. 117-134. [doi: 10.1007/s10784-017-9371-z]. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3072045

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

Sivan Kartha

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) ( email )

11 Curtis Avenue
Somerville, MA 02144-1224
Sweden

Tom Athanasiou

Climate Equity Reference Project ( email )

United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
42
Abstract Views
325
PlumX Metrics