My new paper "Principles of public reason in the UNFCCC: Rethinking the equity framework" is forthcoming in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics.
Since 2011, the focus of international negotiations under the UNFCCC has been on producing a new climate agreement by 2015. This phase of negotiations is known as the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. The goal has been to update the global effort on climate to achieve long-term cooperation. Whereas previously, the negotiation process consisted of setting mandated targets exclusively for developed countries, the current setting requests of each country is to pledge its contribution to the climate effort in the form of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
The shift away from establishing negotiated targets for rich countries alone towards a universal system of participation through intended contributions raised persistent questions on how exactly the new agreement can ensure equitable terms. How to conceptualize equity within the 2015 climate agreement and beyond is the focus of this paper.
The paper advances a framework on equity, which moves away from substantive moral conceptions of burden allocation and toward refining principles of public reason specially designed for the negotiation process under the UNFCCC. The role of these principles is to guide multilateral dialogue for fair and ambitious long term cooperation, in light of the best available science and policy considerations.
Stay tuned for more on this paper, which will be appear soon in Science and Engineering Ethics.