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Climate Policy on Burden Sharing - Dictionary of Arguments

Norgaard I 329
Burden sharing/Resource Sharing/Emissions/Climate Policy: (…) ‘burden sharing’ (like Kyoto‐style percentage reduction targets) focuses on dividing the total costs or total amount of emissions reductions, whereas ‘resource sharing’ (like equal per capita allocations) focuses on the right to make use of global carbon sinks as an economic resource, and how to share those rights. (…) resource‐sharing formulae are not necessarily more favorable to poor countries than burden‐sharing formulae; for example, a resource‐sharing formula which transitions from grandfathering to equal per capita allocations over time can be significantly less generous to many developing countries than (for example) a burden‐sharing formula like ‘Greenhouse Development Rights’ (Baer et al. 2008(1), 2010(2)) (…).
VsResource Sharing: [Resource‐sharing formulae] offer no good solution to the problem of funding adaptation or liability for climate damages. Under equal per capita allocations, revenue from surplus permit sales would (for at least some countries) provide a source of funds for adaptation activities, but there is no reason to think that this would be sufficient in total or appropriately distributed. (...) using these funds for adaptation would reduce the ability to use them to supply low‐carbon energy sources needed in the future when permit allocations become scarce. (…) resource‐sharing approaches do not usually address the wide variation in income levels across parties with similar levels of emissions. Since some high emitters are poor and some low emitters are rich, equal per capita allocations can be criticized as ‘treating the unequal equally’, and thus as unfair.



1. Baer, P. et al. 2008. The Greenhouse Development Rights Framework. 2nd edn., Heinrich Böll Stiftung, EcoEquity, Stockholm Environment Institute and Christian Aid. Available at (http://gdrights.org/wp‐content/uploads/2009/01/thegdrsframework.pdf) (Link not available as of 12/04/19)
2. Baer, P. 2010. Greenhouse development rights: A framework for climate protection that is ‘more fair’ than equal per capita emissions rights. Pp. 215–30 in S. M. Gardiner, S. Caney, D. Jamieson, and H. Shue (eds.), Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Baer, Paul: “International Justice”, In: John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, David Schlosberg (eds.) (2011): The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Climate Policy
Norgaard I
Richard Norgaard
John S. Dryzek
The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society Oxford 2011


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