Ethical choices behind quantifications of fair contributions under the Paris Agreement

Kate Dooley*, Christian Holz, Sivan Kartha, Sonja Klinsky, J. Timmons Roberts, Henry Shue, Harald Winkler, Tom Athanasiou, Simon Caney, Elizabeth Cripps, Navroz K. Dubash, Galen Hall, Paul G. Harris, Bård Lahn, Darrel Moellendorf, Benito Müller, Ambuj Sagar, Peter Singer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Parties to the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement agreed to act on the basis of equity to protect the climate system. Equitable effort sharing is an irreducibly normative matter, yet some influential studies have sought to create quantitative indicators of equitable effort that claim to be value-neutral (despite evident biases). Many of these studies fail to clarify the ethical principles underlying their indicators, some mislabel approaches that favour wealthy nations as ‘equity approaches’ and some combine contradictory indicators into composites we call derivative benchmarks. This Perspective reviews influential climate effort-sharing assessments and presents guidelines for developing and adjudicating policy-relevant (but not ethically neutral) equity research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-305
Number of pages6
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • decision making
  • ethics

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