It is widely accepted that citizens of the wealthiest nations have
contributed the most to climate change through high consumption and
greenhouse gas-intensive production, and that, in turn, climate change is
geographically most threatening to some of the world's poorest persons.
This inequitable situation - where the consumption habits of the wealthy
are understood to produce observable adverse effects on the less well-off -
suggests that assigning responsibility for climate change should involve an
appeal to principles of distributive justice. A just solution to climate change
has two main components. First, it should satisfy a goal of equal treatment
by rebalancing the existing distribution of economic and political influence
in order to give all nations the ability to s1hape the global institutions that
affect them. Second, it should reduce total global emissions while
equalizing among nations the consumption of greenhouse gas-producing
goods and activities. This Note suggests that the best way to satisfy both
requirements is to implement equal per capita allocation of emissions
Saltzman, Rachel Ward
"Distributing Emissions Rights in the Global Order: The Case for Equal Per Capita Allocation,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal:
1, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol13/iss1/5