20 September 2013

New report: responsibility for climate change is shared by all states

A report published in Climate Change reveals that developed states may not bear the overwhelming responsibility for climate change. Both developing and developed states ‘may be almost equally responsible for contributing to climate change.’

The report states that the question of which states have been contributing the most to climate change depends on the choices that are made in calculating both current and historic emissions. The authors conclude that: ‘The results presented in this paper show the importance of the choices that can be made when calculating historical contributions of countries. Such choices have to be made by the policy-makers when negotiating a future international climate agreement.’

The authors distinguish between contributions of states to climate change and their responsibility for it, which according to them may be balanced by emissions that are needed to fulfill their citizens’ ‘basic needs’ (e.g. heating and cooking).

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Source: Climate News Network | Climate responsibility ’is shared by all’
Source: Michel G. J. den Elzen, Jos G. J. Olivier, Niklas Höhne, Greet Janssens-Maenhout, Countries’ contributions to climate change: effect of accounting for all greenhouse gases, recent trends, basic needs and technological progress, Climate Change, September 2013

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