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China's responsibility for climate changeEthics, fairness and environmental policy$
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Paul G. Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428134

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428134.001.0001

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The ‘non-cooperator pays’ principle and the climate standoff

The ‘non-cooperator pays’ principle and the climate standoff

Chapter:
(p.99) Five The ‘non-cooperator pays’ principle and the climate standoff
Source:
China's responsibility for climate change
Author(s):

Jonathan Symons

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428134.003.0005

This chapter looks at China's responsibility for climate change in a new way, basing its analysis on whether China is cooperating with other countries to solve the problem. As a measure of the point at which fairness concerns become an obstacle to cooperation, it draws on the distinction between ‘equitable CBDR’, which tilts the distribution of cooperative surplus towards certain parties, and ‘inefficient CBDR’, which allocates more than the entire net surplus of cooperation to certain parties and so strips states of their incentive to cooperate. The chapter argues that the emissions-intensity targets which China promised at Copenhagen were consistent with both equitable CBDR and a cooperative outcome. However, China's refusal to accept the targets as binding totally undermines its positive contribution, making the country a central obstacle to international cooperation.

Keywords:   China, equitable CBDR, international cooperation, emissions-intensity targets, climate change

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