Debating Greenhouse Gas Emission Responsibilities

Ethics and Politics of Greenhouse Gas Emission Accounting

To reduce emissions, how should the responsibilities among countries to reduce GHG emissions be distributed? To what extent should we distinguish between:

emissions associated with the high levels of consumption such as that in the United States



emissions associated with the subsistance activities of the world’s rural poor such as those of herders raising livestock, farmers growing rice, and those clearing forest for small fields?


To reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic viability, requires economic resources, technical sophistication, and institutional capacity. In many ways, industrial countries, contributing a significant fraction of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, have the most capacity to reduce emissions. Their capacity stems in large part to the their economic development which was driven by cheap fossil fuels.



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