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Climate Change and Social Justice

MUP SOCIAL JUSTICE SERIES

Series Editor Dr Jeremy Moss The Social Justice (SJS), issued by MUP in collaboration with Melbourne University’s Social Justice Initiative, aims to contribute to public and scholarly debate by providing critical insights into contemporary issues concerning social justice. The series also aims to highlight the value of interdisciplinary approaches to problems of social justice.

Climate Change and Social Justice

Edited by Jeremy Moss

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY PRESS An imprint of Melbourne University Publishing Limited 187 Grattan Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia [email protected] www.mup.com.au First published 2009 Text © remains with individual authors, 2009 Design and typography © Melbourne University Publishing Limited, 2009 This book is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 and subsequent amendments, no part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any means or process whatsoever without the prior written permission of the publishers. Every attempt has been made to locate the copyright holders for material quoted in this book. Any person or organisation that may have been overlooked or misattributed may contact the publisher. Designed by Phil Campbell Typeset by J&M Typesetting Printed by Griffin Press, South Australia National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry: Climate change and social justice / edited by Jeremy Moss. 9780522856668 (pbk.) 9780522856675 (pdf.) Includes index. Bibliography. Climatic changes. Environmental ethics. Environmental justice. Social justice. Moss, Jeremy. 363.7

Contents Contributors Foreword: Climate Change as an Equity Issue Ross Garnaut

vii 1

Introduction Jeremy Moss

11

Part I: Science, Fairness and Responsibility 1. The Blame Game: Assigning Responsibility for the Impacts of Anthropogenic Climate Change David J. Karoly

25

2. 3. 4.

Climate Change as an Ethical Issue Peter Singer

38

Climate Justice Jeremy Moss

51

Climate Change and Intergenerational Equity John Quiggin

67

5.

Some Distributional Issues in Greenhouse Gas Policy Design John Freebairn 82

6.

Just Carbon Trading? Robyn Eckersley

Part II: Climate Change and Vulnerable Groups 7. Justice and Adaptation to Climate Change Jon Barnett 8.

Primary Health Care Responses to Climate Change Grant Andrew Blashki, Helen Louise Berry and Michael Richard Kidd

99

131

144

9.

Climate Refugees and New Understandings of Security Cam Walker

Part III: Policy Implications 10. Climate Justice: Key Debates, Goals and Strategies Jess Fritze and John Wiseman

168

187

11. More than Just Money: Remembering Equity and Justice in International Adaptation Policy Charlotte L. Sterrett 212 12. Equitable Climate Policy in a Dangerous World Benjamin L. Preston

224

Index

246

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Contributors Associate Professor Jon Barnett is an Australian Research Council Fellow in the Department of Resource Management and Geography at Melbourne University. Dr Helen Louise Berry is based at the National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health at The Australian National University and is Associate Professor at the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, University of Newcastle. She is a psychiatric epidemiologist investigating social capital and mental health and their associations with general health and wellbeing, including in the context of climate change. Dr Grant Blashki is a Senior Research Fellow at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University, and an Honorary Lecturer at Kings College London. His three research interests are Primary Health Care, Climate Change and Mental Health. Professor Robyn Eckersley is Chair of the Discipline of Political Science in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She has published widely in the fields of environmental politics, policy and political theory. Her recent books include The Green State, The State and the Global Ecological Crisis (as co-editor) and Political Theory and the Ecological Challenge (as co-editor). Professor John Freebairn holds the Ritchie Chair in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne. He is an applied microeconomist and economic policy analyst, with current research interests in environmental economics and taxation reform. Jess Fritze is the Climate Change Policy Analyst at the Victorian Council of Social Service. At the time of writing, Jess was a Research Fellow at the McCaughey Centre, University of Melbourne.

vii

Professor Ross Garnaut is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow and a Professorial Fellow (Faculty of Economics and Commerce) at the University of Melbourne as well as a Distinguished Professor of the Australian National University. Professor Garnaut has provided advice on economic and foreign policy at the ministerial, including Prime Ministerial, level in Australia for over four decades. He held the post of Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China from 1985 to 1988. In September 2008, Professor Garnaut presented the Garnaut Climate Change Review to the Australian Prime Minister. This review, commissioned by the Australian government, examines the impact of climate change on the Australian economy and provides potential medium to long-term policies to ameliorate these. Professor David J. Karoly is an ARC Federation Fellow and Professor of Meteorology in the School of Earth Science at the University of Melbourne. He is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability and was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the intergovernmental Panel on Climate change released in 2007. Professor Michael Kidd is Executive Dean of Health Sciences (including the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Midwifery) at Flinders University in South Australia. He was President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners from 2002–2006 and is the current chair of Doctors for the Environment Australia. Dr Jeremy Moss is Director of the Social Justice Initiative at the University of Melbourne. His main research interests are in egalitarian discussions of justice, political obligation, welfare, climate change and disability. He has published numerous articles on these topics and won several awards for his work including the Eureka Prize for Research In Ethics and the Australasian Association for Philosophy Media Prize. Dr Benjamin Preston is a research scientist with the Climate Change Research Group of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR), a partnership between the CSIRO and the Bureau

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of Meteorology. He also contributes to the CSIRO’s inter-disciplinary Climate Adaptation Flagship research initiative. Professor John Quiggin is a Federation Fellow in Economics and Political Science at the University of Queensland. He is prominent both as a research economist and as a commentator on Australian economic policy. He has written on policy topics including climate change, micro-economic reform, privatisation, employment policy and the management of the Murray-Darling river system. Professor Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, One World and, most recently, The Life You Can Save. Charlotte Sterrett currently works as a global adviser on climate change adaptation at Oxfam GB. Previously, she worked as a climate change policy adviser with Oxfam Australia. Charlotte has undertaken research on climate change on community perceptions of climate change and has authored briefing papers on international adaptation financing. She is currently developing participatory frameworks for climate change adaptation. Cam Walker has worked with Friends of the Earth since 1989. He co-ordinates the campaigns in the Melbourne office and represents the organisation at the national level. He also lectures part-time in the School of Social Science at RMIT in environmental politics and change theory. Professor John Wiseman is Director of the McCaughey Centre, VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing; Melbourne School of Population Health; University of Melbourne.

Contributors

ix

Foreword

Climate Change as an Equity Issue Ross Garnaut

I congratulate the Social Justice Initiative for creating this collection which will help fill out what has been an underdeveloped area of Australian thinking about the climate change issue. I took about the same interest in climate change as the average literate citizen until mid-2007 when the Premiers and the then Leader of the Opposition asked me to conduct a review of the impact of climate change on Australia and of policies for Australia. Some of the old wisdom of economic policy analysis is readily applicable in this area. There are some dimensions of this problem that require new analytic approaches. That’s quite stimulating for someone at my stage of career, who has spent too long thinking about old problems. The climate change problem is at its heart an ethical problem. It’s a problem of income distribution. It is a problem of income distribution with dimensions that we don’t often think about. Climate change is first of all an intergenerational income distribution question. If we were only worried about the welfare of the human species during the rest of my lifetime, we wouldn’t do much about climate change. The main impacts are longer term ones. The most important potential impacts will have their effects over longer time periods. You have to value the welfare of future generations to want to do anything about this problem.

That is why so much of the discussion of Professor Nicholas Stern’s report, which came out in Britain in 2006, revolved around a rather esoteric discussion of discount rates. The economic concept of discount rates as applied by Nick Stern turned out to be controversial. Since then, there has been much philosophical discussion of the right discount rate through which you should compare the welfare of different generations. If you apply a commercial interest rate and discount future values to the present, then things that happen in a hundred years time don’t count for much. If you discount at a rate of 7.2 per cent, the value of something that happens in ten years time is only half the value of the same thing if it happens today. The value of something that happens in twenty years time is only one quarter the value of the same thing if it happens today. So the discount rate that is applied to future income and wealth and welfare turns out to be crucial in forming a view about whether anything at all should be done about this problem. There is also a dreadful international income distribution dimension to this problem. It might make perfect sense for a rich country like Australia to sacrifice some current income for the benefit of future generations. It will not seem quite as simple a matter for a poor country, with most of its people in abject poverty, that needs strong economic growth now to get people out of poverty and give people the luxury of thinking about environmental values and the welfare of future generations. Regrettably, doing something serious about mitigation of climate change is going to require serious efforts from all, including developing countries. Developing countries have different perspectives from developed countries about the locus of responsibility for dealing with the problem. This has been apparent since the United Nations’ Rio de Janeiro meeting of the early nineties first put a program of global mitigation on the international agenda. We heard then from developing countries that developed countries were responsible for nearly all of the concentrations of greenhouse gases that had then accumulated in the atmosphere. The developed countries had become rich by using fossil fuels and putting emissions in the atmosphere, so it was the developed countries responsibility to do something about it.

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This was put forward as an ethical question. It was put forward as a question of international income distribution, related to historical responsibility, and also related in more conventional ways to equity. The rich should take responsibility for dealing with the problem and the poor countries should still be able to put their resources into getting their people out of poverty. The problem with that approach is that we are running towards dangerous climate change so rapidly, and developing countries are now making such a large contribution to the growth of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, that there will be no solution, unless the major developing countries at least are central parts of the mitigation effort from an early date. The work of my Review has helped to draw the world community’s attention to the realities surrounding this statement. There is also an awful domestic income distribution dimension to the problem. The most vulnerable in our community would be the most affected by climate change itself. If we don’t do anything about the problem, it will be the old and the frail that suffer the worst health effects. People who are relatively well-off will be able to insulate themselves from the effects of climate change relatively easily, at an expense that is moderate compared with their own incomes and wealth. Poorer people in our society won’t be able to do so. That defines income distribution and equity reasons for putting quite a lot of effort into avoiding dangerous climate change. The first policies that are usually considered, unless you put other measures alongside them, will have disproportionately costly and damaging effects on people on relatively low incomes. These policies, unless other measures are implemented alongside them, will greatly exacerbate domestic income disparities. Large additional burdens will be placed on the most vulnerable in the process of trying to do something about the problem. So climate change and the policy issues around it are at heart ethical questions, framed by the most difficult of income distribution dilemmas imaginable. It’s now well understood that many social and economic problems cannot be successfully treated with traditional linear analytical approaches. In the literature, these are called wicked problems. Wicked problems are contrasted with tame problems.

Foreword

3

More than thirty years after the term was introduced from the urban planning literature, the Australian Public Service Commission in 2007 produced a guide to policy makers entitled Tackling Wicked Problems. I note that climate change was defined as a classic example of a wicked problem, mainly because of the different stories or narratives that can be used to define the problem. The Public Service Commission usage of the concept of wicked problems has only recently been drawn to my attention. Before I was aware of it, in the ST Lee Lecture at The Australian National University in November last year I described climate change as a diabolical policy problem. We know a fair bit about how to solve tame problems. It may not be easy, but we can see clearly how to go about solving them. A tame problem has a well defined and stable problem statement with a definite stopping point. We know when it’s been solved. It has a solution which can be objectively evaluated as being right or wrong. It belongs to a class of similar problems which can be solved in a similar manner. It has solutions which can be tried and abandoned. It comes with a limited set of alternative solutions. Building a bridge or health screenings might be examples. Not necessarily easy, but linear, and there is a known, well worked out approach to a solution. Wicked problems are different. Wicked problems are hard to define, so that people have different ideas on the nature of the problem. They have many interdependencies and multiple causes that interact. Wicked problems don’t just keep still. They interact and evolve in a dynamic social context. New forms of wicked problems emerge, while one is seeking to understand and solve the original version. Or the solution leads to new, unintended consequences. In the ST Lee Lecture in November of 2007 I said that the features contributing to the diabolical nature of the climate change policy challenge were uncertainties surrounding relationships between atmospheric gas concentrations and the timing and extent of dangerous climate change; the long lags between emissions and impacts, which made it difficult to rely on observation of impacts to prompt timely policy change; the need for unprecedented international cooperation for successful mitigation, alongside the existence of powerful incentives for each country to free ride on others; and the

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complexity of the income distribution effects of climate change and effect of mitigation. The first two issues relate to the uncertainty that surrounds the science of the issue. In this collection I should note how impressed I am by the uncertainty of the science on climate change. In the current state of scientific knowledge, the further you dig the more questions arise. I think that makes a case for higher levels of investment in the science, both nationally and internationally. The third and fourth issues cover the income distribution effects. They relate to the uncertainty that surrounds the political economy of the issue. In November 2007, I said that policies which have large effects on income distribution invite fierce contest between competing interests. Climate change policy has the three acute dimensions of equity to which I’ve alluded, the intergenerational, the international and the domestic. The intergenerational equity question can be formulated formally in terms of discount rates. But it boils down to the question of the extent to which one generation should be willing to forego current consumption to allow greater consumption for future generations. Do we value the welfare of our grandchildren less than, as much as, or more than the welfare of ourselves and our children? The international equity question arises because the costs of both climate change itself, and mitigation, vary greatly across countries. It is affected by views on the historical responsibility for current concentrations of greenhouse gases, which many developing countries consider to be important. Currently rich countries don’t think those issues are so important. There is also a huge difference between current greenhouse gas emissions of poor and rich countries. There will be no solution to the global climate change problem, unless there is constraint on growth in Indian emissions. But currently Australian emissions per capita are thirteen times as high for carbon dioxide as Indian per capita emissions. How then do we carve out a global agreement that will enable the world to agree on a path that will have developing countries like India and China as part of the solution? This is an issue that I covered in the Interim Report that I put out in February 2008, and in detail in the Final Report (Garnaut, 2008)

Foreword

5

Thirdly, there is the domestic equity question. This is the issue that I want to focus on here. Putting a price on carbon will be the central feature of any effective mitigation regime. This will raise the cost of many everyday items. The dilemma is, how do we design a scheme where such a cost is not unreasonably carried by households with low incomes? How do we ensure that climate change and its mitigation do not force highly regressive changes in income distribution? When I first came to this issue, in a way that was more profound than that of a citizen interested in this as one of the large number of questions one comes across all the time, I was struck by the casual consideration of the income distribution dimensions of the solutions that were being discussed. We had had two major exercises in policy making around the emissions trading scheme. The first was sponsored by the states. This developed the National Emissions Trading Taskforce (NETT). Then the Howard Government in its final period set up a taskforce to recommend on an emissions trading scheme. A majority of its members were business people, with interests in energy, transport and other emissions intensive industries. They produced a report on the design of an emissions trading scheme last May 2007. The report to the Howard government recommended that the Australian Government should put in place an emissions trading scheme. In sectors of the economy together accounting for most emissions, it would be illegal to emit greenhouse gas without a permit. Permits, or most of them, would be given free to the people who are currently responsible for the emissions. If you must own a permit before you can emit greenhouse gases and you restrict the volume of the permits—as is necessary if this is going to be the mechanism through which you gradually reduce your total emissions—then those permits to emit are going to have high value. Economic analysis suggested to me that, in the industries producing goods and services for the domestic market, like electricity, this would lead to a very large income transfer from ordinary households to the corporations that were responsible today for large quantities of emissions. The people who hold those permits have something of value. They’ll have valuable assets. They will be, if you like, in a preferential

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position in relation to that right to emit greenhouse gases. Anyone else competing with them will have to go into the market and buy permits. The established producers have been given permits free. Now, in a market situation it would be unreasonable to expect the behaviour of established producers of emissions-intensive goods, on pricing or on investment, to be affected by the fact that they had received for free their permits to emit greenhouse gases. They will charge the value of the permit in setting the price of, for example, electricity or petrol for the domestic market. They will do that whether they have been given their permits free, or have paid for them. That’s what economic theory would lead you to expect in a competitive market. I have a fair bit of faith in economic analysis. Some people don’t. For those who don’t trust economic theory, I suggest looking at the experience of other countries that have introduced emissions trading schemes. When the Europeans set up an emissions trading scheme a number of years ago, they went about things in the way that Prime Minister Howard’s committee suggested that Australia went about them. They gave free permits to the big energy companies supplying domestic markets. The people who were responsible for that bit of European public policy might have believed the energy companies when they said, ‘Give us the permit free and we won’t charge much for electricity’. What happened next was not surprising, at least to the economist. The price of the permits was factored into the electricity price. Every time the carbon price went up a bit, which is a necessary part of the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, households paid more. They became poorer and the profits of the energy companies went up. This wasn’t compensation for having to buy the permits. This was actually a transfer of wealth. The market capitalisation of the big energy companies on the London, Berlin and Paris stock exchanges increased. It was a wonderful time to be a shareholder in those companies. But this transfer from ordinary households to the big energy companies poisoned the scheme politically. People began to be resistant to the idea of a rising carbon price because it simply led to a transfer of income from ordinary households to the energy sector. That is one of the reasons why, under political pressure, European countries started giving out more permits. That led to, at

Foreword

7

one stage, a collapse in the carbon price nearly to zero. So the European emissions trading scheme for a while didn’t do the job that it was supposed to do. It was always naive to think that giving a free permit to an emitter would affect pricing behaviour. There is no more reason to expect that giving a free permit to an energy company would have an effect on pricing of petrol or electricity, than to expect that someone who inherits a house from a deceased relative would take into account the fact that that house had been received at no cost, in setting a sales price. Some things don’t usually happen in a market economy. The Europeans have learnt their lesson. At least, the Treasury bureaucrats in Berlin, London and Brussels, have learnt their lesson. The recent green paper on the post-2012 arrangements, the postKyoto arrangements for Europe, anticipate that all of the permits for the domestic energy sector will now be sold by auction. No doubt there will be political resistance to the European proposal. No doubt lots of arguments will be developed to justify free issue of permits to domestic energy companies. The recommendation from the officials in Brussels and Whitehall and Berlin, is based on analysis as well as experience. The Treasury bureaucrats who are responsible for the post-2012 proposals would have had a clear idea five years ago of the consequences of giving permits free to domestic energy companies. They found it difficult to make the case then. Now their analysis is supported by the experience of what actually happened. When we started our work on climate change policy in the middle of the year, I was struck by the absence of consideration, of income distribution matters. Since the middle of last year, our review process has come some way to putting onto the public stage a range of ideas for handling income distribution effects of mitigation policy. The climate change review so far has gone further on the international elements, and as you will have seen, especially the international story in the Interim Report. On domestic distribution, I think we’ve succeeded in having the idea accepted that deliberate measures will be required to counteract the potential perverse income distribution effects of an effective emissions trading system. In the time leading up to our final report in September, we will seek to refine our thoughts on measures to counteract adverse income distribution

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effects associated with the introduction of the emissions trading scheme. Unmitigated climate change—not doing anything about the problem—would do great damage to the poorest in our community. The rich can look after themselves reasonably well, even in an environment damaged by climate change. Putting a price on carbon runs the risk of damaging the welfare of low income Australians immediately but also through the structural pressures that it puts on the economy. An effective emissions trading scheme will affect differentially various sectors of the economy and various geographic regions. It is possible that it could hurt some industries in ways that did substantial damage to some communities. We need to recognise these possibilities, and have polices to manage their consequences. The centrepiece of climate change mitigation in Australia is going to be the introduction of a national emissions trading scheme. It’s not the only way to go about dealing with mitigation. A lot could be done through regulation. That has been the main focus of the Californians, although Governor Schwarzenegger wants to take that further and introduce an emissions trading scheme soon. Californian regulation has significantly reduced the growth of energy consumption. We are not going to be able to maintain the steady mitigation policies over long periods of time that are necessary to get our emissions down, unless our community thinks that the policies are fair. For that reason, getting the income distribution effects of the emissions trading scheme right is an essential part of getting the scheme itself right. Looking after low-income Australians is not part of the design of the scheme itself, but the success of income distribution policies will determine whether the intrinsic operations of the emissions trading scheme will work. The world is not going to get the global warming problem under control unless the sorts of issues raised in this volume this are successfully discussed in many, many countries. Global warming is not a problem that Australia can solve on its own. It is worthwhile for Australians to make a major mitigation effort only because our making that effort is essential to the world making the necessary effort. There is not going to be any action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by China or India or Indonesia or Brazil unless all

Foreword

9

developed countries are making a major effort. If developed countries are making effective efforts in mitigation, it will still be a challenge to recover commitments to adequate emissions constraints from all major developing countries. Without all developed countries making major efforts, there is no chance of developing countries making the necessary effort. So developing an equitable international framework is another essential condition for dealing with the global climate change problem and the essays collected in this volume make a valuable contribution to thinking about this problem.

Bibliography Garnaut, Ross, The Garnaut Climate Change Review, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2008. Also at www.garnautreview.org.au

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Climate Change and Social Justice

Introduction1 Jeremy Moss

The changes brought about by anthropogenic climate change have already had a huge impact on human society and the Earth itself. With the implementation of the Kyoto protocol in 2005, the guidelines set down in the Bali roadmap in 2007, and forthcoming national and global negotiations concerning the scientific measurement of the causes of climate change as well as an appropriate response, attention has now been focused on the social justice implications of the problem. We need to decide how to distribute the costs of climate change in a way that recognises a host of issues about the fairness, efficiency and effectiveness of different courses of action. The chapters in this collection highlight the importance of social justice issues that relate to climate change as we begin to act on this urgent problem. One of the things that makes these issues so difficult and challenging is that they force us to think about questions of social justice in the past and present, as well as the future. For instance, as several authors discuss, an intuitively plausible view about who pays for climate change is that those whose countries caused the problem in the first place should pay for the costs of adaptation or mitigation. Locating the blame for climate change with currently developed countries, which is many people’s first response, is also often entangled with other issues of historical injustice that have been generated by previous interactions between countries.

The response to climate change, whether it involves changes to people’s everyday behaviour such as avoiding the use of fossil fuels, or transfers of wealth and resources between rich and poor countries, also has great significance for whether present arrangements within and between countries are just. If the problem of what to do about climate change shows us anything, it is that a workable response requires countries, individuals and corporations to recognise that a range of lifestyles are currently unsustainable, and to limit their rights and sovereignty over resources such as energy and the utilisation of resources held in common, such as the atmosphere. Global problems that require countries to limit their sovereignty or to work together, such as global poverty or the spread of infectious diseases, have existed before. But the decisions that are taken now about the health of the environment, and the societies that are dependent on it, also force us to think about both the near and distant future as these decisions affect not just people living now but future generations as well. Many of the challenges that come with a response to climate change require an approach that draws on a range of disciplines and branches of knowledge. The chapters in this collection illustrate the value of looking at these issues from different disciplinary perspectives. One illustration of the value of multidisciplinary approach is in the design of carbon trading schemes, which need to take account of the whether outcomes are fair, and also whether the scheme produces the right environmental outcome. Similarly, the feasibility of various adaptation and mitigation measures must be sensitive to the overall cost of such measures and the political challenges that must accompany their implementation. Another indication of the importance of interdisciplinarity can be seen when we think of what new institutions and policies might be possible. The political and environmental challenges of stabilising climate change are immense, requiring new thinking and the design of new institutions. As several of the authors discuss, there are plausible and innovative financial and institutional measures that can be adopted to meet these challenges.

Science, Cost and Responsibility An essential starting place for any discussion of climate justice is with the science that informs it and its implications for the sort of values, institutions and policies that will be required. Although the

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science about anthropogenic climate change2 is now presenting compelling evidence about the recent human contribution to climate change, there are nonetheless many variables that will shape debate about the social justice implications of climate change. David Karoly’s chapter highlights some of the issues involved in assigning blame and responsibility for the causes of climate change. He notes that assigning blame has broader implications for how we allocate costs across countries, companies and individuals, both for current and past emissions. In particular, Karoly addresses the issue of whether it is possible to assign responsibility for specific regional impacts of climate change to specific agents. He argues that some regional climate changes, ‘particularly temperature increases and their associated impacts’, can be linked to anthropogenic climate forcing. He argues that it is difficult to link specific climate events like floods or heatwaves to climate forcing. However, the scientific research he cites supports the claim that anthropomorphic climate change increases the likelihood of such events. One of the reasons that assigning precise blame for local climate related events is difficult is because of the relatively even diffusion of recent and historical greenhouse gases (GHGs) throughout the globe. Karoly writes, ‘In other words, the carbon dioxide currently circulating in the atmosphere is distributed fairly evenly across the globe, and consists of molecules emitted both recently and over at least the past hundred years, due to the long lifetime of the gas’. At smaller regional levels there are other factors that affect temperature rises, such as land use and aerosols. But, according to Karoly, ‘the attribution of observed global-average temperature increases to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases means that there must be an associated climate change signal at regional scales, even if this is small and possibly dwarfed by climate variability at these scales’. Nonetheless, Karoly notes that a reasonable measure of a country or company’s contribution to the changes of global climate forcing is its share of historical GHG emissions. One reason why this is important is because litigation related to climate change will, in part, depend upon linking impacts to GHG emissions, which in turn has important political and legal ramifications. This is especially true now that litigation around the effects of climate change is being instigated.

Introduction

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Continuing the theme of who is responsible for climate change, Peter Singer’s chapter highlights how climate change necessitates a new global ethic. Whereas before globalisation the consequences of people’s actions (and their responsibility for them) were identifiably local, our production of GHGs, both now and in the past, has meant that our actions have an impact on people everywhere. Singer discusses some of the principles that might be useful for dividing the burden of climate change, including ‘time-slice’ and ‘historical’ principles. He argues that while each of these has its advantages and disadvantages, rather than strictly adhere to one or another, we should adopt a compromise principle. This principle would not be derived from identifying who is to blame, but would be a ‘principle of equal per capita shares of the capacity of the atmospheric sink, tied to the current projections of population growth per country for 2050’. Seen in the context of emissions trading, this principle would allow cuts to be made to GHG emissions where they are cheapest to make. Singer’s position does have room for attributions of responsibility as he also argues that compensation is owed to poor countries by rich ones. The reason has to do with the harms that have been done via the process of climate change. In particular, the damage to agriculture on which poor countries overwhelming rely, and the increased flood proneness of many areas of poor countries. Importantly, Singer adds the proviso that where poor countries are afflicted with corrupt governments, the compensation should either be given directly to the people, or held in trust until the correct use can be made of the resources. Another way in which we might approach the issue of who has obligations to pay for climate change is via the notion of who has benefited most from the polluting activity that has caused climate change. So called ‘benefit accounts’ entail the idea that those who have benefited from, for instance, the ‘dirty’ industrialisation that has contributed to climate change should foot the bill for adaptation or mitigation measures. While plausible, the approach is also subject to some of the same problems as the historical responsibility thesis in that it is often hard to account for actions that occurred in the past. This is particularly true in the case of historical emissions. My own chapter looks at these and other accounts of who should pay as well

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the issue of how we should distribute costs within countries and the likely effect on the poor. A further dimension to who should pay for the costs of climate change (and why) is discussed by John Quiggin. Quiggin’s chapter raises the issue of how our responses to climate change affect intergenerational equity. He argues that this issue is important because at least some of those who incur the costs of climate change mitigation will not be alive when these policies produce their desired effect. On the other hand, the adoption of strong mitigation policies will, if successful, produce significant benefits for people alive in the second half of this century. The main technique by which economists address these issues is via the notion of discounting, which determines the present value of a future flow of income. In the case of climate change, the costs of action and the benefits that they produce are compared between current and future generations. The question that Quiggin addresses is whether members of the current generation have the right to allocate resources in their own favour, which may have a cost for future generations. Quiggin’s argument is that this way of understanding the problem is too simple because different generations are alive at the same time. He argues that discounting of future utility is inconsistent with the standard utilitarian requirement that all people alive should be treated equally. A policy of discounting treats the welfare of laterborn members of the current population, as well as those who will be born in the future, as being of less value than the welfare of earlierborn members of the population. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, he notes that this policy preference broadly matches the distribution of political power within the population. Continuing the discussion of the economic effects of climate change, John Freebairn’s chapter addresses the issue of the economic incidence of the different options for reducing GHG emissions on consumers, producers and government, and on different countries. Freebairn argues that a lot has been made of the various policy options for tackling GHG emissions and whether they can achieve reductions in GHG emissions while still being fair to the different groups concerned. Freebairn points out that there are precedents which can guide us in assessing the likely effects of emissions trading

Introduction

15

and tax schemes. These are studies of tax incidence, and the experience of the GST reforms introduced in Australia in 2000. Drawing on this evidence, Freebairn argues that the cost of a carbon tax or tradable permits will likely be passed onto the consumer, which has two implications. First, regarding permits, any gifting of permits, such as occurred with the EU scheme, is likely to redistribute national income. Whereas for an emissions tax scheme, where permits are auctioned or a tax imposed, there is a case for redistributing revenue in the form of tax cuts or increased social security payments. Freebairn’s assessment of the different options available to countries highlights the likely distribution of income that will result, and the links between different policy options and social justice outcomes. He also notes that for an individual country, going it alone in limiting GHG emissions may involve large costs and small benefits. Thus, without a global framework, actions by individual countries will be more costly. Justice considerations and, in particular, global justice frameworks are the focus of Robyn Eckersley’s chapter. She provides a history of carbon trading as a policy tool in the international arena and focuses on whether the various Australian and international trading schemes are just. Regarding cap and trade schemes, she notes the objection that rich countries and heavy polluters may be able to avoid some forms of costly adaptation by relying on other country’s or industry’s mitigation success. This might lead to these schemes acting to ‘hollow out responsibility’, as she puts it. It might also have the unfortunate consequence of giving those with the capacity to pollute license to do so. Nonetheless, Eckersley argues that if some sort of trading scheme is inevitable, the crucial question is whether they can be made palatable from an environmental justice perspective? Her answer is that they can, provided certain important conditions are met. They must ‘satisfy the triple requirements of effectiveness, efficiency and environmental justice’ and offer real benefits, or at least no disadvantage to poor countries and groups. For Australia in particular, Eckersley argues that the fairness of internal carbon trading schemes can be assessed on (1) the fairness of the allocation of domestic permits; (2) the rules and consequences of domestic trade; (3) the linking of domestic trading with

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international trading; and (4) the more general distributional consequences of rising energy prices. For example, she is critical of government suggestions to offset the increase in petrol prices with a cent for cent reduction in petrol taxes over the next three years, because it cancels out the ‘good’ price signals associated with a carbon tax. The same objection can be made about granting free permits to energy intensive industries, as it ‘prolongs dependence on fossil fuel and grants a scarcity rent to big carbon polluters’.

Climate Change and Vulnerable Groups The effect of actual and proposed policies is a crucial issue in any discussion of a response to climate change. Jon Barnett’s chapter emphasises that even though countries and peoples may adopt policies that fairly spread the burden of adapting to climate change, there are nonetheless likely to be losses of things that ‘are unique and which cannot be replaced, such as life, places, and species’. While not disagreeing with the idea that those who have benefited from past interactions, trade and development should bear the bulk of the costs of adapting to climate change, he highlights how the poor and the vulnerable may still lose out. Barnett does this through a detailed consideration of how vulnerability to climate change is distributed within the population of the Pacific island state of Niue, and how efforts to promote adaptation there may increase inequality. Barnett documents how the likely climate change will affect the food and health outcomes of contemporary and future people of Niue. Although the incomes of Niuean households are largely invulnerable to climate change because their jobs are not dependent on natural resources in Niue but on the New Zealand government, the migrant community on the island is likely to see its position worsen as a result of already existing inequalities. In short, in the absence of adaptation policies, climate change will likely increase income inequality in Niue along the lines of ethnicity. The case of the migrants on Niue illustrates that if we are not clear who are the most vulnerable, inequalities between ethnic and social groups will be exacerbated. What this should tell us is that the most vulnerable need to be included in our decision-making efforts and be well-informed participants in the process.

Introduction

17

Continuing the theme of the effects of climate change, Blashki, Berry and Kidd document how one of the most drastic impacts of climate change is likely to be on people’s health, and they focus on some of the challenges and benefits of strengthening primary health care as a response to these health impacts. They note that over 60 000 deaths can be attributed to climate change every year and many other life threatening diseases are likely to get worse as a result of climate change. In addition, some of the other health risks associated with climate change include: increased risk of malnutrition from impaired or failed agriculture; change in the range and seasonality of outbreaks of mosquito borne infections such as Malaria, Dengue Fever or Ross River Virus; and health risks for environmental refugees and the host populations. Yet climate change itself is not uniform and nor are the health impacts. For example, in Africa, ‘water stress is expected to be worsened by climate change, affecting between 75 and 250 million people by 2020’. Asia will be subject to alterations in the normal water cycle partially due to increased global melt, which will impact on the likelihood and spread of water borne disease. In response to these threats, Blashki et al. argue that primary health care providers are well placed to respond to these health issues. The authors put forward a framework which focuses on adaptation to the health impacts of climate change, public education, community capacity building, advocacy for mitigation, and environmentally sustainable health care. Cam Walker’s chapter focuses on a different group of vulnerable people by documenting how climate change is likely to increase the number of refugees. He argues that without adequate action on climate change there will be a significant number of climate refugees, possibly in the hundreds of millions. Like many others, he argues that it is developed countries such as Australia that must take the lead in responding to this issue. He documents the type of regions and peoples that will most likely produce refugees. For instance, he notes that a one-metre sea level rise would displace three million people in Indonesia. Bangladesh’s population of more than 140 million are likely to be affected by a similar rise in sea levels. China and India will also suffer as a result of rising sea levels caused by climate change.

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Climate Change and Social Justice

In response to this climate refugee crisis, Walker argues that a country like Australia needs to establish an immigration program with a quota for climate refugees that is additional to our current humanitarian quota. Australia should also act within its region to find countries willing to accept climate refugees.

Policy Implications Identifying whom climate change will harm has implications for the formation of just and effective policies around climate change. Fritze and Wiseman’s chapter sets out to critically assess some of the main justice based theories for action in response to climate change. They are critical of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities because it does not necessarily recognise that countries whose cumulative emissions might be high, might not now be wealthy. Similarly, ‘contraction and convergence’ models may exacerbate existing inequalities and may not reflect procedural justice. They identify the latter as a crucial feature of future schemes. Their task of advancing the policy debate centres on five tasks that should be reflected in equitable climate change policies and strategies in Australia. They argue for a need to engage citizens and communities and especially vulnerable individuals and groups. Importantly, this involves assessing how these vulnerabilities track across different policy areas, linking levels of governments. They highlight these issues through a consideration of the impacts of climate change on global food production and the way in which this will increase global inequalities. From an Australian perspective, multi- and bilateral trade agreements that determine the terms of food exports and imports will in part create the context of our ability to respond to climate change impacts on local food production as well as influencing food prices. Charlotte Sterrett’s chapter provides a development perspective on climate justice. She argues that, in many instances, climate change policy does not properly identify who should pay for climate change and where and how those funds should be spent. In particular, she argues that the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds and their strategy for implementation have serious flaws. For instance, she finds that little has been done to develop participation by less

Introduction

19

developed nations in the design of the funds, and criticises the proposal to use loans rather than grants for funding, which is unacceptable to those developing countries that are least responsible for causing climate change. She notes how the principles guiding the fund are unjust and instead proposes an ‘international air travel adaptation levy’, which would both target those who are contributing to climate change and provide larger sums to direct towards developing countries. Ben Preston’s paper argues that some of the current policy parameters need to be replaced. Preston’s argument is that while the standard approach to climate policy focuses on the stabilisation of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a safe level, we need to shift focus to broader positive social and environmental outcomes. Four key theses illustrate this point. The first is that socio-economic vulnerability is the key driver of climate risk. The rapid globalisation and increased use of the earth’s resources have placed too much pressure on the climate. As a result, climate policy should have a dual function: it should act to reduce GHG emissions and generally produce a good result for the environment, but it should also address the broader social issues that cause climate change. Positive social and environmental outcomes should be at the forefront of climate policy. One example he gives is the tendency to aggregate tipping points into a single metric, most often a global warming threshold of 2 degrees C above pre-industrial global mean temperature. Preston points out that a simple metric such as this ignores local variability (such as coral reefs) and argues that we need a more nuanced metric that promotes ‘holistic management methods that can treat systems in their complexity’. In addition, Preston argues that much policy avoids proper consideration of downstream consequences. ‘In order to recognise such unintended consequences of a policy, a sufficiently comprehensive view of a system must first be in place that includes an appreciation for direct and indirect effects that may eventuate.’ He cites the recent US policies on biofuel as a case in point, where farmers switching to corn production (to produce ethanol) have led to increased water use and agricultural run off. Here trying to reduce GHG from petrol has

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led to other environmental problems ‘swapping one externality for another’ as he points out. Preston canvasses several ways in which policy makers might act to ensure that we avoid these types of consequences. He reminds us not to lose sight of the ultimate goal of policy making which is to improve human welfare and that there is no single policy silver bullet.

Notes 1

2

The preparation of this manuscript has been generously supported by a grant from the Publications Sub-Committee, University of Melbourne Research Office. The publication has also been supported by a grant from the Research and Research Training Committee, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne. Research for this collection was also funded from an ARC discovery grant ‘reassessing Egalitarianism’ (DP0557772). I gratefully acknowledge the above support. Henceforth I will use ‘climate change’ as an abbreviation for anthropogenic climate change.

Introduction

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Part I Science, Fairness and Responsibility

1

The Blame Game Assigning Responsibility for the Impacts of Anthropogenic Climate Change David J. Karoly

Concern about the adverse impacts of anthropogenic climate change has grown over the last decade, particularly as the scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have provided higher confidence conclusions that recent warming of the climate system is unequivocal and that, at the global scale, most of this warming is due to human activity. The recent IPCC assessment in 2007 concluded ‘Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations’.1 This conclusion refers to global-scale climate change, but it is the local and regional impacts of climate change that affect people, society and ecosystems. In addition, the important anthropogenic greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and halocarbons, have long atmospheric residence times and are well-mixed, so that increases in their concentrations are due to integrated emissions over extended periods. Blaming or assigning responsibility for specific regional impacts of climate change to different sources of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, such as individual countries or companies, is

difficult but has been considered in principle.2 It involves linking changes in greenhouse gas concentrations to different sources of emissions and linking regional impacts of climate change to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. A brief review is presented of recent studies that have considered different aspects of this problem. Approaches to quantifying the influence on the global climate system due to emissions of different greenhouse gases are discussed in the next section, followed by an assessment of studies linking regional climate impacts to changes in concentrations of greenhouse gases. Although studies of end-to-end attribution from greenhouse gas emissions to increasing concentrations to changes in climate forcing to global climate change and finally to regional impacts are in their infancy,3 it appears to be human nature to want to assign blame. Litigation related to climate change impacts already is occurring and will almost certainly increase in the future. The science linking impacts to greenhouse gas emissions is a critical aspect required to support such litigation.

Responsibility for Changes in Climate Forcing The metric that is commonly used to represent the relative importance of different external factors in causing changes in the global climate is the global average radiative forcing, the change in net downward radiation at the top of the troposphere at a specific time relative to pre-industrial times.4 As shown in figure 1, the largest single factor contributing to the increase in radiative forcing in 2005 was the observed increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, followed by the increases in the other anthropogenic longlived greenhouse gases, methane, halocarbons and nitrous oxide. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 2005 was 379 parts per million (ppm), about 30 per cent higher than its pre-industrial concentration and higher than at any time in the past 650 000 years.5 The warming influence due to the increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gases was offset to some extent by the cooling influence of anthropogenic aerosols, small particles and droplets in the atmosphere due to industrial activity, that cause a negative radiative forcing (see figure 1). Hence, the net anthropogenic radiative forcing is less than the total radiative forcing due to all long-lived

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greenhouse gases and similar in magnitude to the radiative forcing due to carbon dioxide alone.

Figure 1: Global Average Radiative Forcing (RF) Estimates and Ranges in 2005 Global average radiative forcing (RF) estimates and ranges in 2005 for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and other important agents and mechanisms, together with the typical geographical extent (spatial scale) of the forcing and the assessed level of scientific understanding (LOSU). The net anthropogenic radiative forcing and its range are also shown. These require summing asymmetric uncertainty estimates from the component terms, and cannot be obtained by simple addition. Additional forcing factors not included here are considered to have a very low LOSU. Volcanic aerosols contribute an additional natural forcing but are not included in this figure due to their episodic nature. The range for linear contrails does not include other possible effects of aviation on cloudiness. Source: Reproduced from Figure SPM.2, IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’.

The Global Warming Potential index (GWP) was developed to understand the relative importance of different emissions of greenhouse gases to the radiative forcing in 2005 and to future changes in radiative forcing.6 As used by the IPCC, the GWP is:

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an index, based upon radiative properties of well-mixed greenhouse gases, measuring the radiative forcing of a unit mass of a given well-mixed greenhouse gas in the presentday atmosphere integrated over a chosen time horizon, relative to that of carbon dioxide. The GWP represents the combined effect of the differing times these gases remain in the atmosphere and their relative effectiveness in absorbing outgoing thermal infrared radiation.7 The atmospheric lifetimes and GWPs for methane and nitrous oxide are compared with those for carbon dioxide in table 1. For example, the climate forcing over 100 years due to the emission of 1 unit of methane is the same as that due to the emission of 25 units of carbon dioxide. Since the lifetimes of these greenhouse gases are long, their current concentrations in the atmosphere depend not only on current emissions but also on the total emissions of each gas over its atmospheric lifetime.8 In addition, the atmospheric concentration of a given greenhouse gas depends on total global emissions, not local emissions, over the lifetime of the gas, as long lifetimes and atmospheric circulation mean that such gases are well-mixed, with only relatively small spatial variations in concentrations. In other words, the carbon dioxide currently circulating in the atmosphere is distributed fairly evenly across the globe, and consists of molecules emitted both recently and over at least the past hundred years, due to the long lifetime of the gas. Table 1: Atmospheric Lifetimes and Global Warming Potentials Relative to Carbon Dioxide of Several Long-lived Greenhouse Gases Common name

Lifetime (years)

Global Warming Potential for given time horizon

Carbon dioxide

See belowa

1

1

12

72

25

114

289

298

20 years

Methane Nitrous oxide a

100 years

Carbon dioxide has multiple atmospheric lifetimes of about 1, 18, and 173 years, associated with different removal processes. Source: Table 2.14, IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’.

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The responsibility for changes in climate forcing can be determined from the time history of the emissions of different greenhouse gases by different countries9 or companies. The effects of the different greenhouse gases relative to carbon dioxide can be evaluated by multiplying the emissions of a specific greenhouse gas by its GWP and then summing the emissions over the different greenhouse gases. This gives the carbon dioxide–equivalent emission, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that would cause the same radiative forcing, over a given time horizon, as an emitted amount of a mixture of greenhouse gases. The total carbon dioxide–equivalent emissions of all greenhouse gases in 2004 for different regional groups are shown in figure 2 as per capita emissions, together with the populations for each of the regional groups. Both the largest per capita emissions and the largest total emissions of greenhouse gases are from the US-Canada grouping. While Australia has a relatively small proportion of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, this is disproportionately large given Australia’s small population. Australia’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are comparable to those of the US and Canada and

Figure 2: Distribution of Regional Per Capita Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions According to the Population of Different Country Groupings in 2004 The percentages in the bars indicate a region’s share in global GHG emissions. Source: Reproduced from Figure 2.2(a), IPCC, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report.

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among the highest per capita emissions of any country in the world. Given that it is the total greenhouse gas emissions over a period of time that have caused the changes in radiative forcing, a reasonable measure of a country’s or company’s contribution to the changes in global climate forcing would be its share of the total historical greenhouse gas emissions.10

Attribution of Regional Climate Change and Its Impacts A recent assessment of progress on the attribution of observed global and regional climate changes to different forcing factors has been provided by the IPCC.11 This provided higher confidence assessments of the role of increasing greenhouse gases in causing recent global climate change, concluding ‘Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused most of the observed global warming over the last 50 years’12 and ‘It is likely that there has been a substantial anthropogenic contribution to surface temperature increases in every continent except Antarctica since the middle of the 20th century’13, as shown in figure 3. It also noted that difficulties remain in attributing temperature changes at smaller than continental scales to anthropogenic climate forcing, due to the increasing magnitude of natural climate variability at smaller spatial scales and the possible confounding influences of different climate forcing factors at local scales, including land use change and aerosols, in addition to increases in greenhouse gases. For other climate variables apart from temperature, it is even harder to identify the small climate change response to increasing greenhouse gases relative to the larger natural climate variability. Analysis of climate model simulations shows a coherent pattern of regional temperature increases, as well as increased global-average temperature, in response to increased greenhouse gas forcing. Hence, the attribution of observed global-average temperature increases to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases means that there must be an associated climate change signal at regional scales, even if this is small and possibly dwarfed by climate variability at these scales. Since the impacts of climate change occur at local and regional scales, these are already likely to be affected by the contributions to regional temperature increases due to anthropogenic climate forcing.

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Figure 3: Comparison of Observed Continental- and Global-scale Changes in Surface Temperature with Results Simulated by Climate Models Using Natural and Anthropogenic Forcings Decadal averages of observations are shown for the period 1906 to 2005 (black line) plotted against the centre of the decade and relative to the corresponding average for 1901–1950. Lines are dashed where spatial coverage is less than 50 per cent. Darker shaded bands show the 5–95 per cent range for 19 simulations from five climate models using only the natural forcings due to solar activity and volcanoes. Lighter shaded bands show the 5–95 per cent range for 58 simulations from 14 climate models using both natural and anthropogenic forcings. Source: Reproduced from Figure SPM.4, IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’.

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Despite the difficulties in identifying an anthropogenic contribution to recent observed temperature increases at regional scales, this has been undertaken in several recent studies14. When individual regions of spatial scale about 500 km are considered, the observed warming trends over the last fifty years are statistically significant, cannot be explained by natural climate variations and are consistent with the expected response to increasing greenhouse gases in the majority of the regions,15 as shown in figure 4. Hence, the anthropogenic contribution to recent regional warming is relatively large and likely to be contributing to regional climate impacts. Given that the anthropogenic climate change signal-to-noise ratio is largest for temperature, it is likely that climate change impacts due to regional warming will be easiest to identify. A recent global

Figure 4: Observed Trends in Surface Temperature over the Period 1953–2002 Plus (minus) symbols mark individual grid boxes where the observed trends are significantly larger (smaller) than zero at the 95 per cent level using a one-sided test. Above the map is the fraction of grid boxes with significant warming trends and, in brackets, the possible range of fractions that could occur due to natural internal climate variability. Source: Reproduced from Karoly and Wu, ‘Detection of Regional Surface Temperature Trends’.

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assessment of significant observed changes in biological and physical systems since at least 1970 concluded that anthropogenic climate change, particularly temperature increases, was already having significant impacts on some physical and biological systems globally and in some continents.16 These impacts in physical systems included enhanced melting of glaciers, later freezing and earlier melting of ice on rivers and lakes, earlier spring peaks in river runoff, warmer temperatures in rivers and lakes, and increased coastal inundation and erosion due to sea level rise. Impacts in biological systems included earlier spring dates for seasonal events such as budding and flowering of plants, egg laying and migration of birds, and upward and poleward range shifts for insects. Some specific regional impacts have been linked more formally to anthropogenic climate change, such as melting of glaciers across the globe17 and earlier snow melt and spring peak in river flow in the western United States.18 Many of the largest impacts of weather and climate on society are associated with extreme events, such as heat waves, floods or tropical cyclones. Given that such events are not unprecedented, it is not possible to attribute climate change as the cause of a specific event. However, anthropogenic climate change may affect the likelihood of occurrence of such an event.19 As in medical epidemiology, there may be a number of risk factors determining the likelihood of an event. An evaluation of the change in the likelihood of an extreme event between a climate affected by anthropogenic climate change and a pre-industrial climate would permit the determination of the role of climate change in contributing to the risk of a specific event. As an example, the European summer heat wave in 2003 was a very rare event, with an unusually large number of heat-related deaths in France. Stott and colleagues20 estimated how much human-related increases in greenhouse gases would have increased the risk (meaning the probability of occurrence) of such a heat wave. They found that it is very likely that greenhouse climate change has at least doubled the risk of a heat wave exceeding this magnitude, with a best estimate of a quadrupling of the risk, as shown in figure 5. It is likely that anthropogenic climate change is a significant contributing factor in increasing the risk of hot extremes and extreme high sea level, and reducing the risk of cold extremes in many regions.

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Figure 5: Change in Risk of Mean European Summer Temperatures Change in risk of mean European summer temperatures exceeding a threshold of 1.6° C above 1961 to 1990 mean temperatures, a threshold that was exceeded in 2003 but in no other year since the start of the instrumental record in 1851. (Top) Frequency histograms of the estimated likelihood of the risk (probability) of exceeding a 1.6° C threshold (relative to the 1961–1990 mean) in the 1990s in the presence (lighter curve) and absence (darker curve) of anthropogenic change, expressed as an occurrence rate. (Bottom) Fraction of attributable risk (FAR). The vertical line indicates the ‘best estimate’ FAR, the mean risk attributable to anthropogenic factors averaged over the distribution. The alternation between grey and white bands indicates the deciles of the estimated FAR distribution. The shift from the darker to the lighter distribution in (a) implies a FAR distribution with mean 0.75, corresponding to a four-fold increase in the risk of such an event (b). Source: Reproduced from Figure 9.13, IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’.

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Conclusion While very few studies have attempted end-to-end attribution from greenhouse gas emissions to specific regional climate change impacts, many more studies have assessed the individual links in such a chain. Responsibility for changes in observed greenhouse gases and associated global climate forcing can be linked to the history of emissions from different countries (or companies). The observed increase in global mean temperature since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Some regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases and their associated impacts, can be linked to anthropogenic climate forcing. While individual severe weather events cannot be directly linked to climate change, an assessment of the change in likelihood of specific events (such as heat waves) due to anthropogenic climate change is possible. Hence, responsibility for adverse impacts of a warmer climate or an increased likelihood of some severe weather events may be able to be linked in part to emissions from specific countries. While further development of the scientific methods for this end-to-end attribution is needed, litigation may lead to the testing of these methods for the assignment of blame for the adverse impacts of anthropogenic climate change.

Notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’, p. 10. Allen and Lord, ‘Blame Game’; Stone and Allen, ‘End-to-end Attribution Problem’. ibid. IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’. ibid. ibid. IPCC, ‘Glossary’, p. 946. Enting and Law, ‘Characterising Historical Responsibility for the Greenhouse Effect’. ibid. Stone and Allen, ‘End-to-end Attribution Problem’. Hegerl et al., ‘Understanding and Attributing Climate Change’. ibid., p. 665. ibid. Karoly and Wu, Detection of Regional Surface Temperature Trends’; Karoly and Stott, ‘Anthropogenic Warming of Central England Temperature’. Karoly and Wu, ‘Detection of Regional Surface Temperature Trends’.

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16 Rosenzweig et al., ‘Attributing Physical and Biological Impacts to Anthropogenic Climate Change’. 17 Ren and Karoly, ‘Comparison of Glacier-inferred Temperatures with Observations and Climate Model Simulations’. 18 Barnett et al., ‘Human-induced Changes in the Hydrology of the Western United States’. 19 Allen and Lord, ‘Blame Game’; Stone and Allen, ‘End-to-end Attribution Problem’. 20 Stott, Stone and Allen, ‘Human Contribution to the European Heatwave of 2003’.

Bibliography Allen, Myles R. and Richard Lord, ‘The Blame Game: Who Will Pay for the Damaging Consequences of Climate Change?’, Nature, vol. 452, 2004, pp. 551–2. Barnett, Tim P., David W. Pierce, G. Hidalgo Hugo, Celine Bonfils, Benjamin D. Santer, Tapash Das, Govindasamy Bala, Andrew W. Wood, Toru Nozawa, Arthur A. Mirin, Daniel R. Cayan and Michael D. Dettinger, ‘Human-induced Changes in the Hydrology of the Western United States’, Science, vol. 319, 2008, pp. 1080–3. Enting, I. G. and R. M. Law, ‘Characterising Historical Responsibility for the Greenhouse Effect’, Technical Paper, no. 41, CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, 2002, www.cmar.csiro.au/e-print/open/enting_2002a.pdf Hegerl, Gabriele C., Francis W. Zwiers, Pascale Braconnot, Nathan P. Gillett, Yong Luo, Jose A. Marengo Orsini, Neville Nicholls, Joyce E. Penner and Peter A. Stott, ‘Understanding and Attributing Climate Change’, in IPCC, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Susan Solomon, Qin Dahe, Martin Manning, Zhenlin Chen, Martin Marquis, Kristen Averyt, Melinda M. B. Tignor, and Henry LeRoy Miller, Jr. (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, ch. 9, pp. 663–746. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ‘Glossary’, in IPCC, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Susan Solomon, Qin Dahe, Martin Manning, Zhenlin Chen, Martin Marquis, Kristen Averyt, Melinda M. B. Tignor, and Henry LeRoy Miller, Jr. (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, annex I, pp. 941–54. ——‘Summary for Policymakers’, in IPCC, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Susan Solomon, Qin Dahe, Martin Manning, Zhenlin Chen, Martin Marquis, Kristen Averyt, Melinda M. B. Tignor, and Henry LeRoy Miller, Jr. (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 1–18. ——Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental

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Panel on Climate Change, Susan Solomon, Qin Dahe, Martin Manning, Zhenlin Chen, Martin Marquis, Kristen Averyt, Melinda M. B. Tignor, and Henry LeRoy Miller, Jr. (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007. ——Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra K. Pachauri and Andy Reisinger (eds), IPCC, Geneva, 2007. Karoly, David J. and Peter A. Stott, ‘Anthropogenic Warming of Central England Temperature’, Atmospheric Science Letters, vol. 7, 2006, pp. 81–5. Karoly, David J. and Qigang Wu, ‘Detection of Regional Surface Temperature Trends’, Journal of Climate, vol. 18, 2005, pp. 4337–43. Ren, Diandong and David J. Karoly, ‘Comparison of Glacier-inferred Temperatures with Observations and Climate Model Simulations’, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 33, 2006, L23710.1–4. Rosenzweig, Cynthia, David Karoly, Marta Vicarelli, Peter Neofotis, Qigang Wu, Gino Casassa, Annette Menzel, Terry L. Root, Nicole Estrella, Bernard Seguin, Piotr Tryjanowski, Chunzhen Liu, Samuel Rawlins and Anton Imeson, ‘Attributing Physical and Biological Impacts to Anthropogenic Climate Change’, Nature, vol. 453, 2008, pp. 353–7. Stone, Dáithí A. and Myles Allen, ‘The End-to-end Attribution Problem: From Emissions to Impacts’, Climatic Change, vol. 71, 2005, pp. 303–18. Stott, Peter A., Dáithí A. Stone and Myles R. Allen, ‘Human Contribution to the European Heatwave of 2003’, Nature, vol. 432, 2004, pp. 610–14.

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2

Climate Change as an Ethical Issue Peter Singer

For most of human existence, people living only short distances apart might as well have been living in separate worlds. A river, a mountain range, a stretch of forest or desert: these were enough to cut people off from each other. As a result, human beings developed systems of ethics to deal with problems within our community, rather than with the impact of our actions on those far away. Responsibilities and harms were generally clear and well defined. We took the atmosphere and the oceans for granted, never thinking of them as limited resources we could use up, and so never developing inhibitions against making the fullest use of them. Today people living on opposite sides of the world are linked in ways previously unimaginable. The fact that human activities are causing climate change has revealed bizarre new ways in which humans can harm each other. By driving your car, you could be releasing carbon dioxide that is part of a causal chain leading to a drought in Chad or lethal floods in Bangladesh. This change has revolutionary consequences for the way we think about our ethical obligations. Consider, for instance, the celebrated defence of free markets offered by the great eighteenth century philosopher and economist

Adam Smith. Smith argued that although markets will allow some to become very rich while others remain poor, the rich do not deprive the poor of their share of the world’s wealth: The rich only select from the heap what is most precious and agreeable. They consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity, though they mean only their own conveniency, though the sole end which they propose from the labours of all the thousands whom they employ, be the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires, they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements.1 Smith then refers to his famous ‘invisible hand’ which brings about a distribution of the necessaries of life that is ‘nearly the same’ as it would have been if the world had been divided up equally among all its inhabitants. This is the oft-used ‘trickle down’ justification of inequality. Yes, the rich may have more money than the poor, but in making themselves wealthy they invent all kinds of improvements, and so they bring benefits to the poor as well. Perhaps this was true in Smith’s day, but today it is clear that Smith’s argument faces an objection he could not have foreseen. Smith knew that the rich could be selfish and rapacious, but he did not know that in burning fossil fuels and in creating a demand for more farm animals, the rich would breach the limits of the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb their waste gases without causing potentially catastrophic climate change. He did not imagine that the rich could take six times their share of this limited capacity, and that, far from dividing with the poor the produce of all their improvements, the rich would effectively deprive the poor of the opportunity to develop along the lines that the rich themselves had taken. For if the poor were to behave as the rich do, temperatures would rise even faster than they already are, bringing unpredictable consequences and, potentially, catastrophe on us all. So we need a new, global ethic. But how should a global ethic take account of climate change? What type of international agreement would satisfy a need for fairness among peoples?

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‘Enough and as Good’ In his Second Treatise on Civil Government, published in 1690, John Locke writes that the earth and its contents ‘belong to mankind in common’. How, then, can there be private property? Because our labour is our own, and hence when we mix our labour with the land and its products, we make them our own. It has this effect, Locke writes, as long as our appropriation does not prevent there being ‘enough and as good left in common for others’. Locke’s justification of the acquisition of private property is the classic historical account of how property can be legitimately acquired, and it has served as the starting point for more recent discussions. Consider its implications in an age of climate change. Imagine that we live in a village in which everyone puts their waste down a giant drain. No one quite knows what happens to the waste after it goes down the drain, but since it disappears and has no adverse impact on anyone, no one worries about it. The capacity of the drain to dispose of our waste seems limitless. As long as that situation continues, it is reasonable to believe that we are leaving enough and as good for others. No matter how much we pour down the drain, others can do the same. But now imagine that conditions change, so that the drain’s capacity to carry away our waste is used to the full. At this point, when we continue to throw our wastes down the drain we are no longer leaving enough and as good for others, and hence our right to unchecked waste disposal becomes questionable. Think of that giant drain as our atmosphere and our wastes as carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Once we have used up the atmosphere’s capacity to absorb our gases without harmful consequences, it becomes apparent that it is a finite resource on which various parties have competing claims. The problem is to allocate those claims justly.

Defining Equitable Distribution During the 2000 US presidential election, when the candidates were asked in a televised debate what they would do about global warming, George W. Bush said: I’ll tell you one thing I’m not going to do is I’m not going to let the United States carry the burden for cleaning up the

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world’s air, like the Kyoto treaty would have done. China and India were exempted from that treaty. I think we need to be more even-handed. As president, Bush frequently repeated this line of reasoning. Indeed, the issue of what constitutes even-handedness, or fairness or equity, is perhaps the greatest hurdle to international action on climate change. But was Bush right to say that it is not even-handed to expect the United States to restrict its emissions before China and India begin to restrict theirs? There are various principles that people use to judge what is fair or even-handed. In political philosophy, it is common to follow Robert Nozick, who distinguished between ‘historical’ principles and ‘time-slice’ principles. A historical principle is one that says: to understand whether a given distribution of goods is just or unjust, we must ask how the situation came about; we must know its history. Are the parties entitled, by an originally justifiable acquisition and a chain of legitimate transfers, to the holdings they now have? If so, the present distribution is just. If not, rectification or compensation will be needed to produce a just distribution. Looking at data for 1900 to 1999, we find that the United States, for example, with about five percent of the world’s population, was responsible for about thirty percent of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, the primary source of greenhouse gases. Most of this carbon dioxide is still up in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. In this case, the application of the historical principle might be called ‘the polluter pays’ or ‘you broke it, you fix it’. It would assign responsibility proportionate to the amount that each country has contributed, a view that puts a heavy burden on the developed nations. In defence of the developed nations, it might be argued that at the time when they contributed most of their greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, they could not know of the atmosphere’s limits in absorbing those gases. But they can’t claim ignorance of the consequences of their actions either, at least not for the entire period during which the damage has been done. As early as 1896, the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius warned about the effect on the climate of a build up of carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuels.

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The phenomenon was not seriously studied, however, until the 1970s, and climate change only became an international issue in the 1980s. In 1987—at the time, the hottest year on record, but now not even in the top ten—scientists testified about global warming at United States congressional hearings. The following year the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Office jointly set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and two years later that body reported that the threat of climate change was real, and a global treaty was needed to deal with it.2 The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was agreed to in 1992. This convention, accepted by 181 governments, including all the major industrialised nations, calls for greenhouse gases to be stabilised at safe levels, and says that the parties to the convention should do this ‘on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’. Developed nations should ‘take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof’. The developed nations committed themselves to not exceeding 1990 levels of emissions by the year 2000. Though not legally binding, the commitment demonstrates that the developed nations were aware of the need for action.3 Most countries came nowhere near meeting it. In the United States, for example, by 2000 carbon dioxide emissions were fourteen percent higher than they were in 1990. The Kyoto Protocol, agreed to by most industrialised nations in 1997, was a belated attempt to get agreed action from the industrialised nations that would fulfil the pledges made at the Rio Earth Summit five years earlier. But the United States, then the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and one with a particularly high per capita level of emissions, did not sign it, and as this book goes to press still has not taken significant steps to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, which have continued to increase. Other countries may also fail to meet the targets to which they agreed. So it would be extremely generous to wipe the slate clean and forget about the responsibility of the developed nations for causing the problem. Nevertheless, it is worth considering what standards might apply if we were to do that. This is the idea behind the timeslice principle. It looks at the existing distribution at a particular moment in time and asks whether that distribution satisfies some idea of fairness—irrespective of any preceding sequence of events.

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An Equal Share for Everyone If we begin by asking, ‘Why should anyone have a greater claim to part of the global atmospheric sink than anyone else?’ then the first, and simplest response is: ‘No reason at all.’ Everyone has the same claim to part of the atmospheric sink as everyone else. This kind of equality seems self-evidently fair, at least as a starting point for discussion. The Kyoto Protocol aimed to achieve a level for developed nations that was five percent below 1990 levels. Suppose that we focus on emissions for the entire planet and aim to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions. If we choose a target of 1996 emissions levels, then the allocation per person works out conveniently to about one metric ton of carbon per year. This becomes the basic equitable entitlement for every human being on the planet. (Note that emissions are sometimes expressed in terms of tons of carbon dioxide, rather than tons of carbon. One ton of carbon is equivalent to 3.7 tons of carbon dioxide.) Now compare actual per capita emissions for some key nations. In 2004, the United States produced more than five tons of carbon per person per year, while Japan, Germany and the UK each produced less than three tons. China was at 1.05 and India at 0.34. This means that to reach an equal per capita annual emission limit of one ton of carbon per person, India would be able to increase its emissions three times. China, on the other hand, would need to stabilise its current emissions, and the United States would have to reduce its emissions to one-fifth of present levels. One objection to this approach is that it gives countries an insufficient incentive to do anything about population growth. We can meet this objection by setting national allocations that are tied to a specified population, rather than letting them rise with an increase in population. But since different countries have different proportions of young people about to reach reproductive age, this provision might produce greater hardship in countries that have younger populations than in those that have older populations. To overcome this, the per capita allocation could be based on an estimate of a country’s population at some future date. Countries would then receive a reward in terms of an increased emission quota per citizen if they achieved a lower population than had been expected and a penalty in terms of a

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reduced emission quota per citizen if they exceeded the population forecast.

A Proposal Although one could argue for the merits of both the historical ‘you broke it, you fix it’ principle and the time-slice ‘equal per capita shares’ principle, I propose, both because of its simplicity, and hence its suitability as a political compromise, the principle of equal per capita shares of the capacity of the atmospheric sink, tied to the current projections of population growth per country for 2050. Although more generous to the industrialised nations than the historical principle, allocating on the basis of equal per capita shares will still be very difficult for them. Some will claim it is excessively harsh, for they will have to cut back the most on their output of greenhouse gases. Emissions trading can make the transition to a low emissions economy much easier. Emissions trading works on a simple economic principle: If you can buy something more cheaply than you can produce it yourself, you are better off buying it than making it. In this case, what you can buy will be a transferable quota to produce greenhouse gases, allocated on the basis of an equal per capita share. There is, of course, much more to be said about what would be required to make a global carbon trading scheme fair.4 Whatever the difficulties, however, such a scheme seems preferable to any alternative. International carbon trading means that cuts in carbon emissions will be made where they can be done most cheaply, thus doing the least possible damage to the global economy. Moreover, it gives countries with few greenhouse gas emissions— generally, poor countries—an incentive to keep their emissions low, so that they have the largest possible emissions quota to sell to countries—generally, rich countries—that are over their quota.

The Question of Compensation If the affluence of the rich nations has come at the expense of the poor—if, whether intentionally or not, we have harmed them in order to prosper, and if our continuing affluence is at least in part due to the fact that we are continuing to harm them—then it seems that the rich nations owe the poor compensation for the harm that they have done—and are continuing to do—to them. The facts of climate change

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make it very probable that what the rich have done has already harmed many of the world’s poor and in the decades to come, will harm hundreds of millions more.5 Speaking to the nations of the world at an African Union summit, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda put it plainly: ‘You are causing aggression to us by causing global warming … Alaska will probably become good for agriculture, Siberia will probably become good for agriculture, but where does that leave Africa?’6 This is strong language, but Museveni’s central point is difficult to deny since twothirds of the greenhouse gases that are now in the atmosphere have come from the US and Western Europe and, without that, there would be no human-induced global warming problem. Africa’s contribution is, by comparison, extremely modest: less than three percent of the global emissions from burning fuel since 1900, somewhat more if land clearing and methane emissions from livestock production are included, but still a small fraction of the contribution of the industrialised nations. And while every nation will have some problems in adjusting to climate change, the hardship will, as Museveni suggests, fall disproportionately on the poor in the regions of the world closer to the equator. Some scientists believe that precipitation will decrease nearer the equator and increase nearer the poles; in any case, the rainfall upon which hundreds of millions rely to grow their food will become less reliable. Moreover, the poor nations depend on agriculture far more than the rich. In the US, agriculture represents only four percent of the economy; in Malawi it is forty percent, and ninety percent of Malawians are subsistence farmers, virtually all of them dependent on rainfall. Similar patterns of dependence on farming and rainfall are common across Africa. Nor will drought be the only problem. Rising sea levels will inundate fertile, densely settled delta regions in Egypt, Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. The Sunderbans, a chain of islands in the Ganges delta that is home to four million Indians, are already disappearing. Two islands have vanished entirely, and in all an area of land measuring thirty one square miles has disappeared over the last thirty years. Hundreds of families have had to move to camps for displaced people.7 Some small Pacific Island nations that consist of low-lying coral atolls, like Kiribati and Tuvalu, are in similar danger, and these nations may be submerged beneath the waves.8

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The 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change spelled out some of these threats: in Latin America, seventy million could be left without enough water, and many farmers will have to abandon traditional crops as the soil becomes more saline; in Africa, 250 million are at risk of water shortages and the wheat crop could be wiped out; in Asia, 100 million people face floods from rising sea levels, and less rain could mean reduced rice crops in China and Bangladesh.9 In addition to the poorer nations being more severely and more adversely affected by the physical changes themselves, they also lack the resources to adapt. In Australia, as persistent drought threatens irrigation areas in the country’s southeast, the government is advising farmers to look to the nation’s underpopulated tropical north, which has water that has not been extensively used for crops. Few other nations have the luxury of large underpopulated areas of land with potential for development. Again in Australia, the city of Perth has spent $313 million for a desalination plant that will supply seventeen percent of the city’s drinking water. For many poor nations, that is simply too expensive. Similarly, in the Netherlands the government has spent large sums on ‘climate-proofing’ the country by raising the dykes to keep out rising sea levels, and designing amphibious houses that can rise and float, while remaining securely moored, if rivers flood. In India, where monsoonal floods are becoming more intense and twenty million acres and more than four million people are affected, on average, every year, villagers often are without safe drinking water or sanitation for long periods while the floodwaters cover their fields.10 It may be true that the developed nations did not aim to cause harm to the poor, but this does not let them off the hook. Causing harm as an unwanted but unavoidable side-effect to the attaining of a desirable goal can be defended, if there was no other way of achieving the goal and the goal was sufficiently important to outweigh the harm caused. In the case of global warming, however, the reverse is the case: the harm caused far outweighs the good obtained. President Bush admitted as much early in his presidency when, asked if he would do something about global warming, he said, ‘We will not do anything that harms our economy, because first things first are the people who live in America’.11 Shortly afterwards Ari Fleischer, his spokesperson, was asked at a press briefing whether the president

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would call on drivers to sharply reduce their fuel consumption, Fleischer replied: ‘That’s a big no. The President believes that it’s an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policymakers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one’.12 Such remarks suggest that the US was—and is—bringing lifethreatening harm to hundreds of millions of people because it puts a higher priority on preserving its economic self-interest and the preservation of its citizens’ rights to burn as much fuel as they wish. One could say the same about other developed nations, even if their leaders are more guarded in their comments than President Bush or his spokesperson were. President Barack Obama has indicated that he intends to take a very different approach, and one can only hope that he will be able to persuade Congress and the American Public to support him in this. Even if this happens, however, it will not change the case for compensation for damage already done. Therefore, in addition to being under an obligation to stop the harm they are doing, the rich nations owe the poor compensation for the harm they have done. The standard of proof for causal responsibility for the harm caused to the poor should not be that of the criminal law, but rather that appropriate in a civil suit for damages. For example, in the criminal trial of the former football star O. J. Simpson for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman, the prosecution was required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury decided that it had not done so—presumably regarding the defence claim that the police had framed Simpson as at least establishing a reasonable doubt that he had committed the murders. Subsequently the families of the victims brought a civil suit against Simpson seeking punitive damages for the loss they had suffered. In this trial, with Simpson’s money at stake, rather than his liberty, the families only had to establish that the ‘preponderance of evidence’ favoured their claim. In other words, the jury could return a verdict for the families if they considered that there was more than a fifty percent probability that Simpson was the murderer—and it was enough if nine of the twelve jurors reached this conclusion. The jury did find—unanimously—for the families Since compensation for harms done—whether done by individuals, by states, or by other groups—does not involve locking anyone up, but rather the payment of money, the standard should be no higher than

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the balance of probabilities. After all, a loss is going to have to fall somewhere—either with those who pay the compensation, or with those who suffer uncompensated harm, or with both. If the balance of probabilities is that one party was entirely responsible for the harm suffered by the other, it is fairer that compensation be paid than that it not be paid. Christian Barry, a philosopher at the Australian National University and a former editor of the journal Ethics and International Affairs, goes even further. He argues that if we are uncertain and cannot exclude the possibility of making a mistake in our assessment of the evidence, we should err on the side of those who are most vulnerable.13 If we accept this principle, then, if there is a reasonable case for saying that the affluent citizens of the world, or their governments, have harmed those living in extreme poverty, we should award compensation to the poor even if we are not able to say that the balance of probabilities favours the conclusion that the rich have caused the harm suffered by the poor. On the evidence presented above, however, it is not necessary to decide whether Barry is right to say that the standard of proof should be lower than that normally used in a civil trial, for it seems difficult to deny that we are inflicting continuing harms on the people of some of the world’s poorest nations.14 There is one caveat that needs to be made here. Just as paying corrupt dictators for natural resources does the citizens over whom they rule no good at all, so too it would be worse than useless for the industrialised nations to pay compensation to the governments of poor nations, if those governments will not use the money to assist their poor, especially those who have been most adversely affected by climate change. Where such governments exist, the compensation should either be given directly to the people, in the form of projects to help them cope, or, if the government forbids that, it should be held in a trust fund to be released only when the circumstances permit its use for the benefit of those for whom it was intended.

Conclusion: Citizens of the World The ancient Greek iconoclast Diogenes, when asked what country he came from, is said to have replied: ‘I am a citizen of the world’. Until recently, such thoughts have been the dreams of idealists. But the impact of human activity on our atmosphere exemplifies the need for

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human beings to act globally, for climate change is a problem that can only be solved at the global level. The planet must become the basic unit for our ethical thinking, and the rich nations must take responsibility for the harm they are causing the poor.

Notes 1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9

10 11 12 13 14

Smith, Theory of the Moral Sentiments, p. 10. New Scientist, ‘Timeline: Climate Change’. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, art. 4, sect. 2, subsections (a) and (b); Guide to the Climate Change Negotiation Process, http://unfccc.int/resource/process/guideprocess-p.pdf See, for example, the paper by Robyn Eckersley in this volume, ‘Just Carbon Trading?’. Thomas Pogge has persuaded me of the value of this dual approach. See especially his World Poverty and Human Rights. President Museveni was speaking at the African Union summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 2007, as reported in Revkin, ‘Poor Nations to Bear Brunt’. Sengupta, ‘Sea’s Rise in India’. Revkin, ‘Poor Nations to Bear Brunt’; New York Times, ‘Reports from Four Fronts’; Kathy Marks, ‘Rising Tide’. Associated Press/Casey, ‘Millions Face Hunger’; Hopkin, ‘Climate Change Takes Aim’; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ‘Summary for Policymakers’. New York Times, ‘Reports from Four Fronts’. Seelye, ‘Facing Obstacles’. Fleischer, White House Press Briefing. See Barry, ‘Applying the Contribution Principle’. See Karoly and Wu, ‘Detection of Regional Surface Temperature Trends’, or Karoly, ‘The Blame Game’ in this volume.

Bibliography Associated Press/Casey, Michael, ‘Millions Face Hunger from Climate Change’, Time, 10 April 2007. Barry, Christian, ‘Applying the Contribution Principle’, Metaphilosophy, vol. 36, 2005, pp. 210–27, reprinted in Andrew Kuper (ed.), Global Responsibilities, Routledge, New York, 2005, pp. 135–52. Fleischer, Ari, White House Press Briefing, Washington, DC, 7 May 2001, www.whitehouse.gov/news/briefings/20010507.html Hopkin, Michael, ‘Climate Change Takes Aim’, Nature, vol. 446, 2007, pp. 706–7. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ‘Summary for Policymakers’, in IPCC, Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M. L. Parry,

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O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof, P. J. van der Linden and C. E. Hanson (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 1–22. Karoly, David J. and Qigang Wu, ‘Detection of Regional Surface Temperature Trends’, Journal of Climate, vol. 18, no. 21, 2005, pp. 437–43. Marks, Kathy, ‘Rising Tide of Global Warming Threatens Pacific Island States’, Independent, 25 October 2006. New Scientist, ‘Timeline: Climate Change’, 4 September 2006, http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/ dn9912-timeline-climate-change.html;jsessionid=OADFPPIAIEEB Pogge, Thomas, World Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan Responsibilities and Reforms, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2002. Revkin, Andrew, ‘Poor Nations to Bear Brunt as World Warms’, New York Times, 1 April 2007. ——‘Reports from Four Fronts in the War on Warming’, New York Times, 3 April 2007. Seelye, Katharine Q., ‘Facing Obstacles on Plan for Drilling for Arctic Oil, Bush Says He’ll Look Elsewhere’, New York Times, 30 March 2001. Sengupta, Somini, ‘Sea’s Rise in India Buries Islands and a Way of Life’, New York Times, 11 April 2007. Smith, Adam, The Theory of the Moral Sentiments, Edinburgh, 1759. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Guide to the Climate Change Negotiation Process, United Nations, New York, 1992, http://unfccc.int/resource/process/guideprocess-p.pdf

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3

Climate Justice Jeremy Moss1

While new evidence is constantly emerging about the environmental impact of climate change, what is now apparent is the significance of our political decisions about who will pay for these impacts. In our efforts to avoid or reduce the more damaging effects of climate change we need to ensure that the burden falls on the right groups of people or run the risk of treating people unfairly. What this suggests is that the problem of how to distribute the costs of climate change is fundamentally a problem of justice. Responding to climate change as a matter of justice is important for at least two reasons. First, we need to avoid some of the pitfalls of leaving decisions at a purely personal level. For instance, we are often told that our response to climate change should lead us to change our behaviour: that we should adopt low emissions lifestyles; install extensive solar panels; buy local food; become a green consumer and so on. These are undoubtedly good things for the environment. But the danger associated with this approach is that such a response to climate change remains in the realm of personal ethics and does not provide a collective and fair allocation of costs. The allocation of costs can also be unfair for other reasons. For instance, one of the most obvious responses to the question of who should pay for climate change is what has been called the ‘polluter

pays’ principle.2 This way of dividing the burdens of climate change focuses on who caused the problem in the first place. If the answer is ‘developed countries’, then those countries should bear the lion’s share of the costs of adaptation and mitigation. But this raises the problem of how to divide the cost within the wealthy countries themselves. If the burden within any one country fell substantially on those least able to pay, then this seems to be intuitively unfair. A related problem with adopting this historical approach to allotting costs is that it might leave out wealthy individuals in poor countries. For instance, in 2008 China had 419 000 people worth over one million US dollars.3 Distributing the costs of climate change to wealthy countries alone would also leave out those with a high ability to pay in poorer countries. We should note that what principles we adopt will vary according to what part of the problem of the causes of climate change we are addressing. For instance, for emissions that are being produced now or were produced in the last decade, with high awareness of the damage emissions cause, those who are responsible for the emissions should plausibly pay for any damage they cause. On the other hand, my focus here will be on the problem of historical emissions, which are a larger class of emissions and were produced before there was widespread knowledge of the harms they caused.4 If we are concerned about the potential for unfair or voluntary distribution of burdens of adapting to or mitigating climate change, then we should think about our responses within a framework of justice that addresses these issues. Indeed, if we think of the usual scope of a theory of justice this claim becomes even stronger. First, social justice is concerned with problems that require a collective solution, such as security, and which affect our fundamental interests. An account of social justice also provides principles for distributing important burdens (and benefits) where there is a clear justification of how some burden is to be distributed. Social justice is also typically said to concern the regulation of institutions as well as individual actions and outcomes. Importantly, what distinguishes justice is that there is also the possibility of legitimate coercion where actions or outcomes are unjust. The problems posed by climate change fit with this picture of justice because: they require a collective solution; involve fairly distributing burdens according to justifiable principles; affect our fundamental interests; and are plausibly something about

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which we should consider exercising coercion to see that the problem is addressed. Understanding climate change as a matter of justice also helpfully connects thinking about the problem with terms that are typically part of the language of justice, such as fairness and equality. There are of course very many different ways in which the burdens of climate change could be divided up. In what follows, I will assess the main candidates for principles of justice that define how best to identify whose responsibility it is to bear the costs of climate change and how these costs should be distributed. Much of what I will have to say will take the form of suggesting some broad arguments for my position. I will suggest that, while many principles are intuitively plausible, the most convincing principle is one based on a theory of ‘fair shares’.

Taking Responsibility: ‘You Broke It, You Fix It’ According to one historical understanding of fairness, if someone has taken unfair advantage of someone else, and imposed costs on them, then, they should bear burdens at least equivalent to the costs imposed on the person they have harmed. According to Henry Shue, the ‘you broke it, you fix it’ approach is exactly the sort of principle that many have thought appropriate for addressing climate change. Shue writes, When a party in the past has taken an unfair advantage of others by imposing costs upon them without their consent, those who have been unilaterally put at a disadvantage are entitled to demand that in the future the offending party shoulder burdens that are unequal at least to the extent of the unfair advantage previously taken, in order to restore equality.5 Most of the GHG emissions now in the atmosphere can be traced to the actions of people in developed countries and many of the harms have been, or will be, borne disproportionately by people in less developed countries.6 According to the principle of historical fairness stated above, wealthy countries would have to at least restore the previous condition of the less developed ones. This

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might be achieved by concentrating emissions cuts in wealthy countries or developing and transferring clean energy technology where necessary. The appeal of this principle of historical fairness is obvious. It is a widely held idea, and, so long as we adopt countries as our agents, it clearly identifies who caused the problem in the first place and who is responsible for the cost. Yet the principle is not as simple or useful as it first appears. The most obvious objection to this sort of view is that people were ignorant of the harm that they were causing when they directly or indirectly produced emissions. In countries like Australia, few could now claim that they are now unaware that using electricity from coal fired power stations, for instance, causes harmful effects. But given that the bulk of the emissions that have caused today’s climate change were emitted before people could reasonably be expected to have known about the effects of what they were doing, it is at least plausible to argue that responsibility might be reduced or even cancelled.7 If you could not have expected to have known about the harm, then liability is reduced. If we apply this principle to climate change, emissions produced up to a certain date might be ‘innocent’, and not subject to claims for compensation. Note that this sort of objection to the fairness principle is not applicable to recent GHG emissions. One of the other difficulties of using historical responsibility as a guide to who should pay for the costs of climate change is what we might call the ‘weak link’ problem, which applies to both intra- and inter-generational issues. Taking the intra-generation problem first, imagine that a state pursues policies that significantly contribute to GHG emissions. According to the historical responsibility thesis, an individual citizen of such a polluting state might be under an obligation to compensate those harmed by the emissions. But this seems unfair if the individual had regularly and conscientiously changed her own behaviour and, perhaps, objected to or taken action against polluting practices within a state. In such a case there are weak links between the individual and the state with the polluting policies, because the individual did not consent to the polluting policies and made significant efforts to mitigate his own behaviour and, perhaps, the behaviour of others. Responsibility might also be diminished

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because it is difficult for some people to avoid emitting GHGs (supporters of the State’s policies would not be able to claim diminished responsibility). For example, suppose that an individual is concerned about climate change but is inadequately served by public transport in their area or that green power is prohibitively expensive. Unless they are willing to bear significant financial costs, they may be relatively powerless to change what they emit. Where the links between an individual and the state are weakened, moral responsibility will be diminished. The problems for the fairness account also extend to the issues associated with the obligations that are generated as a result of the actions of past generations of citizens. The current citizens of wealthy countries could be said, in part, to have duties to compensate because it was their fellow citizens of past generations who caused so much of the current pollution problems. However, weak link problems apply to this issue as well. For one thing, it might seem morally implausible to ask members of one generation to take responsibility for the actions of people over whom they had no control. Yet this is what the historical thesis asks us to do. The problem is that the agents who caused the problem are often different from the ones who are being asked to pay for it. One way of addressing this problem is by shifting some of the attention away from the individual onto the state. For a country such as Australia, it might be argued that unlike the individual, the state that caused the high levels of GHG emissions is the same entity that is now being asked to pay. This is a plausible response, but again is not without its difficulties.8 Countries that are asked to pay war reparations are an analogous example. For instance, where a defeated country has reparations imposed upon it, this can lead to the wrong agents having to pay the reparations, people who were children at the time of the war for example. In such a situation, it may be justified for people in a defeated country to pay some costs for reconstruction but not because they were part of a state that caused the war.

Benefit Accounts An alternative approach to climate justice is to argue that those who have benefited from the emission of GHGs, should foot the bill. For instance, it might be argued that people in developed countries

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have accrued and continue to accrue, numerous benefits from GHG emitting industrialisation, which might plausibly be said to generate obligations.9 In addition, benefit accounts rely on the link that exists between one generation and the next. The reason is that those living now in developed countries have benefited greatly from the industrialisation in the past in that they are likely to have a higher standard of living, greater life expectancy and so on. The contrast between the quality of life of a contemporary person in a developed country and that of someone in an undeveloped country is vast, and caused in large part because of the greater economic development (and associated GHG emissions) which developed countries have undergone. If this kind of argument is correct, then one can accept the general intuition that justified ignorance about the harmful affects of emitting GHGs diminishes responsibility, but nonetheless think that this does not exhaust the set of reasons why the harm doers should pay some sort of compensation.10 Even if you were ignorant, if you enjoy the benefits of your harm, then you should be liable for some form of compensation. The ignorant polluter did not wrong those harmed by the pollution, but it is intuitively plausible to say that once the harm was discovered, it would be objectionable to continue to benefit and not share some responsibility for bearing current and future costs associated with climate change. Similarly, Axel Gosseries argues that we can view what he calls the ‘powerlessness’ objection in the same way. While it would be a mistake to claim that there is any wrong involved in past polluting for someone who was powerless to do anything about it, nonetheless it does not follow that no redress is owed. The reason is the same; if you continue to derive benefits from the harm caused, then compensation should be paid (with certain provisos).11 Note that this sort of justification for compensating for the harms of climate change is not dependent on whether someone caused the harm. What matters is that you benefit from the harm. The argument admonishes those who are guilty of free riding on the benefits created by the causes of climate change. Gosseries thinks that unless individuals contribute to the cost of adapting to and mitigating climate change, they are simply benefiting from the goods produced by past generations without sharing any of the burdens. We might call these ‘manna from heaven’ cases. Where someone receives some resource quite by

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chance—manna from heaven—are they obligated to aid those who are disadvantaged because they have benefited? At one level, this sort of approach does seem to offer a solution to some of the difficulties encountered by the historical responsibility principle. One of the reasons that it does this is because it does not depend on identifying who caused the problem of climate change, but on who benefited from it. Nonetheless, benefit approaches also have their drawbacks. One problem centres on the lack of consent or knowledge of the obligations that go with a benefit. In other circumstances, we might say that for someone to have an obligation to share some benefit they would have to have known of the connection between the benefit and the obligation when they acquired the goods. For instance, if I am given access to a public radio program which I enjoy from time to time only to find later that I am then billed for my use of the program, I might legitimately object that, had I known I would not have accepted the benefit. A different issue concerns whether there was any choice about accepting the benefit.12 For instance, a distinction is often drawn between receiving and accepting a benefit. If I accept a benefit, for example, where I agree to do so, I know the obligations that the benefit entails. Whereas, if I receive something, as in the radio example above, I do so without incurring obligations. The distinction is relevant for understanding the importance of the benefit account of climate justice because benefits that accrued as a result of emitting GHGs may have been received and not accepted. If this is the case, then the obligations to pay for the damage of climate change are not so straightforward. There is also the issue of what the extent of the obligation is. Should countries or individuals pay a sum equivalent to all of the benefit that they have accrued? Should it be the difference between their situation and those who did not benefit? Or perhaps it should be a share of the benefits that have not already been used. I am not suggesting that there is no coherent response to sharing benefits gained, only that the issue is messy and complex. Nonetheless, we might think that there are stronger obligations where a benefit is gained unjustly. This might well be the case with climate change where countries acquired their wealth and standard of living (and thereby emitted GHGs) at the expense of other countries. If it is the case that countries or individuals did benefit

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from unjust action then there is at least an intuitively plausible case for those countries to compensate those who are worse off as a result of climate change. Some might object that dismissing the benefit and historical responsibility theses is too hasty. We might think that surely it makes some difference if you were responsible or have benefited. My claim here is that regardless of whether it makes a difference, historical and benefit accounts are not the main determinants of our obligations and distributive requirements, as I will discuss below. However, one response to the issue of whether benefiting in particular makes any difference is that it does not provide us with any justice based reason to enforce obligations. For instance, we might agree that while benefiting from the emission of GHGs does not strictly entail liability (and with it the possibility of punishment) it nonetheless confers a moral duty to pay for the harm that has been caused. Perhaps an individual should be ‘disposed to’ assist others. In this sense, there is some difference introduced by benefiting. However, either there is an enforceable duty or there is not. And, given the difficulties with these approaches, enforceability does not seem plausible.

Fair Shares and Equal Claims While each of the proceeding accounts of how to distribute the burdens of responding to climate change is intuitively plausible, I want to suggest that what I will call the ‘fair shares’ approach is better suited to dealing with the problem of historical emissions. The fair shares approach discussed below assumes that the main duty generating reason that people have to pay for climate change is that they can afford to pay for the costs of climate change and should do so in pursuit of the goal of, and equal enjoyment of, a healthy climate. In contrast, the benefit and responsibility accounts rely on a strong link to an agent who caused that harm to generate both the obligations to pay and to tell us something about the pattern of distribution. While these links are important, they are problematic for dealing with historical emissions. The view that I think captures the most important motivation for distributing the costs of climate change is a version of what can be called the ‘ability to pay’ approach. Simply put, this kind of view holds that there is a strong prima facie case for those with the resources to

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bear the costs of responding to climate change. Singer’s now famous drowning child argument is the most well known example of this sort of view. Singer uses the example of a drowning child who can be saved at little cost by a passer by, to draw attention to the analogous duties that wealthy countries and individuals have in relation to people in poor countries.13 Singer’s argument, in brief, is that where we can prevent someone’s death at little cost to ourselves, then we morally ought to do so.14 We should note that for our present purposes, we need not address the issue of the justification of the wide range of claims such as equal opportunity for well-being, basic health outcomes, and so on that rights-based and consequentialist-based accounts of justice typically refer to.15 What concerns us here is the claim that individuals have access to a healthy climate and the burdens that follow from accepting this claim in the context of significant climate change. The importance of this particular claim is obvious enough. Climate is significant because of its role in securing other goods. For instance, the increased likelihood of extreme weather events makes it more difficult for people to enjoy secure housing, decreases mobility and so on. Similarly, climate change also threatens food production 16 and will make some areas unliveable due to increased health risks and changes in weather. Climate is something that is inherently suited to being a common resource and arguably badly suited to private division. It is simply not feasible to think that we can divide the atmosphere in the same way as we can divide a piece of land. Nor is the propensity of wealthy countries to use all of the atmosphere’s potential to absorb GHG emissions morally unjustified, as I will discuss below. Views about the appropriate access to a healthy climate are often expressed in terms of the language of rights. The right to be sheltered, have bodily integrity, feel secure and so on are examples of such rights.17 While I cannot go into all of the details of these positions here, it is important to note that these approaches are forward looking in that claims that people have generate duties on others to help fulfil these claims, subject to certain provisos, even though there might not be clearly identifiable causal agents to whom blame might be attached. This is not to say that these positions imply that responsibility for a harm, for instance, is irrelevant, just that it is not the main source of our obligations. I will assume that as a general

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moral and political principle, what I am calling the ability to pay account is plausible. This is not to deny that ability to pay account is uncontroversial. For instance, if we conceived our duties to others purely negatively, (don’t harm or hinder other people) then we would need to establish a link between having the ability to pay and, for instance, a principle of altruism. While I can’t make those arguments here, I will assume that some form of ability to pay account is warranted given the urgency of the problem and the disparity of resources between countries and the problems with the other accounts. Nonetheless, the harms done by historical emissions are severe, ongoing and require urgent action to alleviate the impacts globally, but particularly on the global poor. Interestingly, an ability to pay argument in relation to dealing with the costs of climate change, has an arguably stronger foundation than the version of the argument in the drowning child case, because it is also in the direct interest of everyone that people in poor countries emit less. Even granting that the ability to pay account can tell us who the duty bearers are, it does not tell us enough about distributional patterns, that is, not who should bear the costs, but how they are to be distributed within the group of duty bearers. For instance, Shue claims that those in wealthy countries should ensure that everyone has an ‘adequate minimum’ of resources to lead a decent life.18 But a better approach to this issue of distribution is by applying a principle of ‘fair shares’. I can only outline this view here, but an intuitively plausible way of regulating the distribution of goods (in this case climate) is by applying a principle of fairness. A widely shared principle of fairness is that people who are situated in the same way should be treated the same. As John Broome puts it, ‘Whenever people have equal claims to something, then fairness requires they should have equal shares of it’.19 If we assume that everyone has a claim to the enjoyment of the earth’s atmosphere, fairness demands that, unless there is some countervailing reason, we should each receive an equal share of this important good. The reasons that some people have for enjoying extra opportunities to use the atmosphere as a carbon sink—they industrialised first, had the good luck to be born in developed countries as opposed to poor ones and so on—are plausibly not good reasons because they are morally arbitrary. If it is inappropriate

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for some to claim that they own the rights to use the atmosphere at the expense of others, it is unfair if some have a greater claim than others to this good. Fairness is important here for two reasons. First, it tells us something about the distributive goal we should be aiming for in respect of climate, which is that every one gets an equal chance to benefit from the climate. Second, it tells us why the current distribution is unjust, because it does not comply with this compelling moral principle. The latter point also tells us that those who have more than their share are in some sense participating in injustice. It is important to note that these distributional issues are issues of social justice. As noted above, social justice concerns our fundamental interests, situations in which collective action is required (either because there is an indivisible resource or we cannot deal with a problem alone), and where legitimate coercion is appropriate. All of these features are present in the case of responding to climate change. In summary, according to the ability to pay principle and the principle of fair shares, we can identify who should pay for the costs of climate change that are a result of historical emissions not by looking at who caused the emissions or who benefited from them, but by who has the ability to pay. The principle of fairness also gives us some guidance about how to distribute the costs within those countries that have the ability to pay because fairness demands that where people have a claim to something they have that claim equally. I will say more below about what sort of actions this requires. But, in general terms, the actions that are required to ensure that everyone has their share of access to a healthy climate, the most obvious action will involve reducing GHG emissions on the part of those who can currently afford to reduce them. Clearly the fairness principle will not by itself establish what the levels of emissions should be reduced to. All it tells us is that this burden should be equalised. The claims that people have to a healthy climate are what does the moral work. What is also required is to establish what safe and sustainable limits are, which I cannot address here.20 But we should note that the kinds of burdens that wealthy countries have are not limited to simply reducing the emissions of their citizens. Here I will just note some of the options that could play a part.

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Reducing GHG technologies domestically will require proactive policies aimed at cutting energy use. It will also require developing and implementing new technologies. So as part of their duties to reduce GHG emissions countries will need to alter their domestic spending priorities. Importantly, given that developing countries such as China and India now emit large amounts of GHG themselves, any attempt to stabilise and reduce their emissions will involve transferring successful technology where helpful. What I will call development and transfer duties, will loom large in addressing climate injustice. In addition, countries might be able to develop their own solutions to GHG emissions, either through their own research and development programs or through local reduction programs. To enable such strategies to work, might involve not just transferring technologies but also making funds available. Such transfers could be on an ad hoc basis between two co-operating countries. More effective might be a regime where a proportion of tax revenue, especially domestic carbon taxes, could be put aside for a global fund to initiate GHG gas reduction schemes globally. A ‘Climate Fund’ would offer the advantages of a larger pool of resources and a systematic identification of needy countries. While I cannot develop the suggestion here, this type of proposal fits well with the idea that no one owns the climate in the sense that someone owns a piece of land. If this is the case, then it makes sense to use a proportion of benefits derived from using the atmosphere to help respond to climate change. A further device that could be part of the appropriate discharge of duties might concern trade regimes. Domestically, carbon taxes will put a price on goods that have a high GHG input. As many have pointed out, globally it might be appropriate to establish trade rules that send similar signals. However, countries could go further and recognise how their trade practices encourage GHG emissions through selling resources or products that are harmful to the climate. For instance, Australia, as a large exporter of coal, might consider whether selling coal to countries that used ‘dirty’ power stations should also bear some of the cost associated with that pollution. In the same way that the export of uranium is subject to controls, standards might also be attached to coal or oil.

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While all of these ways of discharging the burdens of dealing with climate change are contentious, they together suggest that the range of burdens will be far from simple.

Conclusion To conclude, I would like to return to our starting point, which was the issue of how best to conceive of who bears the burdens of responding to climate change and what this tells us about the issue of whether the poor in rich countries and the rich in poor countries should pay for climate change. We have established that each wealthy country has a duty to assist poor countries. But this by itself could still mean that the poor in wealthy countries pay for climate change while the rich in poor countries do not. The poor in rich countries might have to drastically reduce their GHG emissions at considerable cost which, relatively speaking, will have a greater impact on them than on the wealthy. Flat rate carbon taxes, for instance, will consume more of a disadvantaged person’s income than it will for someone who is well off. Similarly, if a country makes it more costly to drive a car as an incentive to use public transport, this may disadvantage those who do not have easy access to public transport and who cannot afford to move. The same point is true with the take up of new and more expensive green technology. On the other hand, the take up of these measures by the rich, while involving some cost, is relatively easy. However, there is no reason why this needs to be the case according to the justification that I have outlined. The account of people’s claims and the fairness principle apply equally to domestic settings as they do to global ones. When individual countries are discharging the burdens of climate change and dividing up those burdens between their own citizens, there is just as much reason to observe the fair shares argument domestically as there is globally. In a domestic setting, the poor do not have the same ability to pay for, in this case, the particular country’s global climate burdens, even though they have an equal claim to enjoy the benefits of climate efforts to adapt and mitigate. If this is the case, then when countries are distributing the costs of complying with their global obligations they should observe that those who are poor are not equally able to

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pay for the costs of responding to climate change. Fairness applies in this distributive situation as well.

Notes 1

I would like to thank Simon Caney, Paula Casal, and Andrew Williams for discussion of some of the early ideas in this chapter. Matt Peterson for discussion and research assistance and Ophelia Keys and Michael McGann for help with the final manuscript. I would also like to thank Robert Young for invaluable discussion of the chapter. The research for this chapter was funded as part of an ARC Discovery Grant entitled ‘Reassessing Egalitarianism’ (DP 0557772). 2 For discussion see Caney, ‘Cosmopolitan Justice, Responsibility, and Global Climate Change’; Sands, Principles of International Environmental Law, pp. 279–85; OECD, The Polluter Pays Principle. 3 Merill Lynch and Capgemini, Asia Pacific Wealth Report, p. 3. 4 According to the IPCC, the developed countries contributed 83.8 per cent of cumulative industrial C02 emissions between 1800 and 1988, at a ratio of 10:1 per capita; IPCC, Climate Change 1995: Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate Change, p. 94. 5 Shue, ‘Global Environment and International Inequality’, p. 534. 6 See Table 19.1 in IPCC, Climate Change 2007, pp. 787−9. 7 The date after which people and governments had readily available knowledge of climate change is often thought to be coincide with the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change three volume report in 1990. It might be objected that not knowing about the causes of climate change was insufficient reasons to excuse people of responsibility. For instance, industrialization produced many harmful and obvious effects, such as the ‘London fogs’ that were clearly harmful human health. I thank Robert Young for this point. 8 For one thing, there are many states that now exist that did not exist 25 years ago. Most of the post-Soviet republics fall into this camp. This also means that responsibility for the USSR’s emissions do not have a clear state-like agent who is responsible for them, unless we allot them all to the current Russian state, which seems unfair. But even shifting the responsibility to the collective entity still runs into the problem of consent. Someone might object that even if they are part of a state that was guilty of harmful emissions, they did not consent to such actions. This might be an especially forceful objection where a proportion of the population was disenfranchised. For instance, you don’t have to go back that far in the modern history of states to find that often women and indigenous groups were not properly part of the state. 9 Shue, ‘Global Environment and International Inequality’, p. 7. 10 For a view of this sort see Gosseries, ‘Historical Emissions and FreeRiding’. 11 ibid. 12 Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia.

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13 Singer, ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’. 14 Shue also mentions this principle in ‘Global Environment and International Inequality’. 15 We should also note that the analogy is not exact in another way. In Singer’s example the baby will die if it is not rescued. However, that is not necessarily the case with climate change. It is likely to cause some deaths, a great deal of additional suffering and injustice, but the consequences are not as immediate. 16 See Table 19.1 in IPCC, Climate Change 2007, pp. 787−9. 17 For rights based approaches see Caney, ‘Cosmopolitan Justice, Responsibility, and Global Climate Change’. 18 Shue, ‘Global Environment and International Inequality’, p. 541. Shue’s view is sufficientarian, that is, it claims that everyone should have enough. My own view is an egalitarian one—that everyone should have equal share of a well functioning climate. 19 Broome, Weighing Goods, p. 197. 20 While these duties might be at base individual duties, I will assume here that the duties are discharged by countries. This is not because I think national borders define our duties of justice, but for practical reasons. For the present, countries are the major means of organising and coordinating responses to climate change. For an opposite position see Caney, ‘Cosmopolitan Justice, Responsibility, and Global Climate Change’.

Bibliography Broome, J., Weighing Goods, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1995. Caney, Simon, ‘Cosmopolitan Justice, Responsibility, and Global Climate Change’, Leiden Journal of International Law, vol. 18, no. 4, 2005. Gardiner, Stephen, ‘Ethics and Global Climate Change’, Ethics, vol. 114, 2004. Gosseries, Axel, ‘Historical Emissions and Free-Riding’, Ethical Perspectives, vol. 11, no. 1, 2004. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 1995: Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995. ——‘2007: Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change’, in M. L. Parry, O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof, P. J. van der Linden and C. E. Hanson (eds), Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 779–810. Merill Lynch and Capgemini, Asia Pacific Wealth Report 2008, 23 September 2008, p. 3, www.ml.com/index.asp?id=7695_7696_8149_88278_106886_ 109474 Neumayer, Eric, ‘In Defence of Historical Accountability for Greenhouse Gas Emissions’, Ecological Economics, vol. 33, 2000. Nozick, Robert, Anarchy, State and Utopia, Basic Books, New York, 1974. Page, Edward A., ‘Intergenerational Justice and Climate Change’, Political Studies, vol. 47, no. 1, 1999.

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Sands, Phillipe (ed.), Principles of International Environmental Law, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003. Shue, Henry, ‘Global Environment and International Inequality’, International Affairs, vol. 75, no. 3, 1999. Simmons, John, ‘Historical Rights and Fair Shares’, Law and Philosophy, vol. 14, 1995. Singer, Peter, ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 1, no. 1, spring 1972, pp. 229–43.

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4

Climate Change and Intergenerational Equity John Quiggin

Human activity over the course of the 20th and early 21st centuries has led to a steady increase in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, from a preindustrial concentration of 280 parts per million (ppm) to a current concentration of 380 ppm. This change in the atmosphere has generated changes to the earth’s climate that are already evident and will continue for decades, and perhaps centuries into the future. Processes taking place over periods of a century or more will affect members of different generations differently. An agreement to radically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide over the decade from 2010 to 2020 will have a significant effect on the economic welfare of people alive at that time. At least some of those who incur the costs of climate change mitigation will not live long enough to experience significant benefits. Conversely, the adoption of strong mitigation policies now will produce significant benefits (or, more precisely, prevent significant damage) for people alive in the second half of this century. In evaluating policies of this kind, it is necessary to adopt some method of comparing and aggregating benefits and costs at different points in time, a procedure referred to by economists as discounting. The most common discounting procedure is the adoption of a

discount rate, similar to a rate of interest, which determines the present value of future flows of income. On the other hand, very low discount rates can also create unsatisfactory, or at least counterintuitive, results. If the discount rate applied to a growing stream of benefits is less than the rate at which benefits are growing, then the present value of those benefits increases without bound. This implies that an arbitrarily large sacrifice of present benefits can be justified if it yields a small, but continuously growing stream of benefits into the future. In particular, such difficulties are likely to arise if the discount rate is lower than the rate of growth of consumption per person (around 2 per cent per year in developed countries). The problem of discounting costs and benefits is often framed in terms of an allocation of welfare between ‘current’ and ‘future’ generations. The central question, in this framing of the problem, is whether and to what extent do members of the current generation have the right to allocate resources in their own favour, at the expense of unborn future generations? However, this way of posing the problem is invalid, because members of different generations are alive at the same time. Any policy that discounts future utility must discriminate not merely against generations yet unborn but against current younger generations, many of whose members will still be alive in the second half of this century and even beyond. The object of this chapter is to consider the ethical and policy issues relating to the evaluation of future costs and benefits, commonly referred to as ‘discounting’ in the economics literature. The central focus is on the idea of ‘inherent discounting’ or ‘pure social time preference’, that is, that benefits received in the future should be discounted simply because they arise in the future, even if they generate the same utility as benefits received today. The chapter is organised as follows. The first section presents a brief summary of the implications of climate change, drawing on the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the draft report of the Garnaut Review. Particular attention is paid to the distribution over time of the costs and benefits of alternative policies. The second section discusses the concept of discounting, and contains the central contribution of the chapter. It is shown that

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the application of inherent discounting is inconsistent with the ethical norm of treating all current members of society equally. In the final section, the implications for the debate over climate change policy are discussed. Finally, some concluding comments are offered.

Climate Change Over the past thirty years, global mean temperatures have risen by around 0.6 degrees Celsius (C) relative to the average of the 20th century. Mean temperatures can be expected, under any plausible projection of future emissions, to rise by at least 2 degrees C by the time global temperatures and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have stabilised. Other climatic changes, such as changes in patterns of rainfall are also likely, although the exact pattern of these changes remains unclear. In the absence of an international agreement, unprecedented in its scope and economic significance, to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, the increase in global temperatures is likely to exceed 3 degrees and perhaps to be as great as 6 degrees. In its Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC summarises a wide range of projections of climate change, encompassing different climatic variables, time and spatial scales, models and scenarios.1 Most attention is focused on projections of changes in global mean temperatures. Because the global climate adjusts to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations with a lag, some warming (about 0.6 degrees C by 2100 relative to 1980–90) is inevitable as a result of emissions that have already taken place. Even with aggressive strategies to stabilise atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at levels between 400 and 500 ppm, it seems likely that warming over the next century will be around 2 degrees relative to 1980–90 (with a standard deviation around 1 degree). The outcome under stabilisation may be compared with ‘business as usual’ projections, in which there is no policy response to climate change, and with a variety of mitigation strategies. The IPCC presents a range of ‘business as usual’ projections, in which estimates of warming over the period to 2100 range from 2 degrees C to 6.4 degrees C.2

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In addition to raising average global temperatures, climate change will affect the global water cycle. Higher global temperatures imply higher rates of evaporation, and higher atmospheric concentrations of water vapour. Since water vapour is a greenhouse gas, this increase in concentration is an important feedback effect, amplifying the initial impact on temperature of higher concentrations of carbon dioxide. Globally, mean precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) is expected to increase due to climate change. However, this change will not be uniform: ‘Current climate models tend to project increasing precipitation at high latitudes and in the tropics (for example, the south-east monsoon region and over the tropical Pacific) and decreasing precipitation in the sub-tropics’.3 Finally, climate change is likely to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, including cyclones and severe droughts. The rate of change of warming (conventionally expressed in degrees of change per decade) is at least as important as the change in temperature levels at equilibrium or over a century. Recent observed warming has been at a rate of around 0.2 degrees per decade.4 Business as usual projections imply an increase in the rate of warming over coming decades. As temperatures increase, climate in any given location becomes more like that previously observed at a point closer to the equator. Conversely, biozones suitable for particular ecological or agricultural systems tend to migrate away from the equator and towards the pole. Hansen et al. estimate an average isotherm migration rate of 40 kilometres per decade in the Northern Hemisphere for 1975–2005, exceeding known paleoclimate rates of change.5 Such a rapid rate of adjustment imposes significant stress on natural ecosystems. Hansen et al. observe that some ‘species are less mobile than others, and ecosystems involve interactions among species, so such rates of climate change, along with habitat loss and fragmentation, new invasive species, and other stresses are expected to have severe impact on species survival’.6 Parmesan and Yohe found that 1700 plant, animal and insect species moved poleward at an average rate of about 6.1 km per decade in the last half of the 20th century, a rate considerably less rapid than that required to match the change in climate.7

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Human activities are more adaptable than natural ecosystems. Nevertheless, adjusting to a shift of 40 km per decade will involve substantial continuing costs. Costs of Mitigation Stern and others suggest that a policy sufficient to stabilise global concentrations of greenhouse gases between 450 and 550 ppm by 2050 will reduce average incomes by between 1 and 4 per cent, with many of the costs being incurred in the near future.8 In Stern’s scenarios the benefits of strong mitigation policy, evaluated over the period between now and 2050, will be less than the costs. Equivalently, the economic, social and environmental damage associated with climate change over the next few decades is likely to be less than the cost of any program that would significantly mitigate change. Hence, members of generations which will have passed away before 2050 will, on average be worse off as a result of any agreement to significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The Garnaut Review The most recent evidence on the costs and benefits of climate change and mitigation has been summarised in the draft report of the Garnaut Climate Change Review.9 Under the median business as usual projection in the Garnaut report, real household consumption10 would be 5.4 per cent lower than in the absence of climate change.11 Under the business as usual projection, the costs of climate change would increase steadily over the course of the century, and continue to increase thereafter. Garnaut does not provide comparable estimates for an ambitious mitigation strategy. However, it seems likely that such a strategy would reduce the damage due to climate change substantially. Using standard approximations based on a quadratic loss function, and the same assumptions as for the business as usual projection, the median estimate of economic damage from climate change under ambitious mitigation can be estimated at around 1 per cent of household consumption by 2100. On the other hand, ambitious mitigation will involve significant economic costs. Again, no detailed estimates are available, but a plausible projection would have costs rising to 3 per cent of

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household consumption by around 2025, then gradually declining as the benefits of energy-saving technical innovations, induced by higher carbon prices, are diffused through the economy. Beginning with a projection of growth in living standards in the absence of climate change, it is now possible to compare two projections, one based on business as usual and the other on ambitious mitigation. On the basis of the estimates above, the business as usual approach will yield higher living standards until some point around the middle of the 21st century and lower living standards thereafter. The following figure from the Garnaut Review draft report provides a schematic illustration of the pattern described above.

Figure 1: Utility with and without Mitigation Source: Garnaut Review of Climate Change, Draft Report, fig. 2.4.

The horizontal axis represents time from the present, while the vertical axis represents economic welfare (which may be interpreted broadly to include the services and value provided by natural ecosystems) expressed in terms of utility. The black curve shows utility under the assumption that a mitigation program is commenced immediately, while the grey curve shows utility in the absence of miti-

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gation. Both curves increase over time reflecting the assumption that economic growth will continue into the future for some time, with or without mitigation. Utility is initially higher. As drawn, the graph suggests that the two curves will diverge indefinitely. In practice this seems unlikely. Presumably, even if no action is taken today, some combination of mitigation and adaption will be adopted in the future to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change, although at greater expense than if action had been taken earlier. And beyond some point, our uncertainty about the future becomes so great that there is little value in trying to predict the consequences of alternative actions. So it might be more plausible to suppose that the curves would first diverge and then converge. The standard utilitarian approach would be to choose the path that yielded most utility. This can be determined by comparing the areas between the curve, representing utility differences. The area of the gap between the curves from the present to the crossover point represents the net utility loss from early mitigation while the gap from the crossover point to the end of the period when evaluation is undertaken represents the net utility gain from reduced climate damage. This simple representation raises two difficulties. First, how can flows of economic and other benefits over time be converted into utility measures which can reasonably be added in this way? Second, is it appropriate to maximise aggregate utility or should benefits of equal utility value be given less weight if they occur in the future? Both of these questions are addressed by economists in terms of discounting.

Discounting The value of an addition to our income depends on the time and conditions under which that addition takes place. In general, additional income received in the future will be of less value than additional income received today. There are at least two reasons for this. First, past experience suggests that our income (and related variables like consumption and standard of living) is likely to increase over time. A dollar of extra income is worth more to us when we are poor than we are rich. Hence, an addition to our income now will be of more value than an addition in the future, assuming that we will then be better off. Economists typically discuss this issue in the

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language of utility theory, and refer to the declining value of additional income in terms of diminishing marginal utility. The value placed on marginal increments to future consumption, relative to current consumption may be referred to as a consumption based discount factor, and the associated discount rate as the marginal rate of (social) time preference. Second, a dollar of additional income now can be invested to produce a future increase in income that yields both the repayment of the original investment and an additional return. So, investing in a project that does not yield an additional return implies forgoing a more valuable opportunity. The implied discount rate is referred to as the opportunity cost discount rate. Standard economic analysis shows that, under ideal conditions, the marginal rate of social time preference and the opportunity cost discount rate should be equal. As is discussed below, the evidence on this point is ambiguous. Most estimates of the social time preference are around 1 to 3 per cent. The opportunity cost of capital can be measured in various ways. The real rate of return to government bonds, which has averaged between 1 and 2 per cent, is consistent with the estimated value of social time preference. However, other estimates are substantially higher. This raises the question of whether, in addition to the discounting of future benefits associated with rising income and diminishing marginal utility, an additional discount should be applied to future benefits simply because they arise in the future. This is commonly referred to as inherent discounting. Inherent Discounting One of the longest running controversies in welfare economics has concerned the appropriateness of discounting future utility. As Schelling observes, the predominant view in the economics literature is that the appropriate discounting procedure should include a pure rate of time preference, reflecting an individual’s preference for utility in the present relative to the future.12 However, beginning with Ramsey, whose work is the starting point for formal analysis of intertemporal choices, many writers have rejected the inherent discounting of future utility as ethically unjustified, and this viewpoint is shared by many philosophical advocates of utilitarianism.13

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The publication of the Stern Review stimulated new interest in this question, given the practical significance of the choice of discount rate.14 Stern excluded inherent discounting and was strongly criticised for this.15 Elsewhere, I defended Stern and presented a new argument against inherent discounting.16 Much of the debate on the question of whether inherent discounting can be justified is concerned with determining the appropriate way to balance the interests of ‘current’ and ‘future’ generations. However, the idea of current and future generations is entirely misleading. The normal use of the term ‘generation’ applies to a demographic cohort born over a period of fifteen years, such as the Baby Boom from 1946 to around 1960. With this usage, members of at least six generations will be alive at any given point in time. The fact that many generations are contemporaneous means that there is no point at which a coherent distinction between current and future generations can be drawn. In the absence of some general catastrophe, many children alive today will still be alive in 2100, at which time people already alive will reasonably be able to anticipate the possibility of survival beyond 2200. Even so far in the future, contemporaries of people alive today will still be affected by decisions being made now. Economists analyse problems of this kind using theoretical models of ‘overlapping generations’. To simplify the analysis, the period of analysis is commonly set so that the standard lifetime is two periods, and members of two generations (one young and one old) are alive at any given time. It turns out that many of the central issues relating to questions of savings, investment, economic growth and intergenerational equity can be illuminated by these simplified models. In empirical work, it is common to go to the opposite extreme, and treat each annual birth cohort as a separate generation. It is then possible to analyse the extent to which tax, welfare, public expenditure and environmental policies redistribute welfare between generations.17 A social allocation rule that incorporates pure time preference gives higher weight to the lifetime utility of earlier-born generations.

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Assuming a 3 per cent pure rate of time preference, as above, and 25 years between generations, the lifetime welfare of those aged 50 or more is valued twice as highly as the welfare of their children, and four times as highly as the welfare of their grandchildren. This is inconsistent with any form of utilitarianism in which all those currently alive are valued equally. My ‘Stern and His Critics’ presents a formal argument to show that discounting of future utility is inconsistent with the standard utilitarian requirement that all people alive should be treated equally. The argument is simple, once it is recognised that generations overlap in time. A sketch of the argument is present here. The crucial point is that people are concerned about both their current and future welfare. Hence, utility for individuals must be defined so that transfers between current and future benefits are viewed by the individual concerned as beneficial if and only if they increase lifetime utility. And, since all individuals are treated equally, transfers of benefits between individuals within a given period must be evaluated as beneficial if they increase aggregate utility. Combining these two points and applying the standard technical assumption of transitivity (if A is better than B and B is better than C, then A is better than C), we conclude that a transfer from current benefits to future benefits accruing to people alive today is beneficial if and only if it increases the aggregate lifetime utility of people alive today. But exactly the same analysis applies to future transfers between people alive today and their future contemporaries, whether or not they have been born yet. That is, a transfer of benefits between today’s younger generation and tomorrow’s younger generation will be beneficial if and only if it increases the aggregate utility of the two groups. A further application of transitivity yields the conclusion that transfers between today’s older generation and tomorrow’s younger generation must be evaluated on the same basis as contemporaneous transfers between generations. Extending this reasoning yields the final conclusion that, if transfers between contemporaries are judged on standard utilitarian criteria, and if individuals are concerned about their lifetime utility, then all transfers of benefits must be assessed on whether they

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increase aggregate lifetime utility, regardless of when that utility is received. This argument remains valid even if, as individuals, we prefer to enjoy consumption earlier, when we are young, rather than later, when we are old. As regards social policy, this preference does not translate into a higher social discount rate (that is, a collective preference for earlier consumption). Rather, it implies that, all other things equal, social welfare will be increased by transferring consumption from those who are old at any given time to their younger contemporaries. Implications The costs of action to mitigate climate change will mostly take the form of reductions in the output of marketed goods and services, particularly energy-intensive items such as transport. By contrast, the benefits from mitigation will consist in part of increased output of marketed goods, and in part of avoiding damage to natural environments, such as the loss of ecosystems and the extinction of species dependent on those ecosystems. Attempts to place a monetary value on the preservation of species and ecosystems have proved highly problematic. Surprisingly, however, the problem of discounting the benefits of species preservation is, in some respects, simpler than that of discounting flows of monetary benefits. This is particularly so in the absence of inherent social time preference. It seems reasonable to suppose that the benefits of species preservation are largely independent of the benefits from consuming market goods and services. If so, discounting of the benefits of species preservation is unnecessary in the absence of inherent social time preference. Some Evidence from Economic Behaviour A number of economists, most notably Nordhaus and Tol and Yohe have argued that whether or not the existence of a pure rate of social time preference is ethically defensible, observation of market outcomes suggest that savings and investment decisions incorporate a pure rate of time preference.18

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If this claim is sustained, it implies that our collective decisions on how much capital (including ‘human capital’, ‘cultural capital’ and scientific knowledge) to pass on to later-born generations place less weight on the welfare of those generations than on our own. If so, it may be argued, there is no benefit in applying different criteria in a single policy area such as climate change. However, as Cline and I observe, this argument takes no account of the most relevant market outcome in this context, the real rate of interest on high-grade government and corporate bonds.19 This rate, which involves a direct trade-off between current and future consumption, has typically averaged between 1 and 2 per cent.20 By contrast, the weighted average rate of return to capital, on which Nordhaus and Tol and Yohe rely, is dominated by the ‘equity premium’, that is, the extra return demanded by investors for investing in risky corporate equity rather than bonds.21 The magnitude of this premium (about six percentage points) has long been a puzzle for economists.22 Whatever the source of the premium, it is unlikely to be relevant in evaluating the benefits of climate change mitigation. Thus, contrary to the claims of Nordhaus and Tol and Yohe, there is no reason to suppose that social decisions generally disregard or underweight the welfare of later-born generations. Rather, our collective decisions regarding market investments have given rise to steadily increasing material living standards. It therefore appears inconsistent to advocate policies that imply a steady reduction in the flow of ecosystem services in order to benefit earlier-born generations at the expense of later-born.

Implications for Climate Policy Although many factors are relevant in determining an appropriate policy response to climate change, the choice of discount rate is among the most significant. With a 7 per cent discount rate, a dollar received 10 years in the future is accorded the same value as 50 cents received immediately. Costs and benefits 100 years in the future are discounted by a factor of 1000, that is, a thousand dollars received in 100 years time has the same value as a dollar received immediately. For practical purposes this means that, beyond a few decades, future costs and benefits can be ignored. Even at a discount rate of

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4 per cent, often considered conservative, implies a discount factor of more than 60 for benefits 100 years in the future. Nordhaus and Boyer, using discount rates of 4 per cent or more that incorporate inherent social time preference, argue that only limited mitigation is appropriate in the immediate future. More substantial and costly steps should be deferred until the middle decades of the century at which time the costs of mitigation may have declined. By contrast, Stern using discount rates of 1.5 to 2 per cent, derived in the absence of inherent discounting,23 concluded that immediate action aimed at stabilising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide was warranted. Nordhaus showed that the difference between Stern’s policy conclusions and those of Nordhaus and Boyer were largely due to differences in assumptions about discounting.24 A ‘business as usual’ policy will lead to severe environmental damage, and a small but significant risk of catastrophic damage by the second half of this century. Most people currently aged under 40 can expect to survive into this period and incur some of the costs created by damage, as will those born in the future. A policy of inherent discounting treats the welfare of later-born members of the current population, as well as those who will be born in the future, as being of less value than the welfare of earlierborn members of the population. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this policy preference broadly matches the distribution of political power within the population.

Conclusion The policy implications of the discounting debate may be summed up quite simply. If we care equally about all members of the population, whatever their birth date, we should take immediate action to limit climate change. If we care less about those born later, we should leave the problem to them.

Notes 1 2 3

IPCC, ‘Working Group II Report’; ‘Working Group III Report’. IPCC, ‘Working Group II Report’. IPCC, ‘Working Group II Report’, p. 181.

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4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Hansen et al., ‘Global Temperature Change’. ibid. ibid. Parmesan and Yohe, ‘A Globally Coherent Fingerprint’. Stern, Economics of Climate Change. Garnaut Climate Change Review, Draft Report. This measure of economic welfare is more relevant than the most commonly quoted alternative, Gross Domestic Product. Garnaut Climate Change Review, Draft Report, ch. 9, p. 233. Schelling, ‘Intergenerational Discounting’. Ramsey, ‘Mathematical Theory of Savings’. Stern, Economics of Climate Change. Nordhaus ‘Review of the Stern Review’; Tol and Yohe, ‘Review of the Stern Review’. Quiggen, ‘Stern and His Critics’. Kotlikoff and Burns, The Coming Generational Storm. Nordhaus, ‘Review of the Stern Review’; Tol and Yohe, ‘Review of the Stern Review’. Cline, ‘Comments on Schelling’; Quiggen, ‘Stern and His Critics’. The 10-year Treasury bond rate in the United States is currently less than the rate of inflation, so that the real rate of interest is less than zero. Nordhaus, ‘Review of the Stern Review’; Tol and Yohe, ‘Review of the Stern Review’. Mehra and Prescott, ‘The Equity Premium.’ The range of rates reflects differences in projections of the rate of growth of income and therefore of the effects of diminishing marginal utility. Nordhaus ‘Review of the Stern Review’; Nordhaus and Boyer, Warming the World.

Bibliography Cline, W., ‘Comments on Schelling’, in R. Dornbusch and J. Poterba (eds), Global Warming: Economic Policy Responses, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1991. Garnaut Climate Change Review, Draft Report, Commonwealth of Australia, Melbourne, 2008. Hansen, J., M. Sato, R. Ruedy, K. Lo, D. W. Lea and M. Medina-Elizade, ‘Global Temperature Change’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 103, no. 39, 2006, pp. 14288–93. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ‘Working Group II Report (WGI): Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis’, IPCC, Geneva, 2007. ——‘Working Group III Report (WGII): Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’, IPCC, Geneva, 2007. Kotlikoff, L. and S. Burns, The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America’s Economic Future, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2004.

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Mehra, R. and E. Prescott, ‘The Equity Premium: A Puzzle’, Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 15, no. 2, 1985, pp. 145–61. Nordhaus, W., ‘A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change’, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 45, no. 3, 2007, pp. 686–702. Nordhaus, W. and J. Boyer, Warming the World: Economic Models of Global Warming, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2000. Parmesan, C. and G. Yohe, ‘A Globally Coherent Fingerprint of Climate Change Impacts across Natural Systems’, Nature, vol. 421, no. 6918, 2003, pp. 37–42. Quiggin, J., ‘Equity between Overlapping Generations’, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, Working Paper C08-01, University of Queensland, 2008, www.uq.edu.au/rsmg/WP/WPC08_01.pdf ——‘Stern and His Critics on Discounting and Climate Change’, Climatic Change, published online 19 June 2008, www.springerlink. com/content/c54750522l92k533 Ramsey, F., ‘A Mathematical Theory of Savings’, Economic Journal, vol. 38, 1928, pp. 543–59. Schelling, T., ‘Intergenerational Discounting’, Energy Policy, vol. 23, nos 4 and 5, 1995, pp. 395–401. Stern, N., The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007. Tol, R. and G. Yohe, ‘A Review of the Stern Review’, World Economics, vol. 7, no. 4, 2006, pp. 233–50.

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5

Some Distributional Issues in Greenhouse Gas Policy Design John Freebairn

The distribution of the benefits and costs of policy interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are important to the design of politically acceptable policies. It is important to focus not on the initial or statutory incidence of taxes on emissions or the allocation of tradable permits, but rather on their economic incidence once market prices and quantities have responded to the changed incentives. Further, given the very long time frame for policy to reduce the stock of greenhouses gases, the focus should be on the long run economic effects. This chapter argues that a high proportion of the economic costs of taxes or tradable permits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be passed forward to consumers, rather than to producers, and as a consequence much contemporary policy discussion and lobbying to compensate producers is exaggerated. An understanding of the distribution of the costs and benefits of policies to reduce greenhouse gases across different countries, and in particular between developed and developing countries, is important in designing a necessary global policy response. Many aspects of the greenhouse gas policy debate will be taken as given in this chapter so that it can focus on the distributional effects of taxes or tradable permits.1 There remains controversy and

uncertainty at the scientific level. There is, however, a growing body of evidence on three important issues: that the build-up in the stock of greenhouse gases already is affecting climate, including warmer temperatures and more frequent severe weather events; that human activity, particularly that associated with the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing; and that these adverse effects will increase and bring significant costs to future generations. Under current industry structures and policies, the stock of greenhouse gases is a form of global pollution or externality which involves a significant market failure requiring policy intervention on the global stage. Granted the uncertainty on both the science of climate change and the magnitudes of future economic costs, some policy action to restrict greenhouse gas emissions is argued by many at a minimum to be a good insurance policy investment. The favoured form of policy intervention is a system of tradable permits, but with debate about whether the permits should be auctioned (as proposed by the Garnaut Review for Australia), or allocated to current polluters (or grandfathered, as adopted in Europe and implicit in the Kyoto Protocol allocations by country). Many economists prefer an emissions tax (for example, Nordhaus and Cooper).2 In practice, many in the political domain remain attracted to regulations and to subsidies for R&D to reduce dependence on greenhouse gas intensive products and production methods. The economic incidence of the different options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions on consumers, producers and government, and on different countries, is the focus of this chapter. The first part of the chapter considers a partial equilibrium model of a competitive industry greenhouse gas polluter, either for the globe or for a particular economy, to assess the distribution of the costs and benefits of a tradable permit system on producers, consumers and the polluted, and to assess the aggregate efficiency gain, relative to a business as usual (BAU) scenario. The effects of noncompetitive behaviour, a general equilibrium perspective, and some related quantitative evidence on the economic incidence of taxes is used to support the results obtained from the simplified partial equilibrium competitive model assessment. The chapter then considers some of the distributional issues as they relate to the challenges and opportunities to secure a global policy agreement. A key finding is that the benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions have public

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good properties that invite free riding behaviour, especially in the absence of a binding global governance institution, and that these benefits are delayed. By contrast, the costs of reduced emissions are up-front, more apparent and largely tied to the individual country restricting its emissions. A final section brings together some key policy design messages.

A Competitive Partial Equilibrium Model Consider by way of illustration the example of fossil fuel fired electricity or transport. Under BAU, producers consider the private costs of fuel and other materials, labour and capital, but not the external costs of pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. Consumers consider the market price of electricity or transport costs, but again not the external costs of pollution. But the flow of greenhouse gases from each and every country adds to the global stock of these gases. In time, a build-up of the stock induces climate change and adverse effects on future generations in the form, for example, of relocation of people and businesses, changes to the location and practices of agriculture, changes in the supply of water, greater damages to structures and the loss of biodiversity. These costs are worldwide, although their relative magnitudes likely will vary from country to country. For simplicity, initially assume a competitive industry for electricity or transport which involves the use of fossil fuels and as a by-product involves the production of greenhouse gas emissions. The BAU market outcomes for the quantity produced and consumed and the market price are shown in figure 1 with quantity on the horizontal axis and price on the vertical axis. The rising supply curve, S = MPC, shows that producers will offer more of the electricity and transport at higher prices to cover their marginal private costs (MPC) of labour, capital and raw materials. Any costs of the greenhouse gas emissions are ignored because the atmosphere is regarded as a free waste disposal product. The downward sloping demand curve, D = MPB, shows that buyers are willing to purchase more of the electricity and transport at lower prices reflecting their lower marginal private benefit (MPB) as more and more of the product is consumed. For simplicity, and with no loss of generality of the results, we assume that MPB of consumption of electricity and transport also equal marginal social benefits (MSB). Private markets under BAU reach an equilibrium

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decision on the quantity to produce and consume at quantity QBAU and price PBAU where the supply and demand curves cross. Figure 1 summarises the outcomes for most countries at present.

Price

S = MPC PBAU D = MPB = MSB

O

QBAU

Quantity

Figure 1: Business as Usual (BAU)

Consider next the story for society as an aggregate in which the external costs of greenhouse gas emissions are recognised along with the private costs of producing electricity and transport. Ignoring the complex issues of time and discount rates, the greenhouse gas pollution adds a marginal external cost (MEC) in the form of the costs associated with climate change. Then, to figure 1, we add the MEC to construct figure 2. Figure 2 shows from a global society perspective, the marginal social cost (MSC) of providing electricity and transport using fossil fuels as the sum of the marginal private cost (MPC) of figure 1 plus the marginal external cost MEC, with MSC = MPC + MEC. If all the costs and benefits were taken into account, as would be required for a social optimum, we would choose a level of consumption and production of electricity and transport of Q* and a price reflecting all the costs to society of producing these products of P* where the demand, D, and society supply curve, MSC, intersect. Then, as shown in figure 2, the BAU solution, which ignores the external costs of greenhouse gas emissions, results in too much production and consumption of electricity and transport, and too many

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greenhouse gases emissions, than is socially optimal. Formally, Q* is less than QBAU. The net gain to society of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is given by area d in figure 2 (measured as the difference between the marginal social cost, MSC, and the marginal social benefit, MSB, of reducing production and consumption of carbon intensive products from QBAU to Q*).

MSC = MPC + MEC

Price P* a

PBAU

e

P* -T

b c f

O

S = MPC

d

g

Q*

D = MPB = MSB

QBAU

Quantity

Figure 2: Social Optimum

Several additional observations about the social optimum production and consumption of products which involve the production of greenhouse gas emissions can be noted from figure 2. First, while the social optimum involves less production and consumption of carbon intensive products, and less pollution, than under BAU, seldom will it be zero pollution. Second, the social optimum level of greenhouse gas emissions will not be just a technically determined level of pollution, such as the Kyoto Protocol target of 1990 level emissions or more recently stated targets for the atmospheric stock of greenhouse gas emissions of no more than 450 (or X) carbon dioxide– equivalent parts per million. Rather, the decision involves also a trade-off between the net benefits of carbon intensive products relative to the costs to society of the associated greenhouse gas emissions induced climate change. Clearly, these benefit and cost calculations build on and are dependent on technical information.

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Third, and importantly, recognition of the external costs of greenhouse gas emissions in the cost of carbon intensive products means a higher relative price for the carbon intensive products, namely the increase in price in figure 2 from PBAU to P*. This higher relative price is important for consumers, to induce them to shift their consumption patterns away from carbon intensive to carbon extensive products, for producers, to improve efficiency and reduce the carbon inputs per unit of product output, and to signal enhanced pay-offs to investments in R&D that reduce the carbon requirements and greenhouse gas emissions of different products and production processes. From a policy intervention perspective, the social optimum can be achieved with a tax per unit of emission equal to the MEC, or with a system of tradable permits limited to quantity Q*, or by regulations. (In general, regulations are not as cost effective as the market based price signals provided by a tax or a tradable permit.) Note that the market price of the permits, or the opportunity return on their scarcity value, will equal the emissions tax rate. In a mature market the socially efficient outcome will occur whether the permits are auctioned (as proposed by the Garnaut Review) or gifted (to producers in the European system), with only minor differences in final economic production/consumption and price outcomes due to differences in income effects.3 The emissions tax and tradable permits policy interventions in effect internalise to producers the costs to society of the greenhouse gas emissions. All other things constant, it is preferable that the tax or permit be linked to greenhouse gas emissions, since these are the most direct source of the external cost. However, because of administrative feasibility and cost reasons, in practice the permit or tax may be placed on a key input (such as coal and petrol) or a key output (such as electricity sold). Our model can be used to assess the distributional or equity effects of a tax or tradable permit scheme (and also regulations) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first round story, that businesses who usually write the tax cheque pay the costs of climate change mitigation, is far from the final or economic incidence. Current political discussion in Australia, and world wide, is, nonetheless, very coy about this key observation. The emissions tax, the

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opportunity cost of the tradable permits, or the costs of complying with regulations, are a cost to business. They are no different to the costs of labour, capital and materials used in producing electricity, transport and other carbon intensive products. All costs to business shift up their supply or MPC curve. In turn, the upward shift of the supply curve leads to a higher consumer price, and less production and consumption. That is, as is the case with business paid taxes on alcohol, petroleum and other products, much to all of the extra costs associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be passed forward to buyers as higher prices compared to BAU. From figure 2 we can assess more formally the re-distributional effects of a tradable permit (or tax emission) scheme relative to the BAU base case scenario. Consumers of the polluting electricity and transport products in all cases face a higher market price, P* rather than PBAU, and they lose consumer surplus of areas a + b + c. Both the price increase and the consumer surplus loss are greater the less elastic is demand relative to supply. In the extreme case of a perfectly elastic supply, shown in figure 3, associated with constant returns to scale production technology and infinitely elastic factor supplies to the industry, all of the emissions tax or scarcity value of tradable permits will be passed forward onto the consumers of the carbon intensive products as a higher price equal to the tax or market price of the tradable permit. Such a

Price S’ =S + T

P*=PB+T

PB

S = MPC S

D = MPB = MSB O

Q*

QBAU QBAU

Figure 3: Tax Incidence with Perfectly Elastic Supply

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Quantity

technology seems a close approximation for most of the manufacturing and service industries which generate greenhouse gas emissions. The re-distributional effects on producers of tax and tradable permit policy interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions depend in part on the way in which the permits are allocated, and in part on the relative elasticities of supply and demand for electricity, transport and other carbon intensive products. In figure 2, producers face a lower net market return, P*—T rather than PBAU, and a lower producer surplus of area e + f + g; but if supply is perfectly elastic as in figure 3 the net price change to producers is zero, and all they lose is a lower level of production but no producer surplus. If the intervention is in the form of an emissions tax, or if the tradable permits are auctioned, and in both cases at a tax rate or fee of T, government gains a transfer of revenue from producers and consumers of area a + b + e + f. However, if the tradable permits are gifted to producers in a grandfather arrangement, producers gain the value of the newly created scarce property rights to pollute. Further, if supply is close to perfectly elastic (for the reasons noted above and as shown in figure 3), producers and their shareholder owners become large windfall winners and they benefit from the gift of the tradable permits. An important result of the foregoing discussion is that the economic incidence of a tradable permit scheme is very different to the statutory or first round incidence. In particular, in the likely case of a highly elastic supply curve for the carbon intensive products, as shown in Figure 3, most of the cost of restraining the production of greenhouse gas emissions will be passed forward to consumers as higher product prices. In effect, the greenhouse gas reduction policy represents a net increase in indirect taxation. For example, a $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide–equivalent tax, which is at the lower end of many estimates, will raise consumer costs by at least 1 per cent.4 It is likely that political pressures for compensation for the net increase in the cost of living on the grounds of equity will come from households. Compensation might be sought as higher wages than otherwise to maintain real incomes, with the associated threats to ignite a burst of inflation. Alternatively, the permits could be gifted to households who then on-sell them to business polluters, but the transactions costs of this option are likely to be substantial. Another

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option is to compensate households for the price increases by providing compensating reductions in income taxation and increases in social security rates. This option places a premium on government choosing either an emissions tax or auctioning the permits to generate the offsetting revenue, rather than gifting permits to producers. All options increase the relative consumer prices and producer costs of carbon intensive products and production processes relative to the prices and costs of carbon extensive products and processes. These relative price changes encourage less use of carbon intensive products and production methods. The major winners from a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as illustrated in figure 2, are those who will avoid some of the costs of climate change over the future years. The benefits of less external costs are given by the areas c + d + g. In practice these savings of external costs are dispersed across the globe, they are well into the future, there is uncertainty about their magnitude and the beneficiaries are not well represented in the political debate on policy towards climate change. However, these facts do not make the benefits any less real or important in devising an appropriate policy response.

Some Model Generalisations The perfectly competitive model for a particular product of the preceding section is a special case. Here we consider two directions of generalisation, namely the exercise of market power found in many parts of the economy (as opposed to the perfectly competitive model assumption) and general equilibrium for many products (as opposed to the single product partial equilibrium model). These extensions for greater reality have little substantive effect on the main conclusions drawn with the simpler model on the distributional effects of policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In reality, because of the importance of economies of scale, product differentiation and other considerations, producers in particular industries may have market power and use this power in determining decisions. While there are many different models of firms in industries with market power such as monopoly, oligopoly and monopolistic competition, they have some common properties which are germane to our questions. On the assumption that firms

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seek to maximise profits, they choose quantities and prices to equate marginal revenue, MR, with marginal private costs, MPC. In all cases this leads firms to choose a market price as a mark-up over MPC, and for additional costs to be passed forward to buyers as higher prices than otherwise. In most models of firms with market power, more than 100 per cent of a cost increase is passed forward to consumers as a higher price (here we have in mind the extra costs of an emissions permit or a carbon tax per unit of greenhouse gas emissions).5 The principal exception is a monopoly facing a linear demand curve, in which case only a half of a cost increase is passed forward. But, if the demand curve is of a constant elasticity shape rather than linear, or the industry structure is monopolistic competition with a linear demand curve, more than 100 per cent of a cost increase will be passed on as higher buyer prices. Then, a 100 per cent pass forward of the extra costs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as higher consumer prices as told in figure 3 above seems a reasonably conservative estimate. So far the chapter has focused on the partial equilibrium assessment of a single product, and with a key result that the introduction of an emissions tax or a system of tradable permits pushes up the consumer price and reduces the level of production and consumption of the greenhouse gas emitting product. In a multi-product or general equilibrium model assessment, consideration of the distributional effects of the policy initiatives considers also the effects of changes in relative prices on other products. For consumers, the relative prices of carbon extensive products will fall relative to the prices of carbon intensive products. Then, some of the reduction in consumption of electricity, transport and other carbon intensive products will be offset by increases in consumption, and in turn production, of such carbon extensive products as clothing, insulated buildings, public transport, and smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles and household appliances. Businesses similarly will redirect their choice of production methods and investment to expand on the now relatively cheaper lower carbon intensive production methods such as better designed and insulated buildings, renewable rather than fossil fuel based energy, and energy conservation measures. As shown in general equilibrium studies,6 many industries increase output and employment and investment, and in

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effect absorb the resources released by the contracting carbon intensive industries and production processes. In a dynamic context, the changed relative prices provide larger incentives and rewards for a new set of innovations based on R&D and investment that economise on the now relatively more expensive carbon intensive products and production processes. Popp provides a compelling survey of studies showing a significant and quantitatively important response of induced business R&D and innovation towards energy efficiency and less carbon intensive production methods in response to higher energy prices.7 From a general equilibrium perspective, market based policy interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions change the mix of production and consumption in what Schumpeter called ‘creative destruction’ with a much smaller, and perhaps even indeterminate, net effect on aggregate employment, investment and output, but one with less greenhouse gas emissions. In a multi-product and multiple production methods context, some products and production methods gain and others lose, whereas the partial equilibrium model focuses only on the losers.

Some Empirical Evidence There are two related sets of empirical evidence for Australia which give insights into the likely economic incidence, and the distributional effects, of a tax on emissions or a tradable permit system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These are studies of tax incidence, and the experience of the GST package of reforms introduced in 2000. Studies of the distributional effects of Australian indirect taxes, including the petroleum products excise, which can be considered in part a selective carbon tax (and also in part a tax to fund road construction and maintenance and perhaps a tax on congestion) and taxes on motor vehicles, assume 100 per cent pass through to the consumer for both the direct effects and the indirect effects through intermediary inputs. These include studies by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and by Warren and NATSEM.8 A related practical experience with several messages for the conduct of policy on emission taxes or tradable permits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the GST package of reforms introduced

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in 2000, and the earlier GST package of reforms in New Zealand in 1986. The Australian reform package involved using revenue from eight of the ten percentage points of the GST to replace other indirect taxes, including the wholesale sales tax and several state stamp duties, with revenue from the remaining two percentage points, plus some reduction of the budget surplus, to fund lower income taxation and an increase in social security payment rates. The net incidence of the reform package on product prices was modelled on the assumption of 100 per cent pass through to consumers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) used these numbers with effect to monitor business pricing. The ACCC modelling and monitoring of price changes assumed constant returns to scale production technology and competitive passing forward of net tax (and cost) changes along the lines of figure 3.9 The actual numbers revealed corresponded almost one to one with the model estimates. Another important message from the GST reform package is that it included a net increase in indirect taxes, much as would a carbon tax or tradable permit scheme. The overall CPI index was projected to increase by about 3 per cent. Compensation of households (in fact over compensation because of the draw on additional budget funds) through a combination of lower income taxation and higher social security payments was argued by the Coalition government to avoid the need for any compensating wage increase, and for an increase in nominal interest rates. In practice, this is what happened. There was a one quarter blip in the CPI, with no flow-on effects to wages, interest rates and other macroeconomic variables.10 A study of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme by Sijm, Neuhoff and Chen estimated that for the German and Netherlands power industries, between 60 and 100 per cent of the market price of the permits was passed forward to consumers as higher electricity prices.11 The cases of less than 100 per cent pass through were associated with situations where the additional cost reversed the low cost ranking of different production technologies, and in particular where the former higher cost gas fired units which are less carbon intensive than coal fired generators became the lower cost producer, and hence the marginal price setting option, under the additional emissions permit cost.

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A Global Policy Strategy Global cooperation is necessary to develop a first best policy strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the extent of climate change. A return to the results of figure 2 provides one perspective of why it will be difficult to achieve an effective global strategy. In particular, in the absence of a global government there are incentives for individual countries to choose a BAU strategy. Often this is referred to as free riding, or a type of prisoners’ dilemma game in which while it is in the global interest to cooperate and to restrict emissions to Q*, the dominant strategy for individual countries is to choose QBAU. Consider the case of a particular country. To reduce the production and consumption of products producing greenhouse gas emissions from the BAU quantity QBAU to the social optimum quantity Q* in figure 2 involves a cost to the particular country of areas c + g. The Stern Review argued that this cost would be around 1 per cent of GDP, and similar numbers for Australia were estimated by Adams.12 Some lobbyists for BAU would argue even further that the costs include the transfer rectangle of area a + b + e + f, but as shown above this is an internal transfer within the country and not a cost to the country. On the other hand, the benefits of a smaller stock of global greenhouse gas emissions due to the actions of just one country, and more so for a small country such as Australia, but also for a large country such as the US or China, are small. Further, only a fraction of the benefits of the reduced external costs of climate change, areas c + g + d of figure 2, go to the individual country, with the majority going to all other countries who jointly consume the public good of less climate change. For an individual country, unilaterally implementing policies limiting greenhouse gas emissions involves large costs, very small benefits, and the net outcome easily can be seen as a large loss. By contrast, if an individual country chooses to stay with the BAU of no policy intervention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it incurs no costs but free rides on the benefits of reduced emissions by other countries. The policy challenge becomes one of establishing a binding global agreement for the global society optimising strategy for each country to cooperate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is an extremely difficult challenge (although as Barrett argues it is not without precedents).13 Unlike national and regional pollution

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problems where there are national and regional governments with the power to coerce all players to accept the cooperative agreement, there is no such international government. Certainly international agreements, usually under the auspices of such bodies as the UN or the WTO, can be negotiated for such purposes. However, while some regard the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 to have made some progress for the specific case of greenhouse gas emissions, the fact that developing countries do not have binding agreements, that the US and Australia decided not to join, and that some of the signatory countries seem likely to exceed their targets, and with no effective sanctions, casts doubt on this approach as developed so far. At the heart of reaching a cooperative agreement is establishing a mutually agreed sense of fairness, or distributional equity, necessary to induce the majority of countries to sign up, and then to meet commitments. Different proposals for the initial allocation of tradable permits between developed and developing countries highlight the challenges to reaching a global consensus. With considerable merit, developing countries object to the option of grandfathering permit allocations to countries based on their current pollution levels, a strategy at the heart of the Kyoto Protocol and now of the European tradable permit scheme. Developing countries argue that the developed countries have been the principal contributors to the stock of greenhouse gases, and this has been a key part of the industrialisation process over the past two centuries which lies behind the much higher per capita incomes of the developed countries. The developing countries have legitimate equity claims to proceed with industrialisation to raise their own incomes. Therefore, the developing countries argue that the developed countries should bear most of the cost of reducing the further build-up of global greenhouse stocks. Arguably, a fairer allocation of tradable permits would be one based on equal per capita allocations as argued, for example, by Parikh.14 The developed countries look at this option, and its associated cost of buying permits from the developing countries, with much concern.

Policy Implications Most of the final or economic incidence of a system of emission taxes or tradable permits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will fall on consumers as higher product prices, and not producers. This

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follows from the high elasticity of long run supply of most products intensive in carbon, and it is supported by studies of the incidence of indirect taxes and the experience of the GST tax reform package of 2000. The passing forward of most to all of the cost of carbon taxes or tradable permits to consumers as higher prices has at least two key messages for the design of a tradable permits scheme. First, gifting the permits to producers, including under grandfathering principles, represents a redistribution of national income. A status quo equity system would auction the permits or turn to a tax on emissions system. Second, because of the increase of indirect taxation and the associated increase in the cost of living, there is a compelling case for using the additional government revenues to compensate households via cuts in other taxes and increases in social security payments in an aggregate revenue neutral package to restore equity and to minimise the prospects of compensating increases in wages and an impetus to inflation. A complete picture of the distributional effects of policy interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions requires a general equilibrium model. These policy interventions change relative prices. While the production and consumption of carbon intensive products and the use of carbon intensive production methods decline, other products and production processes facing lower relative prices expand and in the process create new investment and employment opportunities. In the global context there are incentives for individual countries to free ride and not to invest in policy actions to reduce greenhouse emissions and achieve a cooperative global social optimum. Developing countries with considerable merit argue that they should not bear much of the cost burden of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, and in particular they object to a system of grandfather allocations of tradable permits of the Kyoto Protocol form. Clearly, progress to achieve global cooperation from the developing countries requires innovative thinking about the equitable distribution of limited global permits to emit greenhouse gases between different countries.

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Notes 1

2 3 4

5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12 13 14

Key references include International Panel on Climate Change, ‘Summary for Policymakers’, and Stern, Economics of Climate Change. Critiques of the economics of climate change in Stern include Carter et al., ‘The Stern Review’; Nordhaus, ‘Review of the Stern Review’; and Weitzman, ‘Review of the Stern Review’. Nordaus, ‘Life After Kyoto’; Cooper, ‘Alternatives to Kyoto’. Coase, ‘Problem of Social Cost’. The Australian Greenhouse Office estimates Australian annual greenhouse emissions at about 550 million tonnes of carbon dioxide– equivalent. If a half of these are subjected to a carbon tax or tradable permit system at a conservative low rate of $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide–equivalent, and all of this is passed forward to consumers, consumer outlays increase by $5.5 billion a year, or a little over 1 per cent of annual private consumption expenditure. See Freebairn, ‘Sectoral and Global Distributional Issues’ for more details. For example, Adams, ‘Insurance against Catastrophic Climate Change’. Popp, ‘Innovation in Climate Policy Models’. ABS, Government Benefits; Warren, Harding and Lloyd, ‘GST’. Dixon and Rimmer, ‘Government/Democrats’ Package of Changes’, provide a brief description of the application of the MONASH model used by the ACCC, with references to more details of this model, and also to the PRISMOD and MURPHY models which were consulted. See, for example, Commonwealth Treasury of Australia, ‘Preliminary Assessment of the New Tax System’. Sijm, Neuhoff, and Chen, ‘CO2 Cost Pass-through’. Stern, Economics of Climate Change ; Adams, ‘Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Change’. Barrett, Why Cooperate? Parikh, Climate Change and India.

Bibliography Adams, P., ‘Insurance against Catastrophic Climate Change: How Much Will an Emissions Trading Scheme Cost Australia?’, Australian Economic Review, vol. 40, no. 4, 2007, pp. 339–52. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Government Benefits, Taxes and Household Income 2003–04, Cat. no. 6537.0, ABS, Canberra, 2007. Barrett, S., Why Cooperate? The Incentive to Supply Public Goods, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007. Carter, R. M., C. R. de Freitas, I. M. Goklany, D. Holland, R. S. Lindzen, I. Byatt, I. Castles, I. M. Goklany, D. Henderson, N. Lawson, R. McKitrick, J. Morris, A. Peacock, C. Robinson and R. Skidelsky, ‘The Stern Review: A Dual Critique’, World Economics, vol. 7, no. 4, 2006, pp. 165–232. Coase, R., ‘The Problem of Social Cost’, Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 3, 1960, pp. 1–44.

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Commonwealth Treasury of Australia, ‘Preliminary Assessment of the New Tax System’, Economic Roundup, Canberra, autumn 2003. Cooper, R., ‘Alternatives to Kyoto: The Case for a Carbon Tax’, unpublished manuscript, Harvard University, 2005, www.economics.harvard.edu/ faculty/cooper/files/Kyoto_ct.pdf Dixon, P. and M. Rimmer, ‘The Government/Democrats’ Package of Changes in Indirect Taxes’, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, vol. 44, no. 1, 2000, pp. 147–58. Freebairn, J., ‘Some Sectoral and Global Distributional Issues in Greenhouse Gas Policy Design’, Agenda, vol. 15, no. 1, 2008, pp. 13–28. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ‘Summary for Policymakers’, in IPCC, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Susan Solomon, Qin Dahe, Martin Manning et al. (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 1–18. Nordhaus, W., ‘Life after Kyoto: Alternative Approaches to Global Warming Policies’, mimeo, Yale University, 2005, www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/ kyoto_long_2005.pdf ——, ‘A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change’, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 45, no. 3, 2007, pp. 686–702. Parikh, J., Climate Change and India: A Perspective from the Developing World, Growth, no. 59, Climate Change: Getting it Right, CEDA, Melbourne, 2007, pp. 52–65. Popp, D., ‘Innovation in Climate Policy Models: Implementing Lessons from the Economics of R&D’, Energy Economics, vol. 28, nos 5 and 6, 2006, pp. 596–609. Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading, Report of the Task Group on Emissions Trading, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra, 2007. Sijm, J., K. Neuhoff and Y. Chen, ‘CO2 Cost Pass-through and Windfall Profits in the Power Sector’, Climate Policy, vol. 6, 2006, pp. 49–72. Stern, N., The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006. Warren, N., A. Harding and R. Lloyd, ‘GST and the Changing Incidence of Australian Taxes: 1994–95 to 2001–02’, eJournal of Tax Research, vol. 3, no. 1, 2005, pp. 114–45. Weitzman, M., ‘A Review of the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change’, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 45, no. 3, 2007, pp. 703–4.

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6

Just Carbon Trading? Robyn Eckersley

Whatever justice may positively require, it does not permit that poor nations be told to sell their blankets in order that the rich nations keep their jewellery. Henry Shue1

Carbon trading schemes have emerged as the white knight of climate change policy at the international and national levels. Cap-and-trade schemes have been widely defended as more efficient and flexible than other policy instruments for achieving domestic emissions reductions, including carbon taxes and prescriptive regulation. The Kyoto Protocol’s ‘flexibility mechanisms’—emissions trading (ET), the Clean Development mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI)2—likewise provide countries and firms with the opportunity to seek out least-cost abatement options through international trading or offsetting through the elimination of territorial constraints. However, policy tools that pass the test of efficiency do not necessarily pass the test of fairness. This purpose of this chapter is to offer a critical stock-taking of carbon trading from the standpoint of justice. It seeks to evaluate to what extent carbon trading might serve as a vehicle for justice, on the one hand, or as a source of injustices, on the other.3

The essay begins by teasing out the different dimensions of justice as they relate to climate change in general, and to carbon trading schemes in particular. It then draws out the basic moral objections to carbon trading and provides a brief review of the history of this particular policy tool in the international climate negotiations, which provides some salutary lessons. Next, the more fine-grained justice implications of allocation and trading at the international level are explored. Finally, the justice implications of a cap-and-trade scheme in Australia are evaluated.

Justice and Carbon Trading Most debates about justice and climate change focus on the unfair distributive impacts of climate change. The core moral problem arises from the fact that those countries, communities and classes that are the least responsible for generating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and which have the least capacity to adapt to climate change, are expected to suffer the worst impacts of climate change. This inverse relationship between vulnerability, on the one hand, and responsibility and capacity, on the other, constitutes the primary injustice of climate change. Since the release of emissions cannot be geographically quarantined to ensure that the impacts are localised in proportion to responsibility and capacity, the only way to avoid the unfair and unwanted externalisation of climate risks onto innocent third parties in space and time is through a radical reduction of global emissions to safe levels. It also follows that the division of international responsibility for emissions reductions should take account of the significant differences in historical responsibility, capacity and vulnerability between developed and developing countries. Indeed, these burden sharing principles are acknowledged in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), encapsulated in the principles of ‘equity and common but differentiated responsibility’ (CBDR), and the requirement that developed countries should take the lead in combating climate change on the basis of their greater historical responsibility and capacity.4 These principles have been widely endorsed by the international community (with the notable exception of the US). International carbon trading has been defended as providing the most flexible and cost-effective means of reducing global

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aggregate emissions, and therefore redressing the primary injustices of climate change. Given that there are often cheaper abatement options in the South and the East relative to the North and the West, carbon trading, and carbon offsetting, have also been defended as instruments that are able to facilitate a transfer of wealth and investment to relatively less developed regions of the world, which would assist in environmental capacity building for both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The Clean Development Mechanism, in particular, was designed to integrate the goals of climate protection, poverty eradication and sustainable development. However, secondary injustices may arise when the policy tools employed to address the primary injustices of climate change produce unfair consequences. In the case of carbon trading schemes, injustices may arise (1) in the allocation of emission permits; and/or (2) in the rules and consequences of trading. The secondary injustices generated by carbon trading schemes may also exacerbate the primary injustices of climate change. Although the discussion in this chapter is confined to primary and secondary dimensions of justice, the question of ‘procedural justice’ also deserves brief mention because it is so often neglected in the climate justice debates. Procedural justice relates to the norms and practices of political participation, representation and accountability in the design, management and operation of climate policy in general, and cap-and-trade schemes in particular. A lack of procedural justice can give rise to poorly designed carbon trading schemes that can produce or exacerbate both primary and secondary injustices. Conversely, an open and undistorted communicative setting with wide-ranging representation from all affected stake-holders is more likely to generate legitimate carbon trading schemes that minimise both kinds of injustices.

Carbon Trading: The Moral Objections While most environmentalists are now resigned to carbon trading schemes—and many are enthusiastic supporters—it was not so long ago that some regarded such schemes with deep suspicion.5 The standard defence of cap-and-trade schemes over carbon taxes is that they enable progressive reductions over time in the total quantity of carbon emissions in a given jurisdiction (which cannot be guaranteed

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by a tax) while also conferring flexibility on the part of emitters to find their own least-cost solutions through the sale or purchase of permits (or offsets, where allowed).6 Ironically, it is the very practice of finding a ‘least-cost solution’ through trading or offsetting that provides the source of environmental concern: in short, rich countries and heavy polluters are seen as shirking their responsibilities by avoiding expensive domestic investment and claiming emissions reductions by capitalising on someone else’s success in mitigation, or else picking low-hanging fruit elsewhere. On this view, rationing would be preferable because responsibility cannot be transferred; it requires all firms to ‘play their part’ by taking the necessary action to reduce emissions according to their annual diminishing ration, thereby forcing innovation and structural transformation towards a low carbon economy (possibly at the cost of sending some carbon-intensive firms out of business if new technologies are not available). However, carbon trading and offsetting schemes enable firms to purchase the right to continue with their old ways by purchasing additional allowances inside or outside the jurisdiction and/or purchasing offset credits for their emissions by investing in carbon reduction projects outside the jurisdiction—if these options are cheaper than innovation. For those who accept the polluter pays principle—that the allocation of the burden of mitigation should be commensurate with responsibility for generating emissions—carbon trading and offset schemes effectively work to hollow out responsibility. As Ott and Sachs put it, for critics ‘it is not enough that the polluter pays; the polluter has got to change as well. “No reparation without resocialisation” could be their slogan’.7 These criticisms also apply to voluntary carbon offset schemes, which have been described as ‘guilt payments’ for the continuation of business or consumerism as usual.8 Likewise, for those who also accept the principle that the allocation of the burden of mitigation should also take into account economic capacity to pursue mitigation (‘from each according to his or her ability’), carbon trading can sometimes work to enhance the capacity of the rich relative to the poor. The rapidly growing international carbon market has been described as a new form of ‘accumulation by decarbonisation’ insofar as ‘capital can achieve higher rates of accumulation under carbon trading because it needs to invest less in domestic emissions reduction’.9 Accumulation by

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decarbonisation also contributes to the broader, neocolonial problem of ‘unequal exchange’ between the developed and developing world.10 Especially harsh criticisms have been directed against the carbon offsets provided by the CDM. According to Heidi Bachram, ‘Responsibility for over-consumptive lifestyles of those in richer nations is pushed onto the poor, as the South becomes a carbon dump for the industrialised world’.11 More generally, environmentalists have asked: Why should those with the capacity to pay have the right to pollute more than those who lack the capacity to pay? Why should anyone be allowed to exceed her ‘fair share’ of emissions or postpone her day of reckoning simply because she can afford to pay others, especially if it involves a purchase of subsistence emissions to enable the continuation of luxury emissions? In foregoing or postponing new domestic investments in climate friendly technologies in the North, international trading also undermines the UNFCCC’s principle of Northern leadership, which means, in this sense, going first and doing the heavy lifting. Some environmentalists have been offended by the very idea of unbundling nature (such as the carbon absorption capacity of the atmosphere) for the purposes of commodification and turning what is an environmental wrong—carbon pollution—into a tradable property right. Once the right to carbon pollution is commodified, carbon trading can be couched in terms of a libertarian entitlement theory of justice, according to which an economic transaction is considered fair if it is entered into voluntarily, lawfully and in good faith, irrespective of the distributive outcome of the exchange. 12 The background distribution of economic and political power, and ecological risks, is bracketed as given, and unproblematic. Carbon trading thus becomes a form of neoliberal environmental governance that leaves the allocation of scarce environmental resources to the market, rather than to democratic negotiation or equitable rationing. In contrast, most environmental justice theories rest on an egalitarian perspective, which seeks to avoid skewed distributive outcomes, especially when they arise from the unequal distribution of economic and political power. There is also the potential for the abuse of market power, through the deliberate withholding of permits, the formation of cartels or speculative trading. The egalitarian demand of

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environmental justice follows the maxim ‘to each according to his or her basic needs’, which has been translated into the cosmopolitan ethical requirement that each person should enjoy ‘equal environmental space’.13 This requires restricting the ecological or carbon footprints of individuals to a size that can be generalised for all while respecting global sustainability parameters. Environmental justice advocates have also highlighted the lack of participation of marginalised communities and classes in climate policy making.14 As early as 1994, Robert Goodin neatly encapsulated many of these environmental objections by drawing an analogy between the sale of pollution permits and the selling of medieval indulgences by the Catholic Church between the 12th and 16th centuries.15 In short, the sale of carbon permits is wrong because, like the Catholic Church in medieval times, the government is: • selling something it has no right to sell; • selling something which cannot and ought not be sold; • converting a wrong into a right; • indulging some (only those with the capacity to pay) and not all; and/or • selling a right to do something that has irreversible effects. Although Goodin’s analogy is not perfect, it does help to encapsulate the moral uneasiness felt by many towards carbon trading schemes. Yet it is clear that carbon trading schemes are here to stay, and in all likelihood they will proliferate and play a major role in national and international mitigation efforts. I therefore turn to the crucial question: can they be made palatable from an environmental justice perspective? My answer is yes, if certain conditions are met. That is, if carbon trading and carbon offsetting are to be morally, rather than merely economically, defensible then they must do more than merely enable firms to find the least-cost solution to abatement. They must, at the same time, also offer real benefits, or at least no net disadvantage, to developing countries as well as marginalised and low-income social groups. Ideally, then, carbon trading and offsetting must be shown to satisfy the triple requirements of effectiveness, efficiency and environmental justice. The justice requirement would build on the maxims ‘from each according to his or her responsibility

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and capacity’, and ‘to each according to his or her basic needs’. To the extent to which carbon trading fails these tests, then compensatory mechanisms must be included to make up the shortfall.

Carbon Trading: A Brief History When the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol began, it was by no means clear that the parties would accept carbon trading. The initial position of the European Union (along with the G-77 and environmental NGOs) was to oppose US proposals for international carbon trading, arguing that the primary response to climate change should be to reduce domestic emissions at source through domestic policy changes. The EU was also opposed to the selling of ‘hot air’ by postcommunist states such as Russia and Ukraine, whose surplus of emissions permits arose as a result of economic downturn rather than policy design, and therefore did not amount to real emissions reductions. In these early days of negotiation, the EU argued that carbon taxes were a more legitimate policy tool.16 In contrast, the US under the Clinton administration argued that the international response to carbon trading should be guided by principles of efficiency and pointed to the success of its sulphur dioxide trading scheme under the US Clean Air Act. The so-called Kyoto flexibility mechanisms—ET, JI and CDM—eventually emerged as crucial components of the bargain struck at Kyoto in 1997. The core features of this bargain were: • that the developed world would accept mandatory emission reduction targets (in the case of the EU, in the form of a regional target) because of their greater historical responsibility and capacity in return for considerable flexibility in meeting their targets through ET, CDM and JI and the use of ‘sinks’; and • that the developing world would be exempt from mandatory reduction targets and would receive assistance towards technology transfer, adaptation and capacity building. In short, ensuring ‘flexibility’ was the price of keeping the big carbon polluters (most notably, those in the so-called Umbrella group—particularly the US) at the table. The CDM was intended to perform a dual role: to assist non-Annex I parties (essentially,

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developing countries) to achieve sustainable development, and assist Annex I parties (developed countries) to achieve compliance with their targets (Kyoto Protocol Article 12(3)). As Loren Cass shows, whereas emissions trading was initially framed in the EU as an illegitimate tool that enabled parties to shirk or defer their responsibilities, it soon emerged as the best option to salvage the international negotiations.17 However, the EU’s shift was initially based on the condition that use of the flexibility mechanisms would be merely supplementary to, rather than a substitute for, the primary effort of reducing emissions from domestic sources. Supplementarity was to emerge as one of the issues that led to the breakdown of the sixth Conference of the Parties (COP6) at the Hague in 2000. The final compromise provided that CDM, JI and emission trading must be ‘supplemental to domestic action and domestic actions shall thus constitute a significant element of the effort made by each Party included in Annex I to meet its quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments’.18 Despite strenuous efforts by the EU, the Umbrella group strongly resisted any quantification of ‘significant’. The EU has moved a long way since these early disputes. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), proposed in 2001 and launched in 2005, is now the centre-piece of EU climate policy, and the EU is now widely seen as the international pace-setter. After a three-year trial trading period (2005–2007), the scheme has been refined for Phase II (corresponding to the Kyoto commitment period of 2008–2012), and in January 2008 the European Commission proposed a revised directive for the post-Kyoto period (2013–2020). The 2004 Linking Directive linked the ETS to the Kyoto Protocol by allowing installations to obtain Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) through the CDM, and Emission Reduction Units (ERU) through JI.19 National cap-and-trade schemes are now in operation in twentyseven European countries (the 25 EU members plus Norway and Switzerland), and in New Zealand. Twenty-eight states and provinces in the US and Canada have negotiated a regional scheme and a voluntary scheme is in operation in Japan.20 There are several capand-trade schemes currently before US Congress, and both candidates in the 2008 US Presidential election supported such schemes, albeit with different emissions reduction trajectories.

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The Kyoto Protocol does not require Annex I countries to adopt a national cap-and-trade scheme, or to link national schemes with the Kyoto Protocol’s flexibility mechanisms—these are merely options for Kyoto parties. Likewise, states that are not parties to the Protocol are free to introduce national cap-and-trade schemes.21 However, given that many Annex I countries are choosing to introduce capand-trade schemes as the primary mechanism to reach their Kyoto targets, and to link these schemes with the Kyoto flexibility mechanisms, I will start with an examination of these mechanisms.

International Carbon Trading The fairness of any carbon trading system depends, in part, on the fairness of the initial allocation of allowances. To the extent that Annex I countries seek to reach their Kyoto targets solely or primarily through a national trading system, linked with the Kyoto flexibility mechanisms, then the question of the justice of the initial target allocation arises.22 While the UNFCCC’s burden sharing principles of equity and CBDR underpinned the bifurcated architecture of the Kyoto Protocol (which imposes mandatory targets only on the developed countries listed in Annex B), these principles had very little influence on the actual determination of individual country targets. Instead, Annex B countries made their own decisions about what targets they felt they could manage (with the exception of the EU, which determined a collective regional target of an 8 per cent reduction in emissions by 2012 from a 1990 baseline but with differentiated burden sharing responsibilities of individual members).23 Australia emerged with a windfall target of an 8 per cent increase (compared to the Annex B average of around minus 5 per cent) and a baseline inflated from the inclusion of emissions from land clearing.24 Fairness and the Allocation of Allowances From the standpoint of justice, one of the biggest failures of COP3 at Kyoto in 1997 was the failure to develop a fair, objective and transparent formula for the allocation of emission reduction targets to individual countries. Developing countries were partly to blame for this. In refusing to even broach the subject of developing country targets at Kyoto they were unable to shape a debate about a formula that might serve their future environment and development needs. Nor

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does the Bali roadmap show any signs of a possible agreement on a fair formula for allocating targets for the period 2013–20 that might encourage a commitment to targets by developing countries.25 If the past is any indication, developed country targets most likely will be left to haggling and special pleading. However, developed countries will be under pressure to select their own individual target within the IPCC’s recommended range for developed countries of 25–40 per cent for 2020 to reduce the risks of dangerous warming. Agreement at Bali on a principled formula within this range based on responsibility, capacity and need might have served as an incentive for major developing countries such as China and India to move towards targets at a later stage. As we have seen, the debate about the morality of international carbon trading is a subset of a much broader moral debate about the allocation of responsibility for climate change among the countries and regions of the world. While international trading was introduced primarily to minimise the burden of mitigation by the heavy carbon polluters in Annex I, it has also been defended as providing financial incentives for developing countries to take on commitments, given their relatively cheap abatement costs and the potential to earn considerable revenue from the sale of permits or offset credits for reinvestment. However, if carbon trading is to satisfy the triple requirements of effectiveness, efficiency and environmental justice (which means the delivery of real benefits to developing countries), then there are plenty of alternative allocation schemes that can do better than Kyoto. A more principled allocation of emissions allowances based on any or all of the following models would be fairer than the allocation that occurred at Kyoto in 1997: equal per capita allocation (based on an equal right of all people • to a share of the atmosphere’s absorption capacity; this translates to an equal right to emit up to safe level);27 • allocation based on a country’s historical responsibility for climate change (based on the polluter pays principle and/or the benefit derived from past emissions); and/or allocation on the basis of a country’s capacity to respond (that is, • to mitigate and adapt) to climate change28

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As we have seen, need, responsibility and capacity are all principles that are affirmed in the UNFCCC and they are generally of more appeal to developing countries than the ‘grandfathering’26 that took place at Kyoto, since they provide further head-room for development while also creating the potential for considerable revenue generation from trading. Two models of particular appeal to developing countries (especially the most vulnerable, such as small island states), and which are also more consistent with environmental justice, are contraction and convergence (C&C), and greenhouse development rights (GDR).29 Both C&C and GDR, but particularly C&C, rely on carbon trading as a mechanism of resource transfer from the rich (the big emitters) to the poor (the low emitters). However, the core political problem is that the allocation models that appeal most to developing countries appeal least to the biggest emitters in the developed world (most notably, the US), which would be obliged to expend considerably more revenue purchasing allowances from developing countries than under the Kyoto allocation. Nonetheless, emissions trading and offsetting under the Kyoto Protocol have also been defended as providing resource flows to developing countries or newly industrialised countries. Fairness and International Trading: Generic Problems Subsistence Versus Luxury Emissions Once developing countries adopt emissions reduction targets, a key problem with international carbon trading is that poor countries may sell their spare emissions in early rounds of trading for other goods and services that they consider to be more urgent. If many poor countries follow this practice, then the net effect will be to depress the price of emission allowances30 and reduce the revenue earning potential of developing countries. Given that the price of emissions permits is expected to grow over time, poor countries are unlikely to be in a position to buy them back again in the future when they are most needed. This problem could be exacerbated if trading leads to a concentration of emissions permits in the hands of speculators. The worst-case scenario is that poor countries may reach a point where they may not have enough allowances to meet their basic needs. It has been suggested that this problem might be partly avoided by

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distinguishing between subsistence emissions and luxury emissions, and quarantining the former from trade.31 Indeed Jiahua Pan suggests that subsistence emissions should have the same status as voting rights (no price attached, and no transferability).32 Luxury emissions, in contrast, could be bought and sold on the international carbon market. While it is not always an easy matter to distinguish between basic and nonbasic needs (and these suggestions do not solve the problems of depressed prices through massive early sales, or hoarding by speculators), the distinction seems the only way of upholding the idea of an equal right to a certain level of environmental space.33 How Will the Revenue from Carbon Trading Be Spent? Another assumption of international carbon trading schemes is that the income received by poor countries from the sale of carbon pollution permits will be directed towards appropriate domestic carbon reduction programs that are consistent with sustainable development (which includes meeting the basic needs of present generations). However, apart from specific treaty commitments, it is the prerogative of each government to decide how the revenue from carbon trading will be deployed. Given the many pressing demands on the governments of poor countries, there is no guarantee that the revenue earned would be invested in low-carbon technologies or that it will benefit the least-advantaged communities. What if Trade Grinds to a Halt? A major technological breakthrough by big emitters (and therefore big buyers), and the rapid diffusion of the new technology, would radically reduce the opportunity for developing countries to earn revenue from trading.34 Of course, new emissions reduction technology is good news and would be welcome by those who object to trading, but it would be bad news for developing countries that had become dependent on trading as their only or primary source of revenue for retooling in a carbon constrained world. General Risks All international carbon trading schemes face a similar set of risks associated with carbon trading markets. The effectiveness of international carbon trading schemes depends on a set of assumptions, such

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as stable and competitive markets (without any abuse of market power by big buyers or big sellers); the absence of major political turmoil or war; and the continued cooperation and compliance of states. For example, the sudden withdrawal of a major buyer or seller can radically affect the price of allowances and upset expectations.35 Disruptions to these assumptions can seriously undermine the effectiveness of, and resource transfers promised by, carbon trading. The Kyoto Flexibility Mechanisms The Kyoto flexibility mechanisms allow emissions trading, and project-based investments under JI, between Annex I parties, and project investments between Annex I and developing countries under the CDM.36 Here we shall focus only on the potential for resource transfer between the Annex I North and the non-Annex I South under the CDM, and trade in ‘hot air’ (since there has been little activity under JI).37 The Special Case of the CDM The CDM allows Annex I parties to effectively increase their domestic allowance by obtaining credits for investment in emission reduction projects in developing countries, which do not have targets.38 However, to gain the benefit of CERs under the CDM, it must be shown that the emissions reductions would not have occurred in the developing country in the absence of the private investment (Article 12, Kyoto Protocol). The potential for inflated calculations based on counterfactual estimates of baseline scenarios is therefore considerable. Indeed, critics have pointed to many projects where emissions savings are not in fact additional to what might otherwise have occurred. Critics have also argued that many CDM projects (such as large hydroelectric schemes) are not consistent with sustainable development as required by Article 12 (in part because the interpretation of sustainable development is left to the host country).39 CDM also provides an incentive for developing countries to avoid or postpone investment in climate friendly projects in order to attract private sector investment under the CDM.40 Moreover, not all developing countries have benefited from the CDM, with much higher volumes of investment flowing into China and India compared to the countries of Africa.41 Finally, in the absence of developing country targets, there

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is no precise limit to the amount of CERs that developing countries may sell to developed countries, and in the absence of clear, quantifiable restrictions in the Kyoto rule book on the supplementary use of CERs by developed countries seeking cheaper abatement options, then there remains considerable potential for developed countries to keep ‘topping up’ their domestic allowance. EU member states are required to set limits on the use of CERs under CDM (and ERUs under JI) in their National Allocation Plans according to the supplementarity requirement of the Kyoto Protocol in phase II of the EU ETS (2008-2012). However, it is expected that members will take advantage of these mechanisms. According to Skj´áerseth and Wettestad: All members states except Estonia plan to use JI and CDM credits instead of EU ETS allowances to cover up to 20% of their emissions in 2008-2012. Such credits are likely to be cheaper than EU ETS allowances due to the higher risk involved in investing in emissions-saving projects carried out in third countries under the Kyoto Protocol’s projectbased mechanisms. This may lead to downward pressure on prices in phase two of the ETS and low incentives to abatement within the EU itself.42 As Skjáerseth and Wettestad point out, ‘increased cost effectiveness may go hand in hand with less reduction within the EU’.43 Trade in ‘Hot Air’ More pointed criticisms have arisen in relation to the purchase of ‘hot air’ or ‘virtual emissions’ from post-communist Annex I states that are available as a result of economic downturn in the 1990s rather than deliberate policy design. Hot air trade relieves the buyer of undertaking more expensive domestic restructuring without any real reduction in emissions from the seller. In negotiations for the postKyoto Protocol the EU will most likely extend its bubble (the airshed covered by the EU targets) to include new accession states in Central Europe and take advantage of hot air. While the EU bubble cannot be extended before the expiry of the first commitment period 2013, it is

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possible for the EU to negotiate individual bubbles in the interim. However, some EU countries have declared that they would not purchase ‘hot air’ unless the payments are directed to environmentally beneficial schemes.44

A Just Carbon Trading Scheme for Australia The shape and character of a national carbon trading scheme, including the cap and emissions reduction trajectory, the principles of allocation and the trading rules, are the prerogative of national governments. As we have seen, there are few direct means by which the international community can ensure that domestic carbon trading schemes are internally fair. However, given Australia’s dubious distinction of being among the highest per capita emitters in the world, internal fairness is of less concern to the international community than Australia’s general emissions reduction strategy. An Australian cap-and-trade scheme that is impeccably fair from the perspective of domestic stakeholders may be considered a travesty by the international community, particularly the most vulnerable nations, if the cap and emissions reduction trajectory are weak. Australia’s Kyoto obligation (not to exceed an 8 per cent increase in emissions by 2012 from a 1990 baseline) is the second most generous of the Kyoto targets. Moreover, the Rudd Labor government’s post-Kyoto target to 2020 falls well below the 25–40 per cent reduction recommended for developed countries by the IPCC. The government has committed to a minimum, unconditional cut of 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020, rising to 15 per cent if ‘all major economies commit to substantially restrain emissions and all developed countries take on comparable reductions to that of Australia’. ‘All major economies’ includes not only developed countries such as the US and Germany but also developing countries such as China and India. This 2020 target is particularly weak for a highly affluent country such as Australia which is among the world’s top per capita carbon emitters and in the top 20 per cent of aggregate emitters.45 The Rudd government’s 2020 targets are weak not only in terms of well-understood scientific requirements but also in terms of the moral and legal requirements of common but differentiated responsibility and developed country leadership under the climate regime.

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The government’s White Paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme46 accepts the pessimism of the Garnaut Climate Change Review Final Report that an international agreement to stabilise atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at around 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent, while desirable, is unlikely, and that Australia must adjust its own emissions reduction trajectory accordingly so as not to penalise domestic industry.47 In effect, the government has postponed concerted action until substantial commitments are made from major developing countries in which millions of people live below the poverty line. An unconditional minimum commitment to a 5 per cent reduction by 2020 is unlikely to inspire China and India, or unleash the depth of technological innovation and collective commitment that is necessary to shift towards a low carbon economy and encourage countries like China and India to leap-frog over the fossil fuel development path. The internal fairness of domestic carbon trading, like international carbon trading, may be assessed in terms of the fairness of (1) the allocation of domestic permits; (2) the rules and consequences of domestic trade; (3) the linking of domestic trading with international trading; and (4) the more general distributional consequences of rising energy prices. The last issue is not unique to carbon trading schemes and would arise from any policy instrument, such as a tax, that placed a price on carbon. I will therefore not treat this issue here except to acknowledge that the rising fuel prices that would flow from a cap-and-trade scheme are socially regressive and would require compensatory measures for low-income households.

Fairness in the Allocation of Permits Climate change is perhaps the quintessential collective action problem at both the international and domestic level. Prima facie, domestic fairness requires that a cap-and-trade scheme have the widest possible coverage in terms of greenhouse gases and economic sectors included. Maximum coverage not only improves the effectiveness of the scheme but also spreads the burden of mitigation and prevents free riding. Exempting some sectors of the economy merely increases the burden on those sectors that are included, postpones innovation and slows the rate at which emissions reductions can be achieved.48

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Auctioning permits is preferable to free allocation based on existing emissions (‘grandfathering’) from the standpoint of both fairness and efficiency because it does not disadvantage new market entrants (such as emerging renewable energy industries), does not grant a scarcity rent to existing major carbon polluters and provides the government with significant revenue from the sale of permits. Permit revenue can be reinvested in ways that assist industry in retooling and/or restructuring and provide low carbon alternatives to consumers so they can reduce their dependence on fossil fuel and therefore avoid the higher price of fossil fuels. This is preferable to helping low-income households continue their dependence by offering cash payments. The Rudd government’s plans to offset the increase in petrol prices with a cent for cent reduction in petrol taxes over the next three years,49 has the effect of cancelling out the very prices signals that are supposed to drive business and consumers towards alternatives. Granting free permits to energy intensive industries also prolongs dependence on fossil fuel and grants a scarcity rent to big carbon polluters. The first phase of the EU ETS has been criticised for granting free permits to electricity suppliers, which made windfall profits by passing the market value of the permits on to consumers. 50 In response to these criticisms, the European Commission’s reform proposals recommend the phasing out of free allocation, with full auctioning of permits for the power sector by 2013.51 Much of the debate in Australia has focussed on the issue of whether energy intensive industries should be given special treatment in the form of free permits, compensation and/or assistance. This problem has been mooted for some time in Europe, where energy intensive industries, along with unions, environmental groups and the European Parliament, have—in the wake of the phase out of free allocation—called for border adjustments measures (such as countervailing duties against US imports) to prevent the movement offshore of energy intensive industries (so-called carbon leakage).52 However, the European Commission is reluctant to entertain the idea of a trade dispute with the US and has indicated that it will delay any decision on any carbon-equalisation scheme until 2011, when the post-Kyoto regulatory environment is clearer.53

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If fairness requires the inclusion of all economic sectors in a cap-and-trade scheme in order to spread the burden of adjustment, then the onus should lie on those seeking special treatment to establish the fairness of their special case.54 However, if loss of profits or reduction in the value of assets of businesses were to constitute a special case, then the basic purpose of the scheme—to restructure the economy towards a zero or low carbon energy mix—would be completely thwarted. Prima facie, there is no moral justification for the claim that taxpayers should provide economic compensation or other special treatment to harmful industries, whether tobacco, gambling, landmines or coal, for any losses they may suffer from new regulations. Ever since the signing of the UNFCCC, the business community has been put on notice that they will need to adjust to a carbon constrained world. However, special considerations do arise in relation to emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries (EITE), such as the aluminium, iron and steel, cement and chemical industries. The distinguishing argument in relation to these industries is that since they are international ‘price-takers’ (they must sell at prices set by the global market and therefore cannot pass on increased local costs), they would suffer a competitive disadvantage relative to overseas firms operating in carbon havens, and, in the absence of a global agreement to impose a price on carbon for competitors, there is a risk that such industries would move offshore to carbon havens and undermine the domestic national cap-and-trade scheme. However, the Garnaut Climate Change Review ‘concludes that there are no identifiable circumstances that would justify the free allocation of permits’ (p. 332). For the special case of EIETs, the Review has recommended (in the absence of a comprehensive global agreement) the negotiation of international sectoral agreements to achieve comparable treatment of emissions with important competitors to place Australian EITE industries on a level international playing field. In the absence of sectoral agreements, the Review recommends domestic assistance in the form of credits against permit obligations to compensate for the absence of a similar price on carbon imposed on trading competitors (to be phased out as comparable policies emerge).55 However, the Garnaut Review appropriately rejects any

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special treatment of energy intensive industries that are not tradeexposed, arguing bluntly that there ‘is no basis for compensation arising from the loss of profits or reductions in asset values following the introduction of the domestic emissions trading scheme’.56 (This is a separate matter from using permit revenue to assist low-income households, and provide adjustment assistance for communities and employees of economically impacted sectors.) In contrast to the Garnaut Review, the Rudd government’s White Paper recommends free allocation of around 25 per cent of the permits to EITEs in the initial phase of the scheme and rising per cent to up to 45 by 2020 EITEs grow at the same rate as the rest of the economy.57 The Garnaut Review’s recommendations are much more consistent with the polluter pays principle and more likely to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy. However, a more tailored scheme might take the form of export rebates for EITE industries on condition that firms introduce efficiency measures or reinvestment in low carbon technologies. This would subject products sold by EITE industries on the domestic market to the same discipline as nontrade exposed firms. Export rebates do not solve the problem of cheap imports in the domestic market, but proposals to correct this problem through the imposition of countervailing duties on imports from ‘carbon havens’ face considerable administrative and accounting hurdles and would need to be carefully designed to avoid a WTO legal challenge. More importantly, they would be strongly resisted by developing countries which regard such schemes as ‘backdoor targets’ that are inconsistent the climate regime’s principles of CBDR and developed country leadership. 58

Fairness Regarding the Rules and Consequences of Trade Even if permits are allocated fairly, injustices for some traders, for developing countries or future generations may nonetheless arise from the operation of the trading rules. Here I will confine my discussion to the banking and borrowing of permits and, briefly, linking. Banking enables firms to save emission permits for use or sale in the future while borrowing permits from a central authority (ahead of the scheduled release of permits) allows firms to postpone their current mitigation obligations to a future point in time (when permits

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would have to be repaid). Both the White Paper and the Garnaut Review recommend unlimited banking of permits, along with limited borrowing from the Independent Carbon Bank.59 Both banking and borrowing confer more flexibility on firms, but they may also create risks and reduce predictability. The expectation that the price of permits will rise over time might encourage speculative hoarding, which would lead to artificial increases in the price of permits in the early stages of the scheme, and profiteering at later stages, making it difficult for struggling firms to purchase permits. Hoarding is also likely to make borrowing more expensive. Lending by a central authority must guard against the risk of borrowers defaulting on repayments, while excessive lending may result in overshooting the emission reduction strategy, requiring the purchase of international credits to make up the shortfall. This is defensible from an economic perspective because it enables firms to exploit cheaper abatement costs elsewhere and is consistent with the basic economic philosophy of trading. However, this is precisely the objection raised by environmental justice critics against the Kyoto Protocol flexibility mechanisms because it enables firms to avoid or postpone taking any direct responsibility for reducing emissions in the short term. Likewise, linking the Australian ETS with the Kyoto flexibility mechanism broadens the range of abatement options, lowers the costs of compliance and would most likely lower the price of permits. However, the greater the use of linking, the more domestic innovation and developed country leadership is postponed, and the primary injustices of climate change are prolonged. This hollowing out of responsibility applies especially to the use of the CDM, which effectively enables Annex 1 countries to ‘top-up’ their allowances. The White Paper supports unlimited linking to maximise flexibility and minimise compliance costs.60 The Garnaut Review is more circumspect and acknowledges a range of risks, including unsound regulatory systems in other jurisdictions, price volatility, potential external political instabilities and the small size of the Australian carbon market relative to others.61 It also acknowledges that, given the emissions-intensive character of the Australian economy, Australia would be a net purchaser of permits for some time. 62 The

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Review recommends quantitative limits on linking in the initial stages of the scheme, and it follows the EU example in recommending a limit on international offsets under the CDM, fixed as a proportion of Australian permits.63 This is highly desirable to protect the integrity of the scheme for so long as developing countries do not have mandatory emissions reductions targets.

Conclusion It is clear that international carbon trading (and offsetting) cannot perform all the work that is needed to address the primary injustices of climate change, and that poorly conceived schemes may actually create secondary injustices that are likely to exacerbate primary injustices. Both internationally and domestically, then, we cannot have just (as in ‘only’) carbon trading and it is probably asking too much to expect just (as in ‘perfectly fair’) carbon trading. The greatest virtue of carbon trading is efficiency, not justice, and the challenge of policy design is to ensure that existing injustices are not exacerbated or new injustices created. This is more easily achieved at the domestic level than at the international level. If permits are auctioned, the broadest possible coverage is achieved, and linking is restricted, then carefully tailored compensation schemes for low-income earners and affected workers and communities can offset secondary injustices. Mitigation can be considerably enhanced by a suite of complementary measures, such as mandatory renewable energy targets, government procurement policies and major investments in public transport and other infrastructure that make it easier for low-income earners to choose low carbon alternatives. Wealth transfers through international carbon trading (once developing countries accept targets) provide a precarious basis for systematic environmental capacity building or sustainable development. The broader task of achieving international environmental justice for developing countries is best guaranteed by more direct resource and technology transfers for mitigation and adaptation along with structural reform in the international trading and financial systems to address the development gap and the ongoing legacies of the colonial period.

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Notes 1 2

Shue, ‘Subsistence Emissions and Luxury Emissions’, p. 397. Article 11 of the Kyoto Protocol allows Annex B parties (the developed countries) to sell spare emission allowances to other Annex B parties which are unable to meet their target. Article 6 allows Annex B parties to earn emission reduction units (ERUs) by investing in an emissions reduction project in another Annex B party, such as more efficient coal plants (Joint Implementation). Article 12 establishes the Clean Development Mechanism, which allows Annex B parties to earn certified emissions reduction (CERs) credits by investing in emissions reduction or removal projects in developing countries (non-Annex B) that would not have otherwise taken place. 3 Carbon trading can take many forms. The primary focus of this chapter is on international and national carbon trading schemes, and international carbon offset schemes under the CDM, rather than on private carbon trading and voluntary offsetting schemes. I use the generic term ‘carbon trading’ interchangeably with ‘emissions trading’ since greenhouse gases are quantified as ‘carbon equivalent’ so that traded units are made commensurable in terms of tonnes of carbon dioxide–equivalent (tCO2e). 4 UNFCCC, Article 3.1; 4:2a. Other principles include intergenerational equity (Article 3.1); special consideration of the needs and circumstances of developing countries, particularly those that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (Articles 3(2), 4(8), 4(9) and 4(10)); a precautionary approach, incorporating the definition of the precautionary approach in Principle 15 of Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992) (Article 3.3); and sustainable development, in accordance with national circumstances (Article 3.4). 5 Among the enthusiastic supporters is the US Environmental Defense Fund (now Environmental Defence) which entered into a partnership over an internal emissions trading scheme with BP as early as 1996, and played a major role in shaping the Clinton administration’s policy stance towards trading. 6 These are not the only advantages. For example, Cameron Hepburn has identified seven advantages in ‘Carbon Trading: A Review of the Kyoto Mechanisms’, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, p. 378. 7 Herman E. Ott and Wolfgang Sachs, ‘Ethical Aspects of Emissions Trading’. 8 Carbon Trade Watch 2007, Carbon Neutral Myth. See also Larry Lohmann, Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power. 9 Bumpus and Liverman, ‘Accumulation by Decarbonization’, p. 10. 10 Roberts and Parks, Climate of Injustice. 11 Bachram, ‘Climate Fraud and Carbon Colonialism’, p. 11. See also Larry Lohmann, Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power. 12 The classic defence of an entitlement theory of justice is provided by Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia.

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13 14 15 16 17 18

19

20 21

22

23

24

Hayward, ‘Emissions Rights versus Human Rights’. Schlosberg, Defining Environmental Justice. Goodin, ‘Selling Environmental Indulgences’. Cass, ‘Norm Entrapment and Preference Change’; Skj´áerseth and Wettestad, ‘Origin, Evolution and Consequences’. Cass, ‘Norm Entrapment and Preference Change’. UNFCC, Review of the Implementation of Commitments and of other Provisions of the Convention: Decision 5/CP.6 Implementation of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, FCCC/CP/2001/L.7, 24 July 2001 (Conference of the Parties, Sixth Session part 2, Bonn 16 July 2001), Annex Pt VIU, Item 1(5). In relation to CDM, Article 12(3)(b) provides that: ‘Parties … may use … such project activities to contribute to compliance … under Article 3’; in relation to Joint Implementation, Article 6(1)(d)) provides that ‘The acquisition of emission reduction units shall be supplemental to domestic action for the purposes of meeting commitments under Article 3’; while in relation to emissions trading Article 17 provides that ‘any such trading shall be supplemental to domestic actions for the purpose of meeting quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments under that Article’. In short, efforts to remove emissions at source, or absorb them via sinks, must take precedence over investing in trading, JI or CDM with other countries. The text of the decision states that this weighting must by demonstrated in the annual reports of each country. However, there remains considerable uncertainty over the meaning of ‘significant element’. Directive 2004/101/EC, amending Directive 2003/87/EC. CERs and ERUs cannot be generated from nuclear facilities or sink projects, www.tematea. org/?q=node/1457&PHPSESSID=bedb7dcd705973c3e73d5e41083ce71c Department of Climate Change, Carbon Pollution Reductions Scheme (hereafter ‘The Green Paper’), p. v. To take the most notable example, the US has refused to ratify the Protocol and both candidates in the 2008 Presidential election avoided any discussion of ratification (the United State’s Kyoto target of a 7 per cent reduction by 2012 from 1990 levels now appears almost out of reach). For Annex I Kyoto parties, the national cap and reduction strategy of the cap-and-trade scheme may not necessarily coincide with the country’s overall Kyoto target and timetable, which may be achieved by a range of complementary policy mechanisms. Allocation of burden sharing within the EU followed a more principled path, guided by the so-called triptych sectoral approach (which applied different burden sharing rules to the power sector, internationally operating energy intensive industries and other domestic industries). See G. J. M. Phylipsem, J. W. Bode, K. Blok, H. Merkus and B. Metz, ‘A Triptych Sectoral Approach to Burden Differentiation: GHG Emissions in the European Bubble’, pp. 929–43. Article 11(7) of the Protocol, inserted at the instigation of Australia, and dubbed the ‘Australia clause’ because it specifically advantages Australia,

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25 26

27

28

29

30 31 32 33

34 35

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enables the inclusion of emissions reductions from the cessation of land clearing in the carbon stocktaking where land clearing constitutes a net source of emissions in the baseline year of 1990. Eckersley, ‘Bali and Beyond’. The Kyoto allocation has been described as grandfathering, because allocation was made on the basis of existing emissions in the base year of 1990, from which variable percentage reductions are required by the commitment period 2008–12. Some environmental philosophers have argued this egalitarian model is best expressed in terms of equal access to environmental space, rather than an equal right to emit (Hayward, ‘Human Rights versus Emissions Rights’). Capacity is primarily a function of a country’s level of economic development, but other factors have also been mooted under this rubric, such as the degree of a country’s dependence on fossil fuel, geography (for example, vast distances between cities and regions), cold climate and population growth rates. For a comprehensive synthesis of the varying models for allocating responsibility, see Madeleine Heyward, ‘Equity and International Climate Change Negotiations’, pp. 518–34. C&C allocates allowances to countries on the basis of population, and requires all countries to converge towards equal per capita emissions by a target date. See Aubrey Meyer, Contraction and Convergence: The Global Solution to Climate Change. The greenhouse development model, in broad outline, determines the emissions reduction trajectory that is required to reduce dangerous climate change and then allocates responsibility for mitigation (and adaptation) according to a weighted ‘responsibility and capacity index’ (exempting the least-developed countries). See Tom Athanasiou, Sivan Kartha and Paul Baer, ‘Greenhouse Development Rights’. Baumert, Perkins and Kete, ‘Great Expectations’, p. 143. Shue, ‘Subsistence Emissions and Luxury Emissions’. Pan, ‘Emissions Rights and their Transferability’. The GDR model addresses this problem by exempting countries below a certain GDP threshold (around US$9000 per person per annum) from any responsibility for mitigation or adaptation beyond simple ‘no regrets’ strategies. All countries beyond this threshold are assigned responsibility according to a composite responsibility and capacity index. Baumert, Perkins and Kete, ‘Great Expectations’, p. 143. For example, Russia and Ukraine were expecting to sell significant quantities of emissions allowances to the United States under the Kyoto emissions trading mechanism but the US withdrawal frustrated these expectations and, for a while, created doubts about their participation, which delayed ratification. Likewise, one of the concerns of the Bush administration was that it would be dependent on Russia and Ukraine selling allowances so that the United States could meet its targets (ibid., p. 140). There is also the possibility that developing countries holding the

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38 39

40 41

42 43 44 45

46

47

bulk of allowances for sale might create a cartel, like OPEC, to control prices and increase revenues (Barmert, Perkins and Kete, ‘Great Expectations’, p. 144). Some countries may lack the infrastructure and regulatory framework to verify, report and comply with regulatory requirements (ibid., p. 139). Given these problems it may be simpler to confine the scheme to the top 20 aggregate emitters plus other countries which can demonstrate that they have the infrastructure and capacity to engage in transparent and accurate carbon accounting. ET between Annex I and developing countries is not possible until such time as the latter adopt mandatory targets. Under the ETS, emission reduction units (ERUs) from Joint Implementation (JI) projects will only be issued after the start of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2008. Nuclear power projects and carbon dioxide sinks cannot be used as CDM credits. The EU requires members to approve hydro projects that conform with the guidelines of the World Commission on Dams, which are intended to avoid negative ecological impacts (Directive 2004/101/EC). Christina Voigt, ‘Is the Clean Development Mechanism Sustainable? Some Critical Aspects’, pp. 15–21. According to the UNFCCC’s Expected Average Annual CERs from Registered Projects by Host Party (29 September 2008), China has received 52.20 per cent and India 13.66 per cent compared to Brazil 8.87 per cent and South Africa 1.14 per cent. Available at http://cdm.unfccc.int/ Statistics/Registration/AmountOfReductRegisteredProjPieChart.html Skjáerseth and Wettestad, ‘Origin, Evolution and Consequences’, pp. 16–17. ibid., p. 17. Hepburn, ‘Carbon Trading’, p. 380, footnote 22. According to the United Nations Environment Program’s map of ‘Top 20 Greenhouse Gas Emitters’, Australia is ranked twelfth in the world (this ranking is based on uneven data, ranging from 1994 to 2003). Available at http://maps.grida.no/no/go/graphic/top-20-greenhouse-gas-emitters/ The map is also reproduced in Kick the Habit: A UN Guide to Climate Neutrality, 2008, www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/kick-the-habit/ default.aspx?bid+ID0EWJAE Australian Government, Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme: Australia’s Low Pollution Future, White Paper, vol. 1, 15 December 2008. Available at www.climatechange.gov.au/whitepaper/index.html On a best case scenario, with an international agreement to stabilise atmospheric concentrations at 450 parts per million (ppm) CO2e to reduce the risk of more than 2 degree warming, the Garnaut Review recommended an interim target of minus 25 per cent for Australia ‘to play its role’. However, the Review considered that an agreement involving stabilisation at 550 ppm was more realistic, which translates into a 10 per cent cut for Australia. If no international agreement is reached, the review recommends a cut of only minus 5 per cent (Garnaut Review, chapter 12).

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48 EU ETS only covers major installations and only carbon dioxide emissions. It excludes other major GHGs and excludes land and air transport. 49 The White Paper. 50 Sijm, Neuhoff and Chen, ‘CO2 Cost Pass Through’. As A. Danny Ellerman and Paul L. Joskow point out, this reflected the opportunity cost of using the allowance to cover emissions relative to sale of the allowance on the market (Ellerman and Joskow, European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, p. 27). Auctioning would not necessarily result in lower prices for consumers but it would end the granting of a scarcity rent to electricity generators. 51 European Commission, Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council (amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system of the Community), Brussels, COM(2008) 16, Brussels, 23 January 2008; http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/emission/pdf/ets_ revision_proposal.pdf 52 The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to investigate border tax adjustments against industrialised countries without carbon constraints (European Parliament, ‘Winning the Battle Against Global Climate Change’, paragraph 37). Border adjustments also have the support of the European Trade Union Confederation, the European Environment Bureau and the Social Platform (ETUC 2008). 53 For example, in 2006 European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson described the move as ‘not good for politics’: EurActiv, ‘Mandelson Rejects CO2 Border Tax’. 54 Exemption of industry sectors (such as agriculture, forestry and waste) on grounds of technical feasibility is a separate matter and, pending resolution of the technical issues, may be addressed by other policy instruments. The Rudd government’s proposal to offset, on a cent for cent basis, the initial price impact on fuel associated with the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme for the first three years also has the effect of thwarting the basic purpose of the scheme. A better solution is to invest the revenue from permits on fossil fuel alternatives in the transport sector. 55 The formula is expressed as follows: ‘For every unit of production, eligible firms receive a credit against their permit obligations equivalent to the expected uplift in world product prices that would eventuate if our trading competitors had policies similar to our own’, Garnaut Review, p. 345. 56 ibid., p. 344. ‘Providing assistance to address the failure of our global competitors to act on limiting their carbon emissions is not the same as compensating domestic firms for the government’s decision to implement a domestic emissions trading scheme’ (ibid., p. 344). 57 The White Paper, p. xxxvi. The government has also proposed to allocate around $3.9 billion to the most emissions-intensive, coal-fired generators, to be distributed over the first five years of the scheme.

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58 Two of the eleven climate bills that have been recently introduced in the US Congress require importers to purchase greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances if their own jurisdiction does not impose adequate climate policy measures. For example, the Bingaman-Specter Low Carbon Economy Act of 2007 (Senate bill 1766) in July 2007 requires the administration to conduct a periodic annual review of the climate policies of the US’s five largest trading partners (Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and Germany) to see to what extent their climate policy instruments are comparable to those of the US. Greenhouse gas intensive goods sold on the domestic market from countries without comparable instruments would be required to purchase GHG emission allowances issued by the US government. A similar requirement is included in America’s Climate Security Act 2007 (Senate bill S.2191) sponsored by Senators Lieberman and Warner. Biermann and Brohm, ‘Implementing the Kyoto Protocol’, p. 291, argue for the imposition of border taxes only on imports from industrialised countries which have not implemented adequate climate change policies. They argue that they should be avoided against developing countries, in line with the principle of CBDR, and that the problem of carbon leakage to developing countries should be addressed through the GEF, nominated by the UNFCCC (Article 4(3)) to reimburse the incremental costs incurred by developing countries in implementing the Convention. However, this proposal would most likely be contested in the WTO. 59 The White Paper (p. xxix) allows short term borrowing (less than 5 per cent of liabilities) by using permits dated from the following year, while the Garnaut Review (p. 336) recommends borrowing from the Central Carbon Bank for a period up to five years. 60 The White Paper, p. xxxii. 61 Garnaut Review, 338. 62 ibid. 63 ibid., pp. 339, 341.

Bibliography Athanasiou, Tom, Sivan Kartha and Paul Baer, ‘Greenhouse Development Rights: An Approach to the Global Climate Regime that takes Climate Protection Seriously while Also Preserving the Right to Human Development’, EcoEquity and Christian Aid, November 2006, www.ecoequity.org/GDRs/GDRs_Nairobi.pdf Australian Government, Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme: Australia’s Low Pollution Future White Paper, Executive Summary, vol. 1, 15 December 2008. Bachram, Heide, ‘Climate Fraud and Carbon Colonialism: The New Trade in Greenhouse Gases’, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, vol. 15, no. 4, 2004, pp. 5–20. Baumert, Kevin A., James F. Perkins and Nancy Kete, ‘Great Expectations: Can International Emission Trading Deliver and Equitable Climate Regime?’, Climate Policy, vol. 3, 2003, pp. 137–48.

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Biermann, F. and R. Brohm, ‘Implementing the Kyoto Protocol without the United States: The Strategic Role of Energy Tax Adjustments at the Border’, Climate Policy, vol. 4, 2005, pp. 289–302. Brewer, Thomas L., ‘U.S. Climate Change Policy and International Trade Policy Intersections: Issues Needing Innovation for a Rapidly Expanding Agenda’, paper prepared for a seminar of the Georgetown University Center for Business and Public Policy, Washington, DC, 12 February 2008. Bumpus, Adam G. and Diana Liverman, ‘Accumulation by Decarbonization and the Governance of Carbon Offsets’, Economic Geography, vol. 84, no. 2, 2008, pp. 127–56. Carbon Trade Watch, The Carbon Neutral Myth: Offset Indulgences for Your Climate Sins, Carbon Trade Watch, Amsterdam, 2007. Cass, Loren, ‘Norm Entrapment and Preference Change: The Evolution of the European Union Position on International Emissions Trading’, Global Environmental Politics, vol. 5, no. 2, 2005, pp. 38–60. Eckersley, Robyn, ‘Bali and Beyond: Planning for a Post-Kyoto World’, AIIA Policy Commentary, Australian Institute of International Affairs, Canberra, 2008, www.aiia.asn.au/associations/8220/files/Bali_and_Beyond.pdf Ellerman, A. Danny and Paul L. Joskow, The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme in Perspective, report prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, May 2008, www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/EUETS-In-Perspective-Report.pdf European Commission, Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council (amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system of the Community), Brussels, 23 January 2008, http://ec.europa.eu/ environment/climat/emission/pdf/ets_revision_proposal.pdf European Parliament, Resolution on ‘Winning the Battle Against Global Climate Change’ (2005/2049(INI)), 2005, http://ec.europa.eu/ environment/climat/pdf/ep_resolution_clim_change.pdf. European Trade Union Confederation, ‘Spring Summit 2008 / ETUC, EEB and Social Platform Open Letter to Head of State and of Government on Social and Sustainable Development and the Energy/Climate Package’, 28 February 2008, www.etuc.org/IMG/pdf_Joint_declaration_EEB_ETUC_ Social_Platform_-_Spring_Summit_2008.pdf Friends of the Earth, Windfalls in Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Bill: Quantifying the Fossil Fuel and Potential Nuclear Industry Giveaways, Friends of the Earth, January 2008, www.foe.org/pdf/Lieberman_Warner_ 1-30_Update.pdf Garnaut, Ross, Garnaut Climate Change Review: Final Report, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, www.garnautreport.org.au/#FinalReport Goodin, Robert E., ‘Selling Environmental Indulgences’, Kyklos, vol. 47, 1994, pp. 573–96. Hayward, Tim, ‘Human Rights Versus Emissions Rights: Climate Justice and the Equitable Distribution of Ecological Space’, Ethics and International Affairs, vol. 21, no. 4, 2007, pp. 431–50.

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Hepburn, Cameron, ‘Carbon Trading: A Review of the Kyoto Mechanisms’, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, vol. 32, 2007, pp. 375–93. Heyward, Madeleine, ‘Equity and International Climate Change Negotiations: A Matter of Perspective’, Climate Policy, vol. 7, pp. 518–34. Lohmann, Larry, Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power, Dag Hammarskjold Centre, Upsalla, Sweden, 2006. Meyer, Aubrey, Contraction and Convergence: The Global Solution to Climate Change, Green Books, Dartington, 2000. Nozick, Robert, Anarchy, State and Utopia, Basic Books, New York, 1974. Ott, Herman E. and Wolfgang Sachs, ‘Ethical Aspects of Emissions Trading’, Wuppertal Papers, no. 110, Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie, September 2000. Pan, Jiahua, ‘Emissions Rights and their Transferability: Equity Concerns over Climate Change Mitigation’, International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, vol. 3, 2003, pp. 1–16. Phylipsem, G. J. M., J. W. Bode, K. Blok, H. Merkus and B. Metz, ‘A Triptych Sectoral Approach to Burden Differentiation: GHG Emissions in the European Bubble’, Energy Policy, vol. 26, no. 12, 1998, pp. 929–43. Roberts, J. Timmons and Bradley C. Parks, A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2007. Schlosberg, David, Defining Environmental Justice: Theories, Movements, and Nature, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007. Shue, Henry, ‘Subsistence Emissions and Luxury Emissions’, Law and Policy, vol. 15, no. 1, 1993, pp. 39–59. Sijm, J. P. M., Karsten Neuhoff and Yihsu Chen, ‘CO2 Cost Pass through and Windfall Profits in the Power Sector’, Climate Policy, vol. 6, no. 1, 2006, pp. 49–72. Skj´áerseth, Jon Birger and Jørgen Wettestad, ‘The Origin, Evolution and Consequences of the EU Emissions Trading System’, paper prepared for presentation at the International Studies Association 49th Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA, 26–29 March 2008. Voigt, Christina, ‘Is the Clean Development Mechanism Sustainable? Some Critical Aspects’, Sustainable Development Law & Policy, vol. 7, no. 2, 2008, pp. 15–21.

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Part II Climate Change and Vulnerable Groups

7

Justice and Adaptation to Climate Change Jon Barnett

In developed countries such as Australia almost all of the contemporary debates about climate change and justice relate to the distribution of costs associated with national efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. These debates have arisen after international negotiations led to most developed countries accepting responsibility to reduce emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol. Despite the present focus on domestic costs, the global-scale politics of climate justice have not gone away, and will soon reappear as developed and developing countries grapple with the allocation of emissions reductions targets in the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol scheduled to begin in 2012. However, there are other dimensions to climate justice beyond those associated with the costs of reducing emissions. One consideration is the unequal outcomes that may arise from the actions people and groups take to avoid climate change impacting on the things that they value. It is this issue of justice in adaptation that concerns this chapter. It has two parts: an overview of the justice dimensions of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and then an example of the potential injustices that may arise as a result of efforts to promote adaptation in the small island state of Niue.

Climate Justice, Vulnerability and Adaptation This chapter is primarily concerned with climate change as an issue of distributive justice. The interplay of the causes of climate change on the one hand, and the determinants of vulnerability to that change on the other, raises issues of distributive justice.1 For example, it is well understood that because emissions of greenhouse gases are closely correlated to income, it is typically the case that the wealthiest groups are responsible for the bulk of past and present emissions, implying in turn that they should now be responsible for the largest reductions in emissions.2 Yet these are not the groups that are typically most at risk from climate change. An individual or group’s vulnerability to climate change is produced by a complex array of social, economic, political and environmental factors operating at a variety of levels. It has three key determinants.3 The first is exposure to a climate risk. For example, a house located on a low-lying coast is more exposed to flood risk than one that is on a hill. The second is susceptibility to damage. For example, a ground-level house on a low-lying coast is more susceptible to flood damage than one which is on stilts and so elevated above the floodline. The third factor is the capacity to recover. For example, households that have flood insurance are less likely to experience unrecoverable losses from flooding than those that do not have insurance. The most vulnerable to the direct impacts of climate change are those who are highly exposed to biophysical risk, are sensitive to those risks, and have little capacity to manage and recover from them. Most of these people live on the periphery of economic and political power and are, by virtue of their poverty and powerlessness, the least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions but the most insecure from the effect of emissions. So, climate justice entails recognition that historical and contemporary processes of unequal exchange have rendered some people more vulnerable than those who have benefited from these exchanges, and have also ultimately resulted in the wealthy being responsible for the majority of greenhouses gas emissions. It follows then that in the absence of a global effort to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, coupled with very deliberate and careful policies and measures to assist the most vulnerable groups to

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adapt, climate change will exacerbate levels of inequality within and between countries (not to mention future generations). Climate change may have secondary effects which will also be unequally distributed within and between societies. These arise through changes in the costs of essential goods and services. For example, increasing water scarcity is likely to increase water prices, warmer temperatures are likely to increase demand for and the cost of energy, and problems in the agricultural sector may drive up food prices. The burden of these changes in prices will fall most heavily on low income households where a significant share of expenditure already goes on food and energy, and where the opportunity costs of increased spending in these areas leads to declining access to goods and services necessary to live dignified lives. Labour markets may also be affected, for example rising meat prices due to higher water and energy costs may lead to reduced demand for meat and reduced demand for workers in meat processing enterprises. There may also be tertiary effects arising through policy responses to climate change, which may themselves increase costs to households. For example, new tax regimes to encourage a shift to sustainable energy systems may well increase the cost of energy, schemes to deal with rising water scarcity may have cost implications for households, and opening up markets for unskilled labour to assist vulnerable communities elsewhere to adapt may effect wages and prices. Again, the effects of these changes will not be uniform across populations. These possible effects of climate change cannot be understood independently of larger social and economic changes. For example, rising global food prices, driven by rising demand and the conversion of agricultural land to growing feedstock for biofuels, will interact with climate stresses to significantly increase food prices. Larger social processes such as the liberalisation of trade, investment, and public goods provision may also change the costs of accessing the goods and services households and communities need to adapt to climate change. For the most part, research on climate change and justice is really about equity, as it most often uses standard neo-classical methods to explore proposals for the fair distribution of economic

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costs and benefits of climate change policies among interdependent parties.4 However, these approaches miss altogether the way climate change puts at risk things that are unique and which cannot be replaced, such as lives, places, and species, and which are as such not adequately represented in neo-classical economic cost assessments.5 Therefore an equitable distribution of the costs of reducing emissions might be far from a just solution. For example, even if the costs of meeting the widely touted but nevertheless very hard to reach target for stabilisation of greenhouse gases at 450 parts per million (ppm) of equivalent carbon dioxide or 2 degrees Celsius (C) above preindustrial levels are shared fairly, this is still unlikely to avoid frequent and severe coral bleaching in most regions of the world, with most reefs never recovering.6 Therefore, if the best that can be done is to stabilise the concentration of greenhouse gases at 450 ppm of equivalent carbon dioxide, and even if we do it equitably, it is highly likely that the way of life for the people living on the world’s four low-lying atoll countries will change irrevocably.7 These and other ecological, cultural, and psychological losses are practically and morally not amenable to monetary valuation, and cannot in any meaningful way be compensated for with money.8 This in turn raises procedural justice issues concerning the criteria and processes for making decisions about climate change, and suggests that decisions based merely on the equitable distribution of burdens cannot deliver justice. There are justice dimensions to the issue of adaptation too. Adaptation means adjustments to reduce vulnerability to observed and expected changes in climate. In every society some degree of adaptation will occur as people perceive and respond to avoid damage from climate change. In the absence of careful policy, the cumulative effect of these ‘autonomous’ adaptations may be increased inequality because of the unequal distribution of adaptive capacity (which includes access to capital, skills, technology, knowledge, infrastructure, and services). For example, farmers in Australia will adapt independently of any change in policy: corporate farms and large family operations that depend on a non-family workforce may do well because their larger reserves mean they can subsidise short-term losses and they are more able to afford the costs of adjustment (indeed their larger capital holdings may mean they have the ability to increase assets as others who fare less well move out of the sector).

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Small farmers who farm for a living, on the other hand, will also adapt, but possibly less well due to their lower capital reserves, with the result that small farmers may cease to be viable, and income from farming continues to accumulate in the hands of the wealthiest enterprises.9 So, in the absence of any specific policy measures, adaptation will take place, but the outcomes across a society, and between societies, will be uneven. This is because different people and groups have different sensitivities to climate risks, and because the capacity to adapt to climate change is not equally distributed among individuals and groups. It seems most likely that the poor will get poorer both absolutely and relative to the wealthy. Thus, one reason policies on adaptation are very important is that they may help avoid the exacerbation of inequality likely to occur because of climate change. In this sense adaptation should be seen as a public as well as a private good. However, this presupposes that adaptation policies have justice as an underlying goal, and are well informed and implemented. If not, then adaptation polices, like so many other polices, may be captured by special interests and do little to alleviate, and may in the worst cases increase vulnerability and inequality. Of course in some parts of the world the value of equity is not the only thing at risk from climate change. In low-income developing countries where people are dependent on climate sensitive natural resources for their livelihoods and health, adaptation is also necessary to protect basic freedoms and rights such as to life, health, a home, a culture and a country. Climate change puts these and other values at risk in most of the island states of the South Pacific, where there is a mounting body of evidence that climate change is driving some important social changes.10 This chapter now explains how vulnerability to climate change is not evenly distributed among the population of one such small island state, Niue, and how efforts to promote adaptation there may increase inequality.

The Political Economy of Vulnerability and Adaptation in Niue Niue is small island in the South Pacific located 480 kilometres east of Tonga, about a four hour flight from Auckland. The island has a land area of 259 square kilometres. It may be the only country in the world

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that is a net sink of greenhouse gases because forest regrowth appears to be sequestering more carbon than is being emitted from human activities.11 As a result of climate change, air temperature in Niue is expected to increase by between 0.7 to 1.5 degrees C by the year 2050.12 Only marginal changes in mean annual precipitation are expected, but more rainfall is expected in summer, less rain will fall in the already dry months, and most of the rain that will fall in the dry period will fall in fewer but more intense episodes.13 The island has no surface water but has a very large and deep reserve of groundwater, and the problems associated with accessing this water are unlikely to be significantly affected by climate change. Similarly, the risks posed by sea-level rise are minimal compared to most small island states, as the island is an uplifted atoll, meaning that inundation of almost all major infrastructure is impossible. Food production in Niue is at risk from climate change. The main food staple in Niue is talo (Colocasia esculenta—a tuber widely eaten throughout Polynesia). The crop is not irrigated, and after as little as two weeks with no rain the tuber begins to wither. Severe droughts, such as occurred in 1983, can lead to complete failure of the crop. So, the prospect of a drier winter with fewer rainfall events poses a considerable risk to talo production. Fish caught from near shore and deeper waters are also an important part of the diet of most Niueans, and catches of both may be adversely affected by climate change. As is the situation with talo, declining consumption of fish may not mean hunger as most Niueans can afford to purchase substitutes, although it may mean increased expenditure on imported and less nutritious foods, and subsequent increases in dietary related diseases. Niue lies at the edge of the southern tropical cyclone belt. The relationship between climate change and tropical cyclones is uncertain, but there is evidence that they may become more intense in the future. 14 The prospect of climate change causing more intense cyclones is of serious concern to Niue. The most recent severe cyclone to strike Niue was Cyclone Heta in 2004, where strong winds and waves in excess of thirty meters in height caused damages equal to three times gross domestic product (GDP).

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Niue is probably the most aid-dependent country in the world. The budget is larger than GDP, and at least eighty cents of every dollar that enters the island is in the form of aid, most of which comes in the form of untied budget support from the New Zealand government. In 2003, GDP per capita was approximately US$7000, and the $7.5 million budgetary allocation for personnel was disbursed among 399 workers.15 Niue is also the world’s least populous state, with a population of 1538 people comprised of 1246 Niueans and a mix of other Pacific Islanders, most notably Tuvaluans, Samoans, Tongans and Fijians, as well as some Europeans. Niue has a problem with population decline largely because Niueans hold New Zealand passports and are free to reside there. There are now 1246 people who identify as Niuean living in Niue, 20 100 in New Zealand, and 1500 in Australia. Of all Niueans born in Niue, 80 per cent live in New Zealand—more than four times the number that live on the island.16 Thus, for the former Premier, ‘there are serious concerns that if our population drops much lower then the very things that make us a nation, such as our spiritualism, language, heritage and social values will be threatened’.17 Government is dominated by Niueans. Despite 19 per cent of the population being non-Niuean, all members of the twentymember Assembly are Niuean. Indeed, in 2006, across all forms of government, which includes three to four person village councils in each of the fourteen villages, there were only two people who were not Niuean. Decisions about spending aid are therefore exclusively made by Niueans. This is significant as almost all Niuean families rely on a publicly funded job or pension as their principal source of income, because it is widely understood (not necessarily erroneously) that public service positions are the key to population retention. The funding for these positions comes from New Zealand via the Government of Niue, and is climate-proof in as much as the funding supply is in no way sensitive to changes in climate and the environment in Niue. In contrast, the households comprised of migrants from other Pacific Islands do not receive government jobs, instead relying on income earned from casual work in the island’s main hotel, in the fish processing plant, on a farm, and from catching and selling fish.

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This is most clearly revealed when examining the situation of the population of a village called Vaiea, which is comprised almost entirely of migrants from Tuvalu, the first of whom arrived in the late 1990s. All of the island’s thirty five people of Tuvaluan descent live in Vaiea,18 residing in abandoned houses to which they do not have any formal title. This lack of tenure means that the standard of housing for these migrants is less than for the average Niuean, because increasing the capital value of the dwelling increases the likelihood that the absentee landowner will decide to reclaim it, which would be his or her legal right. Combined with the power of Cabinet to approve or reject applications for permanent resident status (and the entitlements that ensue), the tenure problem means that migrants are somewhat dependent on the goodwill of the Niueans for a successful life in Niue. This perhaps explains a certain degree of passiveness in response to some rather obvious inequities concerning access to employment, decision making, services, and at times justice. To give one example, while the migrants from Tuvalu occupy nine of the eleven households in Vaiea and comprise 61 per cent of the village population, none are represented on the village council. Compared to the average household in Vaiea (which approximates but is not exactly the same as the average Tuvaluan household), the average Niuean household: has half the number of people, earns more than twice the income, has secure tenure over vastly superior housing, has far greater access to larger and more productive lands, but nevertheless eats fewer local foods (both because Tuvaluan migrants eat more fish, which is a product of culture and proficiency at fishing, and because Tuvaluan migrants have lower incomes and cannot afford to purchase as much of their food as do the Niuean households).19 Few if any of the Tuvaluan migrants have government jobs, instead, most households earn money through fishing or employment in tourism or agriculture. The Tuvaluan migrants are therefore poorer than Niueans by all measures, and their incomes and food sources are far more at risk from climate change.20 So, the nature of Niue’s economic, political, land tenure and immigration systems means that migrants are more sensitive to the risks posed by climate change than Niueans. Of course this does not mean Niueans do not have no cause for concern about climate change. Indeed, climate change will impact

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upon the many of the things that make a life in Niue distinct from a life in Auckland, including the enjoyment of the natural environment that is integral to Niuean culture. This would in turn undermine a critical reason for Niueans to remain in Niue, exacerbate population decline, and exacerbate the social, political, and economic problems associated with a declining population which themselves drive population decline.21 Nevertheless, the incomes of Niuean households are largely invulnerable to climate change because their jobs are not dependent on natural resources in Niue but on the New Zealand government in Wellington. So, the Niueans have less reason to worry about climate change than the migrants living in Niue that earn much less and whose incomes are very much dependent on climate sensitive natural resources which are quite likely to be adversely effected by climate change. In addition, the Niueans arguably have greater capacity than migrants to adapt to avoid financial hardship arising from climate change. If the Niueans did suffer from financial hardship in some way, they could always migrate (the tried and true adaptation strategy), call on family in New Zealand to send them money, or pressure the government to help them financially. In contrast, the migrants, who are much more likely to lose income: are unlikely to receive increased welfare payments from the government (if recent practices are any indication); cannot call on families abroad for support as in most cases they are the poorest members of low-income families from lower income countries; and cannot migrate to New Zealand (for a lack of citizenship) but only back to their own islands, which are very likely to be more impacted by climate change than Niue. In short, in the absence of adaptation policies, climate change will likely increase income inequality in Niue along the lines of ethnicity. There are many possible actions that could be taken to avoid some of the likely impacts from climate change in Niue, and a list of forty four such actions has been developed as part of work towards Niue’s national communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.22 A lack of finance is not the principal constraint to implementing most of these actions: most are cheap if not free, and only five would cost in excess of a million dollars. Yet a lack of money will constrain adaptation because the

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Government is in the habit of selling problems to donors to sustain aid flows. This is not unusual in aid-dependent societies, and is indeed quite rational, but it does tend to mean that activities that could be implemented are not until funding becomes available. So, rightly or wrongly, most significant adaptations to climate change in Niue are likely to be funded by aid. However, if aid for adaptation comes in the same form as all other aid to Niue, it may not help address the needs of the migrants who are most vulnerable. For this to happen, the funding would probably have to bypass the government, which it has never done before to any significant degree. Alternatively the government would have to vastly improve its practices with respect to the distribution of aid among the population. Failing this, aid for adaptation is very likely to be spent meeting the needs of Niueans and not those of the migrants. Indeed, if aid for adaptation is channelled through government it may actually increase income inequality since the government may use it to increase the number of jobs for Niueans, to increase public service wages and pensions, or both, thereby increasing the income of Niuean households whilst migrant families experience declining income due to the impacts of climate change. So, climate change policies may act in concert with the direct impacts of climate change to increase inequality in Niue. This situation is the product of nearly fifty years of aid dependence in which the New Zealand government, Niueans, the political system in Niue, and emigration, have all played a part in forging a set of institutions that sustain inequality and which, in the absence of significant changes, are likely to continue to do so under a climate changed future. Justice therefore demands circumventing these institutions, recognising the needs of the most vulnerable, and appreciating that community-driven determinations of adaptation needs may not reflect the interests of the most vulnerable. A just approach to adaptation to climate change in Niue first requires recognition that vulnerability is not equally distributed across the population, and that adaptation should have equity as a core goal. In practice, programs need to be targeted towards those who are most sensitive to climate change, for example by assisting those whose incomes are most dependent on climate sensitive resources to diversify income sources into less climate sensitive sectors (such as

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government). It would also entail enhancing capacity to adapt by, for example, improving their access to welfare services, education and health care, finding ways to enhance security of land tenure, providing a formal means for involvement in resource management institutions, and enhancing the ability to access credit (such as a micro-finance scheme). The state may not be the institution best able to implement these activities as it is for the most part responsible for the present inequality in vulnerability. Alternative providers may need to be engaged in new partnerships with the state for the purposes of adaptation, and this may mean diversifying channels of support through non-governmental organisations, youth groups, and the church. Given the constraints imposed by Niue’s small and closely related population and the multiple roles that Niueans have in institutions, donors need to more engaged at the community level as well. Donors may also need to consider conditions on aid transfers to ensure the state increases the entitlements the most vulnerable need to adapt (for example relating to land tenure and resource management institutions).

Conclusion The example from Niue offered here broadly confirms three insights emerging from recent research on adaptation. 23 First, adaptation to climate change will occur, but unless there are policies to prevent it, the result may be increased poverty and inequality. Second, adaptation policies to maintain the public good of equity need to be informed by very careful diagnosis of who is vulnerable, the drivers of this vulnerability, and the mechanisms to resolve it, lest such policies do nothing to resolve or at worst actually exacerbate inequality. Third, adaptation should be directed towards the needs of the most vulnerable, who are rarely those who are most capable of commanding the attention of policy makers. If adaptation efforts are not well-informed, do not strive for social justice, and are influenced by the special interests of elites rather than the most at risk, they will not halt, and may indeed contribute to the injustices of climate change.

Notes 1 2

See Adger, Paavola and Huq, ‘Towards Justice’. For example, Grubb, ‘Seeking Fair Weather’, Müller, ‘Distributive Justice’.

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3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Eakin and Luers, ‘Assessing the Vulnerability of Social-Environmental Systems. A recent prominent example is Stern, Economics of Climate Change. Schneider, Kuntz-Duriseti and Azar, ‘Costing Nonlinearities’. Donner et al., ‘Coral Bleaching’. Barnett and Adger, ‘Climate Dangers and Atoll Countries’. Adger, Barnett and Ellemor, ‘Unique and Valued Places at Risk’. Such changes would be consistent with the continuing trend towards fewer larger farms (at least in Victoria), which may be exacerbated by the introduction of water markets (see Barr, Changing Social Landscape). Mimura et al., ‘Small Islands’. Government of Niue, Expenditure and Revenue. Kirono, Jones and Bathols, Climate Change in Niue. ibid, and Ruosteenoja et al., Future Climate in World Regions. Walsh, ‘Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change’. Government of Niue. Bedford et al. ‘Niue: Population Policy Scoping Study’. Government of Niue, ‘Halavaka ke he Monuina’. Statistics Niue, Niue Population Profile. Data from a survey of all households I conducted in 2006. For a discussion of the risks climate change poses to Niue see Barnett, ‘Effect of Aid’. ibid. See Barnett, ‘Effect of Aid’. See Paavola et al. ‘Multifaceted Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’; Leary et al., Climate Change and Adaptation.

Bibliography Adger, W. N., J. Barnett and H. Ellemor, ‘Unique and Valued Places at Risk’, in A. Rosencranz and S. Schneider (eds), Climate Change Science and Policy, Island Press, Washington, 2009, in press. Adger, W. N., J. Paavola and S. Huq, ‘Towards Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’, in W. Adger, J. Paavola, S. Huq and M. Mace (eds), Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006, pp. 1–19. Barnett, J., ‘The Effect of Aid on Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change: Insights from Niue’, Political Science, vol. 60, 2009, in press. Barnett, J. and W. N. Adger, ‘Climate Dangers and Atoll Countries’, Climatic Change, vol. 61, 2003, pp. 321–37. Barr, N., The Changing Social Landscape of Rural Victoria, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, 2005. Bedford, R., J. Poot and T. Ryan, ‘Niue: Population Policy Scoping Study’, Population Studies Centre Discussion Paper, University of Waikato, Hamilton, 2006. Donner, S., W. Skirving, C. Little, M. Oppenheimer and O. Hoegh-Guldberg, ‘Global Assessment of Coral Bleaching and Required Rates of Adaptation

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under Climate Change’, Global Change Biology, vol. 11, no. 12, 2005, pp. 2251–65. Eakin, H. and A. Luers, ‘Assessing the Vulnerability of Social-Ecological Systems’, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, vol. 31, 2006, pp. 365–94. Government of Niue, Niue Island Initial National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Niue Meteorological Service, Alofi, 2000. ——‘Halavaka ke he Monuina, Niue Integrated Strategic Plan—2003–2008’, Niue Ke Monuina—A Prosperous Niue, Economic, Planning, Development and Statistics Unit, Alofi, 2003. ——Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for Year 2003/2004, Treasury Department, Alofi, 2004. Grubb, M., ‘Seeking Fair Weather: Ethics and the International Debate on Climate Change’, International Affairs, 1995, vol. 71, pp. 463–96. Kirono, D., R. Jones and J. Bathols, Climate Change in Niue, CSIRO, Aspendale, 2008. Leary, N., J. Adejuwon, V. Barros, I. Burton, J. Kulkarni and R. Lasco (eds), Climate Change and Adaptation, Earthscan, London, 2008. Mimura, N., L. Nurse, R. McLean et al., ‘Small Islands’, in IPCC, Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M. Parry, O. Canziani, J. Palutikof et al. (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 687–716. Müller, B., ‘Varieties of Distributive Justice in Climate Change’, Climatic Change, vol. 48, 2001, pp. 273–88. Paavola, J., W. Adger and S. Huq, ‘Multifaceted Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’, in W. Adger, J. Paavola, S. Huq and M. Mace (eds), Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006, pp. 263–78 Ruosteenoja, K., T. Carter, K. Jylha and H. Tuomenvirta, Future Climate in World Regions: an Intercomparison of Model-Based Projections for the New IPCC Emissions Scenarios, Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, 2003. Schneider, S., K. Kuntz-Duriseti and C. Azar, ‘Costing Nonlinearities, Surprises, and Irreversible Events’, Pacific and Asian Journal of Energy, vol. 10, 2000, pp. 81–106. Statistics Niue, Niue Population Profile Based on the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, Statistics Niue, Alofi, 2006. Stern, N., The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007. Walsh, K., ‘Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change: Unresolved Issues’, Climate Research, vol. 27, 2004, pp. 77–83.

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8

Primary Health Care Responses to Climate Change Grant Andrew Blashki, Helen Louise Berry and Michael Richard Kidd

In 2008, two anniversaries coincided and highlighted two major global public health challenges for this century: the 60th World Health Day, focused on ‘protecting health from climate change’, and the 30th anniversary of the Alma Ata declaration, which emphasised the importance of primary health care.1 Climate change is a serious global public health problem that, amongst other things, threatens attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing childhood mortality and combating endemic infectious diseases.2 The health burden of climate change is already distributed non-uniformly around the globe and is predicted to fall most heavily on poorer communities that are least able to adapt.3 One approach to limiting these inequities is to strengthen primary health care to respond to the effects of climate change.4 Primary health care also has important roles to play in public education about climate change and advocacy for mitigation.5 This chapter details these roles and the principles that underlie them.

Science of Climate Change There is wide scientific consensus and growing community awareness that climate change is an urgent global problem.6 The 2007 report of

the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) synthesised research and publicised the key facts about climate change.7 It finds that the current global average temperature is almost 0.8 degrees Celsius (C) above pre-industrial temperatures, that this warming is mostly attributable to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, and that the current atmospheric concentration of greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide are higher than they have been in the last 650 000 years.8 It also indicates that the effects of warming are now observable in physical systems such as glacial retreat, altered rainfall patterns and sea level rise and the effects of warming are also detectable in biological systems such as earlier spring activities of numerous animal and plant species. It is predicted that global average temperatures will continue to rise due to inertia in the climate system and due to increasing rates of greenhouse gas emissions.9 Since the 2006 IPCC report, some scientists have come to believe that more sudden and extreme impacts of climate change effects are a possibility.10

Health Impacts of Climate Change Against this background, in 2008 the World Health Organization (WHO) chose the theme ‘protecting health from climate change’ for World Health Day.11 This involved public talks, media releases and national policy reports launched around the world by a variety of organisations. Dr Margaret Chan, Director of the WHO, stated that Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Climate change will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental determinants of health: food, air, water. In the face of this challenge, we need champions throughout the world who will work to put protecting human health at the centre of the climate change agenda.12 Key messages for the 2008 World Health Day included that the health sector is one of the most affected by climate change, that climate change already accounts for more than 60 000 deaths from climate-related natural disasters every year and that many of the important global killers, such as malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition,

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which cause more than three million deaths each year, are expected to be exacerbated by changing weather patterns and water availability.13 It is clear that the health impacts of climate change are already distributed inequitably around the world with the burden falling most heavily on those who are least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions that have caused the problem.14 So whilst developed countries such as the US are responsible for the vast majority of the cumulative greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution, it is the poor countries in Africa and parts of Asia that are predicted to bear most of the increased health risks of climate change.15 Some of the health risks of climate change are summarised in table 1. Table 1: Summary of Health Risks of Climate Change Increased risk of malnutrition from impaired/failed agriculture Increased risk of gastroenteritis (for example, from salmonella, campylobacter and other temperature sensitive vibrios) Increased risk of injury or death from extreme weather events such as floods, fires or storms Increased morbidity and mortality associated with more frequent and intense heat waves Change in the range and seasonality of outbreaks of mosquito borne infections such as malaria, dengue fever or Ross River virus Increased risk of respiratory illnesses from higher ground level ozone and air pollution Exacerbation of asthma and allergic conditions from regional increases in pollens and spores Health risks for environmental refugees and the host populations Increased mental health risks such as post-traumatic stress disorder associated with extreme weather events or depression/ suicide risk associated with loss of livelihood/displacement Risks associate with more frequent droughts and long term drying such as exposure to heat, dust smoke Source: Adapted from Blashki, McMichael and Karoly, ‘Climate Change and Primary Health Care’.

The increased health risks associated with climate change have been quantified by the WHO using a technique called comparative risk assessment.16 This approach attributes the global health burden

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to a wide range of health risk factors. In the case of climate change, researchers have focused on five of the pathways by which climate change can impact on health whilst acknowledging that these represent a subset of numerous other mechanisms. These are: thermal stress, weather disasters (such as flooding), malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition (related to reduced agricultural yields).17 Using a range of modelling approaches, the effects of climate change are predicted to be concentrated in poorer populations where important climate sensitive diseases are common, and in particular in vulnerable populations such as children under the age of five.18 Global climate change is not spatially uniform and consequently the potential health impacts vary according to location. Not all effects are predicted to be negative; for example, in some high latitude countries warmer winters are predicted to reduce cold related deaths, and increasing precipitation in some sub-tropical areas is predicted to increase agricultural yields.19 However, the overwhelming impact of climate change is predicted to be negative.20 Key health risks around the globe are described by location in the IPCC report, and some examples of the risks are described below for Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands.21 Africa People living in African countries are especially vulnerable to climate change because of large populations, underlying existing public health problems and poor capacity to adapt. For example, water stress is expected to be worsened by climate change affecting between 75 and 250 million people by 2020.22 Food security is also at risk for many populations due to impaired agriculture affecting those relying on subsistence farming or depending on farming for their livelihoods.23 Communities that are heavily reliant on fishing are at risk of deteriorating fisheries due to a combination of over fishing and warmer water temperatures.24 The transmission zones of malaria are predicted to alter due to climate change, with models suggesting increasing malaria in the eastern and southern African highlands as these areas become warmer and wetter, whilst some parts of Western Africa may become drier and less favourable to malaria.25 In the long term, populations on low lying coastal regions are also at risk of sea level rise.

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Asia For countries in Asia, many of the risks of climate change lie in alterations to the normal water cycle—too much water, too little water or the risk of water borne infectious diseases. For example, by 2050, freshwater availability in Central, South, East and South- East Asia, particularly in the large river basins, is predicted to decrease.26 In the Himalayas, glacial melt and retreat is likely to cause an initial increased risk of flooding, however, in the longer term there will be reduced flows of fresh water in the large river systems that course through the Asian continent.27 Large populations living in coastal regions or near the mega-deltas (for example, Bangladesh) are also at increased risk of flooding. The combination of droughts and floods are predicted to increase the risk of water borne diseases with an increase in morbidity and mortality associated with diarrheal diseases.28 Pacific Islands Small islands are another example of high vulnerability to climate change. Sea level rise and storm surges can result in inundation of fresh water supplies, disruption of infrastructure, destruction of settlements and loss of livelihoods.29 For example, Pacific islands such as Tokelau, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu are extremely vulnerable to increases in sea levels, and, in the case of the latter, plans for some of the population to migrate to New Zealand are being explored.30 Australia Although Australia is wealthy developed nation, it is also vulnerable to climate change. In particular, more frequent droughts and long term drying are a major challenge. Average temperatures in Australia have increased 0.9 degrees C since 1950, with significant variations across the country.31 Overall, the frequency of hot days and nights has increased and rainfall has decreased, especially in southern Australia.32 There are numerous flow-on impacts of drought, including impacts on livelihoods (mainly the viability of farms), on local economies and on the physical and mental health of, especially, rural and remote communities.33 Individuals and, especially, communities experiencing underlying disadvantage will be the hardest hit.34 For example in Australia, there are grave concerns for Aboriginal communities.

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Fire risk is also expected to increase in Australia with warmer and drier conditions. According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) the number of days with very high and extreme fire danger ratings is likely to increase between 4 and 25 per cent by 2020 and between 15 and 70 per cent by 2050.35 Risks include injuries and deaths associated with the fires, respiratory problems from dust and smoke and a range of health risks to the fire fighting workforces.36 Heatwaves are predicted to be more frequent in Australia, leading to higher morbidity and mortality. A report conducted by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Medical Association outlines the risks of heatwaves in Australia. It estimates that without substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, by 2100 the number of annual heat-related deaths is projected to be 8000–15 000 compared with 1100 deaths per year in 2005 .37 Australia is also at risk of changes in the distribution and intensity of infectious disease which are spread by mosquitoes. For example, dengue fever, which has generally been restricted to areas north of Broome, Katherine and Cairns has the potential to extend much further south, even into New South Wales.38 Other infectious diseases such as Ross River fever and Barmah Forest virus also are predicted to extend their transmission zones with rising temperatures.39

Role of Primary Health Care To understand how primary health care can best respond to climate change, it is necessary to understand how primary health care has evolved, how it has been shaped by momentous global social transformations, how it varies between countries, and the fundamental values that underpin it. In one sense, climate change is just the latest in a long line of challenges that primary care services have faced, and indeed a great strength of primary care is its adaptability and flexibility. Some potential roles for primary care in responding to climate change are summarised in table 2. The Declaration of Alma-Ata was a landmark in the development of the concept of primary health care. 2008 is the 30th anniversary of this declaration, which was made at the International Conference on Primary Health Care in 1978 in Alma-Ata (now Almaty) in Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union.40 Key themes of the

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Table 2: Summary of Primary Health Care Responses to Climate Change

i

Adaptation to climate change

Surveillance of risk indicators (for example, mosquito numbers, cases of gastroenteritis, respiratory and allergic illnesses). Treatment of climate related illnesses (for example, heat stroke, injury related to extreme weather events, infectious diseases). Collaboration with public health and non-health sectors (for example, early warning systems, emergency responses, disaster planning, water and food safety agencies).

Public education

Information about local climate sensitive illnesses (for example, dengue fever, water borne diseases, air pollution) Public education (for example, reducing heat wave risks, reducing risk of mosquito bites, food and water hygiene)

Community capacity building

Promotion of health and environment co-benefits (for example, active transport, such as walking, and reduction in dietary livestock consumption). Mental health promotion (for example, support for drought-affected communities).

Advocacy for mitigation

Advocacy for reductions in green house gas emissions to protect public health

Environmentally sustainable health care

Provision health services that are less energy, water and waste intensive (for example, Green Clinic)i

Blashki, Butler and Brown, ‘Climate Change and Human Health’.

declaration are outlined in table 3; many still have great relevance when considering how primary health care will respond to climate change.41 The strong international human rights approach and the call for greater equity between developed and developing countries resonates with the challenge of climate change, though it is fair to say most of these lofty goals were not achieved by 2000, especially in developing countries.42 Since then, primary health care has continued to evolve and to be shaped by the momentous social transformations of the last 30 years.43 Planning how primary health care will respond to climate change requires an appreciation of these forces.

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Table 3: Summary of the Key Themes of Declaration of Alma-Ata The Declaration of Alma Ata was made at the International Conference on Primary Health Care in September 1978 and was a call to governments, health professionals, and development workers to support the health of all people worldwide. Key themes were: 1. Physical, mental and social wellbeing are human rights 2. Health inequality between developed and developing countries is unacceptable 3. Economic and social development are essential to reduce the gap in health status between developing and developed countries 4. People have a right to participate in the planning and implementation of their health care 5. Governments have a responsibility for the health of its peoples that permits them to live socially and economically productive lives 6. Primary health care should be universally accessible, affordable, scientifically sound and socially acceptable 7. Primary health care should be locally relevant, multidisciplinary, address the main health problems of the community, engage with non health sectors that impact on health and involve health promotion, prevention and treatment of common diseasesi 8. All governments should have national policies, strategies and plans of action for primary health care 9. Countries should collaborate to support primary health care around the world 10. The world’s limited resources should be directed away from military expenditure and towards peaceful aims such as supporting primary health care i

Point 7 has been summarised extensively—see original for full wording

Source: www.who.int/hpr/NPH/docs/declaration_almaata.pdf

Consider for example, globalisation, which has dramatically altered the demographics of patient populations around the world and affected the mobility of medical workforces. If climate change leads to mass migration of environmental refugees, as is predicted by much research, then primary health care will need to be even more adaptable to manage multicultural and mobile populations and the health problems of refugees.44

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The rise of technology and its incorporation into medicine is another transformation that has implications for how primary health care responds to climate change.45 The last thirty years have brought unprecedented data management capacities to primary health care, with the ability to undertake detailed epidemiological analysis or customised searches of records. In the context of climate change, technology may have an important role in identifying changing patterns of disease, such as infectious disease outbreaks or peaks in air pollution related illnesses. It also may have a role in the rapid identification of high risk populations, for example, the vulnerable elderly in response to a heat wave warning, and may also help facilitate communication between other arms of the health system for example during an emergency response. Consumerism is another social transformation that has had wide implications for the health of society and the role of the primary health system.46 The substantial burden of disease (which includes obesity, diabetes mellitus and heart disease) associated with the overconsumption by and sedentary lifestyles of populations in developed countries contributes a significant part of the workload of primary health care. 47 In Australia, for example, in 2003, 67 per cent of the burden of disease was attributable to cardiovascular disease, cancers, mental/neurological/sense disorders and diabetes, many of which are strongly associated with lifestyle factors.48 Physical inactivity (7 per cent) was one of the top two risk factors for total burden of disease in Australia at that time.49 Developing countries are rapidly adopting these disease patterns as they become wealthier. Primary health care settings can play a key role in promoting the health and environmental co-benefits of more active lifestyles and healthy eating, especially locally grown produce. It can also assist in connecting people to social networks, which are protective against mental health problems50, by, for example, referring patients to physical activity groups. On a deeper level, as the gatekeepers of the health system, primary health care providers may have a role in allocating finite health service resources to consumerist populations that have high expectations of health services without sufficient regard for the costs or the age of the patient—a looming ethical dilemma that society will ultimately have to face.51

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Amidst these global trends, local factors within countries still have a large influence on the strength of primary health services. Barbara Starfield and colleagues have developed measures to assess the strength of primary care and to compare between developed countries such as the US, UK and Australia.52 It is clear that the strength of the primary health care element of a country’s health system is positively associated with a range of key measures of population health such as birth outcomes, years of life lost and age specific mortality.53 Notably, strengthening primary health care not only improves population health generally but seems to be an effective way to reduce health inequities within a population.54 These characteristics reinforce the value of strengthening primary health care in countering some of the health effects and inequities associated with climate change. Although primary health care has evolved over time and does vary between countries, there are some core values that underpin it, and these provide some guidance on how primary care should respond to climate change. Trish Greenhalgh has articulated the following six values for primary health care. 55 It is holistic in that incorporates the mental, physical, family, community and sociocultural context. It seeks a balance between breadth and depth of knowledge. It is patient centred offering, personalised rather than standardised packages of care. It is rigorous, drawing on multiple sources of evidence, including the patient’s predicament, the research and wider family and social context. It is equitable and includes a responsibility to allocate scarce health service resources and to advocate for the marginalised or disempowered. It is reflective and is practiced in conditions of uncertainty requiring a willingness to make provisional decisions and to defer to higher authority when appropriate. There is, of course, variability in the extent to which primary health care practices actually meet these values, but they do represent the fundamental philosophies of primary care. Based on these reflections on the nature of primary care and the way it has evolved, we argue that primary health care has five main tasks in responding to climate change: (1) adaptation to the health impacts of climate change; (2) public education; (3) community capacity building; (4) advocacy for mitigation; and (5) environmentally sustainable health care.

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Adaptation to the Health Impacts of Climate Change Past greenhouse gas emissions have already committed the world to substantial further warming throughout the rest of this century, and it is clear that anthropogenic forcing cannot be reduced at a fast enough rate to prevent significant health impacts. Modelling undertaken by the IPCC suggests that even if concentrations of greenhouse gases were stabilised at the levels seen in 2000, an additional 0.3–0.9 degrees C of warming would occur by the end of this century.56 In response to this, governments in Australia and other countries around the world are developing adaptation plans to deal with inevitable warming.57 Primary health care forms one component of a coordinated adaptive response along with public health, emergency services and adaptation across the non-health sectors, such as energy, water, land and agriculture and infrastructure.58 The primary health care response will need to occur at a number of levels: strategic deployment of existing primary health services, provision of resources and, in the long term, building capacity and skills of the primary health care workforce. In the spirit of Greenhalgh’s values, we will need to continuously reflect on how well we do this, particularly on how we ensure equity and focus on prevention as far as possible. Services will need to be tailored according to the health risks of climate change (see figure 1).59 For example, in regions vulnerable to

Figure 1: Pathways by which Climate Change Can Impact on Health, and Potential Primary Health Care Adaptive Strategies Source: Blashki, McMichael and Karoly, ‘Climate Change and Primary Health Care’, with permission from Australian Family Physician.

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extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and fires, health services will need to prepare for emergency and subsequent health responses. In other regions, the risk of the spreading of endemic diseases will require monitoring of diseases, vaccination and early and effective treatments. In areas affected by long term drought, primary health care will need to provide a wide range of services, including physical and mental health care for individuals and communities. In areas impacted by air pollution or higher levels of ground level ozone, primary health care will have an important role in providing care for respiratory and allergic disorders. In the longer term, adaptation will involve preparing the future health workforce to deal with climate change. This will involve a greater emphasis on public health and climate sensitive illnesses in medical education from undergraduate through to post-graduate training. Public Education about Climate Change Traditionally, primary health care has had an active role in providing health information and education. In relation to climate change this includes, for example, providing the community with information about heatwaves and how to respond, how to minimise risk of exposure to infectious diseases, or how to reduce risk of respiratory and allergic diseases on high pollution days. Before clinicians can disseminate information to people in primary health care settings and beyond, clearly they need to receive and understand the information themselves. Although frequently overlooked, it is essential that research information reach clinicians in a form that is comprehensible and attractive to them and to the populations that they seek to influence.60 Public education material that includes information about group or community norms—as opposed to medical facts alone—may be particularly influential in changing health behaviours.61 For example, the following information (see table 4) has been adapted from a World Health Organization report on heatwaves and can be used by primary health care professionals to provide public education about heatwaves.62 Building Community Capacity Dealing with the potential health-damaging effects of climate change requires more than passive education; it requires broad and effective

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Table 4: Heatwave Tips 1. Take care of Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs those at risk of heat illness. Check on infants and young children much more often. 2. Drink plenty of fluids

During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait to drink until you are thirsty.

3. Stay cool indoors

Stay cool indoors, take frequent cool showers or a foot bath, or wet your hands, face and back of neck or use wet blankets. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home. Try to cool the home at night.

4. Replace salt Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. and minerals These must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink 2–4 glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals lost in sweat. 5. Wear appropriate clothing

Wear as little clothing as possible at home. Choose lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (which will also keep you cooler), along with sunglasses and protective but light clothing.

6. Schedule outdoor activities carefully

If you must be outdoors, try to limit your activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.

7. Adjust to the environment

Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat-wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to adapt to local temperatures before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.

8. Pace yourself

If you are not used to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and gradually increase the pace. Remember to drink before you get thirsty. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity. Get into a cool area, or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint.

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9. Use common sense

Limit sun exposure at mid-day and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches. Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car. Provide plenty of fresh water for pets, and leave water for them in a shady area.

10. Heat stroke

Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. The most effective way of reducing the potential of a heat shock development is immediate cooling. Symptoms that may signal the development of heat stroke include: an extremely high body temperature (39.4 degrees C orally), red, hot and dry skin (no sweating), rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, unconsciousness. A person showing these signs needs immediate medical assistance.

* Adapted from (35) with permission Source: Adapted from World Health Organization, Preventing Harmful Health Effects of Heat-waves, with permission.

public health promotion that leads to widespread behavioural change. For example, wide-scale adoption of active transport, such as walking and bike-riding, could have enormous environmental and health benefits.63 Additional health promotion messages regarding diet—for example, to eat less red meat—could also improve health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through, in this case, reducing livestock food intake.64 On a broader level, there is a need for promoting mental health and helping communities to build resilience in preparation for the challenges of climate change.65 Primary health care will have a role in helping communities adjust to these changes and, thereby, a role in indirectly addressing a proportion of climate change-related mental health risks. Research and experience from the mental health promotion literature may be applicable to the way in which communities may be engaged about climate change; some general principles are explored below. There has been a move away from ad hoc, simple, one-off health promotion interventions towards larger, multi-level approaches based on theory and often part of scientifically evaluated research programs. Examples in the mental health promotion field within deprived rural areas—where the need is most intense—include the

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Family Wellbeing Program in Australia.66 This program has demonstrated the effectiveness of a training course for rural and remote, highly disadvantaged Aboriginal participants focusing on building empowerment and skills to improve mental health and well-being within their own communities by directly targeting violence.67 This project focused on primary health care settings; using multiple components with multiple levels of intervention, it doubled clinical capacity (to nearly 90 per cent) to identify and offer early intervention for child and adolescent depression and anxiety in rural settings. Evaluation indicated that the approach was feasible and replicable, and enhanced professional skills, confidence and work satisfaction. Theory-driven interventions such as these benefit from remaining subject to a cycle of theory development, extensive pragmatic testing and theory refinement, and may be adapted and extended to the requirements of climate change.68 Another theme in health promotion has been a move towards taking into account the very great diversity of people, particularly with respect to those who belong to multiply socially excluded groups.69 There are robust empirical approaches to understanding diversity, including the characteristics of multiply excluded groups.70 These techniques may be integrated into the scientific evaluation of climate change-related primary health care interventions. More importantly, they may assist considerably in designing and targeting these interventions for high-need groups within primary health care settings. Primary health care providers are in a unique position to assist in this regard, because they routinely have access to otherwise difficult to access and diverse populations. For example, although people with mental health problems form a very diverse group, exclusion, isolation and alienation are common features of their lives.71 Despite their isolation, people with mental health problems visit primary health care settings, making these contacts one of the few reliable ways of accessing this isolated group and involving them in climate change-related health promotion activities. These patients typically experience financial hardship alongside their complex health and social problems.72 Consistent with Greenhalgh’s values, mechanisms for addressing issues to do with the unequal dispersion of the costs of

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climate change adaptation, and access to primary health care, may usefully be built into interventions for these patients. For example, where services are available, bus passes might be made available to encourage use of public transport at the same time as assisting with the cost of travel to and from primary health care settings. Another lesson from the mental health promotion literature is the importance of social capital which relates to community participation and social cohesion. It is focused on building a community-based response rather than an individual-based response which will be essential in responding to climate change.73 Social capital helps protect against the onset, course and resolution of many health problems, by spreading health-related information quickly, increasing social connectedness and encouraging positive behavioural norms.74 Social capital is particularly important among disadvantaged groups, who have greater need of the benefits of sound information, connectedness and positive health behaviours. Primary health care providers are in a unique position to offer opportunities for all three benefits. Advocacy for Mitigation Given the predictions of enormous health impacts due to climate change, mitigation of green house gas emissions can be viewed as a form of global primary prevention. The medical profession has credibility in the community, and there is an increasing recognition that helping prevent climate change is a legitimate role for the medical profession, indeed it has a duty to do so.75 Primary care is beginning to take on such a role in relation to climate change.76 For example, in Australia, a report titled Climate Change Health Check 2020 was recently endorsed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. It argues for urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.77 A similar document in Canada produced by the Ontario College of Family Physicians makes a strong public health argument for mitigation.78 At an international level, a group called the International Society of Doctors for the Environment has been advocating for urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and individual country branches such as Doctors for the Environment Australia are lobbying for change at a national level.79

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Environmentally Sustainable Health Care It is clear that as countries begin to transform to low carbon economies, primary health care itself will need to become less energy intensive and more environmentally sustainable. This is especially the case in developed countries. One example is the Australian ‘Green Clinic’ project which helps clinics reduce their energy water and waste usage by providing information and support for general practices.80 Table 5 outlines a list of ten tips in a guide developed by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Doctors for the Environment Australia which was accompanied by a workshop and ongoing email and phone support for practices. An evaluation of the pilot project reports modest improvements in water, waste and electricity usage.81 Table 5: Ten Tips for a Green Clinic 1. Install lowReplace old style incandescent globes with compact fluoro energy lighting globes or use fluorescent tubes. Avoid halogen down lights. Replacing one incandescent globe with a compact fluoro can save 0.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas and save you $70 in energy costs in its lifetime (about 8 years). 2. Turn off computers and appliances to save energy

Turn off computers and screens when not in use. Turn off standby power at the end of each day, i.e., switch off all appliances at the wall or power board (for example, photocopiers, printers, chargers).

3. Buy ‘green power’ for the clinic

Ask your energy supplier to switch you to accredited green power, or change to another energy supplier with accredited green power. Buying 100 per cent green power means all your electricity will come from wind, solar other renewable sources.

4. Energyefficient refrigerators

Aim to have the most energy efficient and smallest refrigerator(s) you can. When buying a refrigerator check the star rating and choose the one that uses the least energy per year. Maintain your existing refrigerator(s) to be as efficient as possible: – ensure the seals are completely intact and gripping— replace any damaged ones – position your refrigerator so it has air space around it to expel the heat it generates (especially behind and above) and keep it away from the sun.

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5. Reduce car journeys

Arrange pick up with pathology companies in advance to avoid them making unnecessary trips—try to restrict pick ups and deliveries to the minimum number per day. Encourage staff to take public transport or ride to work— provide bicycle storage and changing facilities. Reducing petrol usage from car trips saves greenhouse gases—with every litre of petrol saved, 2.5 kg of greenhouse pollution is saved.

6. Aim for a paper-free office

Communicate with doctors and patients by email where possible. Request test results and other information be sent to you by email. Manage files and patient records on computer to avoid the need for printed documents. When using paper for printing, try to reduce paper usage by printing on both sides of the page and only print the pages you need.

7. Recycle paper and plastics

Arrange for a regular paper and plastic container recycling collection. Have a paper shredder to shred patient documents before recycling. Make the recycling bins available to both patients and staff and clearly label the recycling vs. landfill bins.

8. Buy recycled paper, stationery and toilet tissue

Try to buy 50–100 per cent recycled office paper. Look for other stationery made from recycled materials (for example, toners, pens, pencils). Buy recycled toilet paper, kitchen towel and tissues. Arrange for your toner cartridges to be collected for refill or recycling.

9. Save water in the bathroom and kitchen

Fit aerators to all taps to reduce tap water usage by up to 50 per cent. Fix all dripping taps or leaking toilets immediately. Convert an old single flush toilet to a dual flush toilet or install a cistern regulator (allows the user to determine the flush length).

10. Reduce junk mail

Put a ‘No junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox. Ask to be taken off the direct mail lists of pharmaceutical companies and other businesses who regularly post you materials you do not want.

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Conclusion Climate change is an urgent global problem which threatens public health. The health impacts will be distributed non-uniformly and inequitably, affecting some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Primary health care has a role, indeed a duty, to help communities prevent and adapt to climate change as effectively as possible. Based on the vision of primary care outlined in the Alma-Ata Declaration, key tasks for primary care include adaption to health impacts, public education, community capacity building, advocacy and provision of health services in an environmentally responsible way. Preparing primary care for climate change will require long term planning, education and development of the workforce.

Notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

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World Health Organization, World Health Day 2008; Declaration of AlmaAta. McMichael et al., ‘Global Environmental Change and Health’; United Nations, UN Millennium Goals. Sachs, Common Wealth. Blashki, McMichael and Karoly, ‘Climate Change and Primary Health Care’. Doctors for the Environment Australia, Doctors for the Environment Australia. Stern, Economics of Climate Change. IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’. ibid. Garnaut Climate Change Review, Draft Report. Steffensen et al., ‘Greenland Ice Core Data’. World Health Organization, World Health Day 2008. ibid. ibid. Patz et al., ‘Climate Change and Global Health’. ibid. World Health Organization, Comparative Risk Assessment. ibid. ibid. ibid. ibid. IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’. ibid. ibid., and see the contribution by Jess Fritze and John Wiseman to this volume. IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’.

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25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

Githeko and Shiff, History of Malaria Control in Africa. IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’. Barnett, Adam and Lettenmaier, ‘Potential Impacts’. IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’. Woodward, Hales and Weinstein, ‘Climate Change and Human Health’. ibid.; New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand’s Immigration Relationship with Tuvalu. CSIRO, Fact Sheet. ibid. ibid. ibid. ibid. Aisbett et al., ‘Fighting with Fire’. Woodruff et al., Climate Change Health Impacts in Australia. Horton and McMichael, Climate Change Health Check 2020. ibid. Declaration of Alma-Ata. Gunn et al., ‘Promise and Pitfalls’. Hall and Taylor, ‘Health for All Beyond 2000’. Greenhalgh, Primary Health Care. Myers, ‘Environmental Refugees’; see also Cam Walker’s contribution to this volume. Greenhalgh, Primary Health Care. ibid. McCartney and Hanlon, ‘Climate Change and Rising Energy Costs’. Begg et al., Burden of Disease. Mathers et al., ‘Australian Burden of Disease Study’. Kawachi and Berkman, ‘Social Ties and Mental Health’. Berry et al., Garnaut Climate Change Review: Rural Mental Health Impacts of Climate Change. Roberts, ‘Economics of Tackling Climate Change’. Starfield, Shi and Macinko, ‘Contribution of Primary Care’. ibid. ibid. Greenhalgh, Primary Health Care. IPCC, ‘Summary for Policymakers’. Griffith University, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. ibid. Blashki, McMichael and Karoly, ‘Climate Change and Primary Health Care’. Formoso, Marata and Magrini, ‘Social Marketing’. Mahler et al., ‘Social Norms Information’. World Health Organization, Preventing Harmful Health Effects of Heatwaves. Horton and Magin, ‘Healthy Patients, Healthy Planets’. McMichael et al., ‘Food, Livestock Production’. Berry et al., ‘Rural Mental Health Impacts’. Tsey and Every, ‘Evaluating Aboriginal Empowerment Programs’.

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67 ibid. 68 Donaldson and Gooler, ‘Theory-driven Evaluation in Action’. 69 Reppucci, Woolard and Fried, ‘Social, Community and Preventive Interventions’. 70 Bonner, Barr and Hoskins, ‘Using Primary Care-based mental Health Registers to Reduce Social Exclusion in Patients with Severe Mental Illness’. 71 Berry et al., Contemporary Australian Archetypes: Different Types of People, Different Needs. 72 Berry, ‘Social Capital Elite’. 73 Lomas, ‘Social Capital and Health’. 74 Sartorius, ‘Social Capital and Mental Health’. 75 Tait, ‘New Vision, New Paradigm’. 76 Kidd, ‘What Impact’. 77 Horton and McMichael, Climate Change Health Check 2020. 78 Ontario College of Family Physicians, Addressing the Health Effects of Climate Change. 79 Doctors for the Environment Australia, Doctors for the Environment Australia. 80 Blashki, Butler and Brown, ‘Climate Change and Human Health’. 81 Fogarty, ‘GreenClinic’.

Bibliography Aisbett, B., M. Phillips, M. Sargeant, B. Gilbert and D. Nichols, ‘Fighting with Fire: How Bushfire Suppression Can Impact on Fire Fighters’ Health’, Australian Family Physician, vol. 36, no. 12, 2007, pp. 994–7. Barnett, T. P., J. C. Adam and D. P. Lettenmaier, ‘Potential Impacts of a Warming Climate on Water Availability in Snow-dominated Regions’, Nature, vol. 438, 2005, pp. 303–9. Begg, S. J., T. E. Vos, B. Barker, C. E. Stevenson, L. Stanley and A. D. Lopez, The Burden of Disease and Injury in Australia 2008, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2007. Berry, H. L., ‘Social Capital Elite, Excluded Participators, Busy Working Parents and Aging, Participating Less: Types of Community Participators and Their Mental Health’, Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol, vol. 43, no. 7, 2008, pp. 527–37. Berry, H. L., P. Butterworth, T. M. Caldwell and B. Rodgers, ‘Contemporary Australian Archetypes: Different Types of People, Different Needs’, Social Policy Research Paper No. 32, Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Canberra. Berry, H. L., B. J. Kelly, I. C. Hanigan, J. H. Coates, A. J. McMichael, J. A. Welsh and T. Kjellstrom, ‘Rural Mental Health Impacts of Climate Change’, in Garnaut Climate Change Review, Australian National University, Canberra, 2008. Blashki, G., C. D. Butler and S. Brown, ‘Climate Change and Human Health: What Can GPs Do?’ Australian Family Physician, vol. 11, 2006, pp. 909–11.

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Blashki, G., A. J. McMichael and D. Karoly, ‘Climate Change and Primary Health Care’, Australian Family Physician, vol. 36, 2007, pp. 986–9. Bonner, L., W. Barr, and A. Hoskins, ‘Using Primary Care-based Mental Health. Registers to Reduce Social Exclusion in Patients with Severe Mental Illness’, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 9, 2002, pp. 585–593. CSIRO, Fact Sheet: CSIRO and Climate Change: Questions and Answers, www.csiro.au/resources/ps3bv.html#3 Declaration of Alma-Ata, International Conference on Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata, USSR, 6–12 September 1978, www.who.int/hpr/NPH/docs/ declaration_almaata.pdf Doctors for the Environment Australia, Doctors for the Environment Australia, www.dea.org.au Donaldson, S. I. and L. E. Gooler, ‘Theory-driven Evaluation in Action: Lessons from a $20 Million Statewide Work and Health Initiative’, Evaluation and Program Planning, vol. 26, no. 4, 2003, pp. 355-66. Fogarty, A., G. Blashki, E. Morrel, and G. Horton, ‘GreenClinic—A Pilot Educational Intervention for Environmentally Sustainable General Practice’, Australian Family Physician, vol. 37, no. 8, 2008, pp. 681–3. Formoso, A. M. G. Marata and N. Magrini, ‘Social Marketing: Should It Be Used to Promote Evidence-based Health Information?’, Social Science and Medicine, vol. 64, no. 4, 2007, pp. 949–53. Garnaut Climate Change Review, Draft Report, Commonwealth of Australia, Melbourne, 2008, www.garnautreview.org.au/CA25734E0016A131/pages/ draft-report Githeko, A. K. and C. Shiff, The History of Malaria Control in Africa: Lessons Learned and Future Perspectives, in K. L. Ebi, J. B. Smith and I. Burton (eds), Integration of Public Health with Adaptation to Climate Change: Lessons Learned and New Directions, Taylor and Francis, London, 2005. Greenhalgh, T., Primary Health Care: Theory and Practice, BMJ Books, Malden, MA, 2007. Griffith University, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, www.griffith.edu.au/research/nccarf Gunn, J. M., V. J. Palmer, L. Naccarella, R. Kokanovic, C. J. Pope, J. Lathlean and K. C. Stange, ‘The Promise and Pitfalls of Generalism in Achieving the Alma-Ata Vision of Health for All’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 189, no. 2, 2008, pp. 110–12. Hall, J. J. and R. Taylor, ‘Health for All Beyond 2000: The Demise of the AlmaAta Declaration and Primary Health Care in Developing Countries’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 178, no. 1, 2003, pp. 17–20. Horton, G. and P. Magin, ‘Healthy Patients, Healthy Planet: Green Recommendations for GP Health Promotion’, Australian Family Physician, vol. 36, no. 12, 2007, pp. 1006–8. Horton, G. and A. McMichael, Climate Change Health Check 2020, Climate Institute and Doctors for the Environment Australia, 2008. Horton, G. and T. McMichael, Climate Health Check 2020, The Climate Institute and Doctors for the Environment, Australia, 2008.

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ‘Summary for Policymakers’, in Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability—Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M. L. Parry, O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof et al., (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 7–22. Kawachi, I. and L. F. Berkman, ‘Social Ties and Medical Health’, Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 78(3), 2001, pp. 458-467. Kidd, M., ‘What Impact Will the Change of Federal Government Have on Australian General Practice?’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 189, no. 2, 2008, pp. 62-5. Lomas, J., ‘Social Capital and Health: Implications for Public Health and Epidemiology’, Social Science & Medicine, vol. 47, no. 9, 1998, pp. 62–5. Mahler, H. I., J. A. Kulik, H. A. Butler, M. Gerrard and F. X. Gibbons, ‘Social Norms Information Enhances the Efficacy of an Appearance-based Sun Protection Intervention’, Social Science and Medicine, vol. 67, no. 2, 2008, pp. 321–9. Mathers, C. D., E. T. Vos, C. E. Stevenson and S. J.Begg, ‘The Australian Burden of Disease Study: Measuring the Loss of Health from Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 172, no. 12, 2000, pp. 592–6. McCartney, G. and P. Hanlon, ‘Climate Change and Rising Energy Costs: A Threat but also an Opportunity for a Healthier Future?’, Public Health, vol. 122, 2008, pp. 653–7. McMichael, A. J., S. Friel, A. Nyong and C. Corvalan, ‘Global Environmental Change and Health: Impacts, Inequalities, and the Health Sector’, British Medical Journal, vol. 336, 2008, pp. 191–4. McMichael, A. J., J. W. Powles, C. D. Butler and R. Uauy, ‘Food, Livestock Production, Energy, Climate Change, and Health’, Lancet, vol. 370, no. 9594, 2007, pp. 1253–63. Myers, N., ‘Environmental Refugees: A Growing Phenomenon of the 21st Century’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, vol. 357, 2002, pp. 609–13. New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand’s Immigration Relationship with Tuvalu, www.mfat.govt.nz/ForeignRelations/Pacific/NZ-Tuvalu-immigration.php Ontario College of Family Physicians, Addressing the Health Effects of Climate Change, Ontario, 2007. Available at www.ocfp.on.ca/local/files/Addressing %20the%20Health%20Effects%20of%20Climate%20Change%20Family%20 Physicians%20are%20Key%20April%207,%202008.pdf Patz, J. A., H. K. Gibbs, J. A. Foley, J. V. Rogers and K. R. Smith, ‘Climate Change and Global Health: Quantifying a Growing Ethical Crisis’, EcoHealth, vol. 4, 2007, pp. 397–405. Repucci, N. D., J. L. Woolard and C. S. Fried, ‘Social Community, and Preventative Interventions’, Annu Rev Psychol, vol. 50, 1999, pp. 387–418. Roberts, I., ‘The Economics of Tackling Climate Change’, British Medical Journal, vol. 336, no. 7637, 2008, pp. 165–6.

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Sachs, J. K., Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, Penguin Press, New York, 2008. Starfield, B., L. Shi and J. Macinko, ‘Contribution of Primary Care to Health Systems and Health’, Milbank Quarterly, vol. 83, no. 3, 2005, pp. 457–502. Sartorius, N., ‘Social Capital and Mental Health’, Current Opinion in Psychiatry, vol. 16, supplement 2, 2003, pp. S101–5. Steffensen, J. P., K. K. Andersen, M. Bigler, H. B. Clausen, D. Dahl-Jensen, H. Fischer, K. Goto-Azuma, M. Hansson, S. J. Johnsen, J. Jouzel, V. MassonDelmotte, T. Popp, S. O. Rasmussen, R. Rothlisberger, U. Ruth, B. Stauffer, M.-L. Siggaard-Andersen, A. E. Sveinbjörnsdóttir, A. Svensson and J. W. C. White, ‘High-Resolution Greenland Ice Core Data Show Abrupt Climate Change Happens in Few Years’, Science, vol. 321, no. 5889, 2008, pp. 680–4. Stern, N., The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006. Tait, P., ‘New Vision, New Paradigm: Health and Wealth for All by 2100—or for No One’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 188, no. 7, 2008, pp. 383–4. Tsey, K. and A. Every, ‘Evaluating Aboriginal Empowerment Programs: The Case of Family Wellbeing’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 24, no. 5, 2000, pp. 509–12. United Nations, UN Millennium Development Goals, www.un.org/ millenniumgoals/ Woodruff, R., S. Hales, C. Butler and A. J. McMichael, Climate Change Health Impacts in Australia: Effects of Dramatic CO2 Emission Reductions, Report for the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Medical Association, 2005. Woodward, A., S. Hales and P. Weinstein, ‘Climate Change and Human Health in the Asia Pacific Region: Who Will Be Most Vulnerable?’, Climate Research, vol. 11, 1998, pp. 31–8. World Health Organization, Comparative Risk Assessment, www.who.int/ healthinfo/boddocscra/en/index.html ——Preventing Harmful Health Effects of Heat-waves, World Health Organization, Denmark, 2006, www.euro.who.int/Document/Gch/Harm_ Heatwaves.pdf ——World Health Day 2008: Protecting Health from Climate Change, www.who.int/world-health-day

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9

Climate Refugees and New Understandings of Security Cam Walker

A growing number of researchers are identifying that, without adequate action, there will almost certainly be massive displacement of people around the world due to global warming in coming decades. To respond effectively—that is, to minimise displacement and the resulting human misery that will come with it—requires an understanding of the forces behind this displacement, and where and how it will occur. This understanding, in turn, must inform how wealthy nations like Australia should respond. In the simplest terms, an effective response will require the provision of adequate adaptation funding to affected communities and the creation of a new refugee intake program for people displaced by global warming. These steps will be relatively easy to achieve if we can generate sufficient shifts in the political and cultural terrain in this country. More broadly, the reality of climate-induced human displacement must also affect our traditional understandings of what constitutes national security. Countries likely to attract climate refugees must decide how they will respond. Given what we already know about the likely impacts of global warming, it is clear that there will be considerable displacement and with that comes a range of moral, logistical, economic, and political considerations. Various futures

become possible, depending on whether we chose to be proactive or whether we take a ‘wait and see’ approach—and Australia will be effectively choosing which future it wants on the basis of what action it decides to take in the next few years. Mainstream debate about global warming has shifted considerably in the past half decade. Rather than being reported as a contested science, human-induced global warming is now accepted as fact by nearly all governments and is a matter of major concern for the Australian public. The public debate to date has been largely focused on the relative environmental and economic costs and, in some instances, benefits of global warming. The human rights dimensions of this issue are still largely on the margins of public debate. Yet even this is now changing, and rapidly, as a range of faith communities and domestic-focused welfare and international aid and development organisations are becoming keenly aware of the human dimensions of climate change. As the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and a growing number of researchers have noted, it will be the poorest people who will suffer the most from climate change. This raises a range of issues for wealthy nations like Australia. As the world’s largest per capita greenhouse gas emitter, it can be argued that Australia has responsibilities to the global poor on three levels: First, it must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to an equitable global level as a matter of urgency. Second, it must support affected communities in responding to the changed conditions that will come with climate change through providing funds for adaptation. And, finally, Australia has an obligation to accept displaced people as climate refugees.

Climate Change and Equity Climate change has been bearing down on us for decades. Awareness of the threats posed by global warming were widespread in western economies by the late 1980s. By 1992, this awareness was sufficient that the United Nations Conference on Development and the Environment held in Rio de Janeiro established two key global conventions: one on protecting biodiversity, and the other the Framework Convention on Climate Change, now referred to as the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The UNFCCC process, in turn, lead to the creation of the Kyoto Protocol.

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Early debate on climate change tended to focus on the veracity of the modelling. Once the science became clearer and there was largely consensus amongst decision makers about the reality of climate change and the link back to human activity that was driving it, the ecological impacts of this change were of primary focus. Since then, the economic costs have been highlighted especially through the Stern Review, prepared by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the Government Economic Service and Adviser to the UK Government on the economics of climate change and development. Insurance companies have long been aware of the likely financial costs of increased extreme weather events. Most sectors of business have been responding to the issue since at least the mid-1990s, another factor in the emphasis on economic concerns. The human rights dimensions of climate change have received much less attention than the ecological, economic and political implications. In Australia, debate is currently focussed on technological innovation (for instance, carbon capture), market-based instruments such as the promised Emissions Trading Scheme, and behavioural change, for instance the broadly supported Earth Hour, which encourages people to minimise their use of energy for an hour on a given day. In contrast, while the plight of displaced people and those suffering deprivation through changed weather conditions receive considerable coverage in the media, there is very little actual support from nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) or government bodies for these people and little focused political activity for their benefit. For almost a decade Friends of the Earth was effectively the sole voice in Australia calling for recognition of climate refugees. There was a strange ‘turf’ disjunct occurring from the late 1990s until about 2006 over the question of climate refuges: environmental groups saw it as a human rights issue and hence not in their domain, while aid groups saw it primarily as something that environmental NGOs should respond to. Thankfully, this is now changing. The timing is significant because concern about global warming is now mainstream and the federal government is currently framing Australia’s response. If, however, we neglect to place human rights imperatives at the centre of this response, it is unlikely we will be able develop an ethical response to global warming.

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There are various levels to understanding the moral and ethical imperatives that need to drive the type of response required from rich nations like Australia. However, they all come back to an undeniable fact. This is the simple observation that some countries have, over the past two centuries, consumed vast amounts of fossil fuels which have allowed them to build their economies to be diverse, strong and robust and able to deliver high levels of affluence to a large proportion of their members. This is often called the ‘carbon debt’, and it underscores the current debate about emerging economies such as China and India which are rapidly becoming major greenhouse emitters in their own right. Many ‘Kyoto sceptics’ such as the former Australian prime minister John Howard have been vocal in opposing the adoption of binding greenhouse gas targets for countries like Australia without similar targets applying to large emitters like China and India. This ahistorical approach to responding to climate change is convenient for wealthy nations as it ignores the benefits that have accrued to countries like Australia since the industrial revolution, and hence seeks to deny them to the large emerging nation states. An additional insight here is that, while the rich world (also called the global North or minority world) has produced most of the carbon emissions that are now driving global warming, it is the developing world (the global South or majority world) which is bearing the worst impacts of this warming. As noted by the UNEP, ‘the poor would suffer the most because they have fewer options for responding to climate change’. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said the same: ‘it is the poorest of the poor in the world, and this includes poor people even in prosperous societies, who are going to be the worst hit’.1 So, while some people are causing most of the problem, others, the vast majority, have contributed very little to climate change yet are most affected. This is true also within the global North. It is now well understood that low income communities will be impacted more adversely than wealthier families and communities. As climate change starts to affect us all, the impacts on low income people in places like Australia will include increased energy, food and travel poverty and a range of personal and public health problems.

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The current global inequity in consumption (and hence affluence) and production of greenhouse pollution clearly constitutes climate injustice, which is effectively a situation where the minority world is stealing from the global commons—the atmosphere and other carbon sinks—such as the oceans and large forests, which can trap carbon. These sinks help offset the carbon released into the atmosphere, thereby maintaining the climate as it was before the industrial revolution.

Responding to the Carbon Debt Australia has the highest per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rates on the planet, at about twenty seven tonnes per person carbon dioxide–equivalent per annum—this is even higher than emissions per person in the United States (roughly twenty four tonnes) and more than double the per capita average for industrialised countries. Our energy intensive economy and lifestyle is typical of the developed world, which is responsible for over 80 per cent of all GHG emissions being produced at present. To put this another way, Australia produces around 1.4 per cent of the worlds greenhouse gases with only 0.35 per cent of the global population. In comparison, the Small Island States of the Pacific (comprising twenty two countries) produce just 0.06 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases. This inequity, based as it is on the historical carbon debt, is largely absent from the domestic debate on global warming. And without this political perspective underpinning our response, it is easy to imagine Australia continuing to take measures that benefit us while hindering others. One example of this would be Australian support for international carbon offsets as a mechanism that allows us to reduce emissions while continuing high production of greenhouse gases within Australia. Many carbon offset schemes have been implicated in human rights abuses and considerable ecological damage.2

Frameworks for Change As noted by the US-based NGO Eco Equity, we must find a way to ensure that all people are able to access the resources that would allow them to live a life of good health and dignity. That is, to allow all nations to achieve a sustainable form of development in a way that doesn’t push us into dangerous climate change. Eco Equity proposes

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an international framework which is based on Greenhouse Development Rights or GDRs. The GDR framework is designed to support an emergency climate stabilisation program while, at the same time, preserving the right of all people to reach a dignified level of sustainable human development free of the privations of poverty. To be enacted it would require global consensus on a new framework model for sharing the global emissions that can be produced annually without driving future global warming. Another model that is sometimes used to describe the pathway which would allow this transition to a per capita fair share is contraction, convergence and compensation. The contraction and convergence model was originally developed by the Global Commons Institute in London in recognition that those nations most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change were already impoverished by the economic structures and practices of the nations responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions. The model assumes that all people have a right to a fair share of carbon resources within ecological limits. Contraction and convergence theory proposes that a global emissions budget be calculated, based on ecological limits, and then allocated on a per capita basis. In essence, each individual on the planet would be allocated an equal share of the sustainable use of the atmosphere. This would require a profound shift in the way international negotiations are proceeding, but it should be noted that equity has been an undercurrent within the United Nations climate change negotiations for well over a decade. In recent years there has been considerable public debate, especially in the United Kingdom, about the possibility of personal carbon allowances as a way of reaching equitable GHG emission scenarios. This is a form of an emission trading scheme under which emissions credits are allocated to adult individuals on a broadly equal per capita basis, within national carbon budgets. Individuals then use these credits when buying fuel or electricity. In order to incorporate historical and future responsibilities into an equitable model for addressing climate change, the contraction and convergence model has recently been extended with a third component: compensation. This extra component is designed to take into account the ecological debt of the North to the South. The global North owes the nations of the global South a major commitment of

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resources and assistance to mitigate the effects of human-induced climate change, given that the former has caused most of the problem and that the latter are most vulnerable to its effects. The development of a framework for sharing the atmosphere will need to take place in international negotiations, and it will require profound change at the national level. It will require us to live within a fair share of environmental space. This in turn will mean agreeing to live within a fair annual carbon budget. Fairness, however defined, will require major reductions in consumption of carbon resources (possibly up to 95 per cent reduction in our fossil fuel use in Australia compared with current levels and possibly even more). Finally, this commitment to living within a fair share of the global commons needs to be sustainable into the indefinite future. We need to factor intergenerational equity into our model. One basic approach consistent with the fair share approach outlined above, and which enshrines this understanding, is called environmental space with equity (ESwE). This is based on the simple premise that, on a small planet with a growing population and ecological limits being continually breeched, all people have a right to equal access to resources. The idea of environmental space is simple, yet radical in its implications. It tells us something we all know, that there are limits to the rate at which we can exploit the Earth’s resources, and that we must make substantial cuts in resource use in countries like Australia if we are to share fairly with other parts of the world. Furthermore, we must do this in a way that leaves sufficient resources and biological capacity for those who come after us. According to a range of researchers, humanity has been drawing resources from the environment faster than the earth can replenish them or absorb the waste associated with their use. Environmental organisation WWF, in their Living Planet reports, suggests that this has been occurring for at least three decades.3 In effect, the people living high consumption lifestyles are stealing from future generations. Yet at this stage there is very little public debate in Australia about the need to actually limit our consumption. In fact, even many environmental organisations argue that we can have both economic growth and effective action on climate change. In contrast to this, advocates for the fair share or ESwE approach argue that there are real limits to the ability of the earth to

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meet every growing human demands for resources. Although not always explicitly stated, this model suggests the need to move to a steady state economy and away from the current system, which equates economic health with economic growth.

Responding to Climate Change At this point, any conversation about a new global treaty that will allow us to share the planet’s resources in perfect equality is nothing short of fanciful. This is not to suggest we don’t need to go down that path, it is just to acknowledge the multitude of barriers that face us. In the meantime, there are three key responses required from Australia. We need to: 1 stop harming—through acting quickly to reduce our emissions and hence reduce our contribution to global warming, often called mitigation. We also need to actively start ‘helping’. There are two elements to this: 2 we must provide substantial support for adaptation; that is, providing funds to affected communities so they can respond to the changes that are coming with global warming (often called building resilience), and 3 support for relocation efforts, through recognising and accepting a fair share of climate refugees. Although it is not a major focus of research within climate science, it is clear that a large, and potentially massive, number of people will be displaced by global warming if we do not take action to greatly reduce the load of carbon going into the atmosphere. Because carbon remains in the atmosphere for up to a century after it is released, we are already locked into displacement of some communities. While the causes of displacement are fairly obvious, the actual numbers of people likely to be displaced are still widely contested.

Climate Refugees: How Many Will Be Displaced? In terms of the physical dynamics of how people will be displaced, sea level rise, increased extreme weather events, desertification and water shortages, general ecological changes and public health impacts are

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all expected to play a part. Often, rather than a single event which will push them into leaving their homes, a number of factors will interact and apply cumulative pressure on individuals. Part of the problem in knowing where and how climate refugees will be created is that there are no governmental or intergovernmental institutions that track levels of displacement. Therefore, at this point we need to rely on the estimates of researchers who have considered the impacts of climate change (for instance, sea level rise) in various parts of the world, how and where people live, and hence how vulnerable they may be to the changes that are coming. At present, people who are displaced by ecological events receive no recognition as being a refugee and hence no support. For instance when many thousands of Latin Americans were forced from their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and ended up attempting to enter the US, they were seen as at best economic migrants, rather than as ecologically displaced people. The following (see table 1) are a series of estimates of possible displacement, and the likely time frame of this displacement. It should be noted that in general these figures are what is expected if we do nothing to seriously reduce greenhouse pollution. Rapid action that achieves deep cuts soon can be expected to greatly reduce these figures, as can sufficient support for adaptation—that is, funding and other support to enable communities to adapt to the changed conditions and hence be able to stay in their homelands. Table 1: Estimates of Environmental Refugee Numbers Author

Number of refugees (in millions)

Timeframe

Myersa

250

2050

IPCCb

150

2050

UN University

50

2010

R. J. Nicholsd

50–200

2080

500

2050

Christian Aid, UK

1000

2050

N. Sterng

150–200

2050

c

e

D. Anderson

f

a

Myers, ‘Environmental Refugees’, 2006.

b

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2001.

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c

United Nations University, ‘Ranks of “Environmental Refugees”’.

d

Nichols, ‘Coastal Flooding’.

e

Anderson, D., 2004, ‘Official: Global Warming Bigger Threat than Terrorism’, CNN news report, 6 February 2004. f

Christian Aid, UK, Human Tide.

g

Stern, Economics of Climate Change.

The continent most at risk of displacement is Africa, with gradual desertification expected to make life simply too hard for millions, who will be forced to leave their homes. There are various associated human rights issues that arise in every region where people will be displaced. To take just one, in areas of sub-Saharan Africa with high percentages of the population affected by HIV/AIDS, how can communities support people who are debilitated by the disease when food security collapses? There are clear gender issues that arise (between 70 and 80 per cent of ‘traditional’ refugees are women and children) and climate induced displacement may lead to increased conflict to land, water and other resources. In our region, the populous nations with large populations living close to sea level are most at risk. While the plight of low lying nations such as Tuvalu and Kiribati are well known, it is in the Asian Archipelago and mainland Asia that significant numbers will be displaced. Indonesia is an archipelago nation, composed of around 17 000 islands with more than 16.4 million people living in coastal areas. Professor Tony McMichael, director of Canberra’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, estimates that a one Table 2: Total Refugees Foreseen by 2050 (Millions of People) China

30

India

30

Bangladesh

15

Egypt

14

Other delta and coastal zones

10

Island states

1

Agriculturally dislocated areas

50

TOTAL

150 million

Source: Myers, ‘Environmental Refugees’, 1994.

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metre sea level rise would displace three million people in Indonesia. Bangladesh has a population of more than 140 million, mostly crowded onto low lying plains in the delta of three large river systems. China and India are also expected to be hard hit by rising sea levels. The figures given above (see table 2) are indicative of the source countries that are expected to produce the most refugees (although note that Norman Myers has since increased his estimate of likely climate refugees from 150 to 250 million people).

What Must We Do? As discussed above, because of the time that carbon remains in the atmosphere, we must plan for considerable numbers of climate refugees in the future, even if we were able to stabilise global emissions within a short period of time. However, a growing body of climate science suggests that if we drastically reduce overall greenhouse gas pollution within the next decade we may be able to avert dangerous or catastrophic climate change, which would mean many fewer people being displaced. So the cornerstone of our efforts must be mitigation, facilitated at the global level by a massive transfer of low emission technology and financial resources to the global South. Rich countries must lead in reducing emissions, simply because of the fact of the historical carbon debt. Given the reality of this debt, wealthy nations must provide adaptation funding to Southern nations as a form of compensatory funding, which this should not come at the expense of existing foreign aid commitments. The countries with the greatest carbon debt should pay the most. It is possible to back date the debt, at least in rough terms, to the massive carbon load that grew with the industrial revolution. One example of this comes from a Friends of the Earth report into the historical carbon footprint of oil giant ExxonMobil. It found that, between 1882 and 2002, ExxonMobil’s emissions of carbon dioxide totalled an estimated 20.3 billion tonnes of carbon, about 5 per cent of the world total for that period. One argument against assigning responsibility for debt so far into the past is that we didn’t know about the threat of global warming in the 1880s. Another way of attributing liability comes from Oxfam International, which takes into account the fact that there was only global consensus on climate change by 1992 (the year of the Earth

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Summit in Rio de Janeiro). Oxfam suggests that historical liability for warming since then becomes a factor in how much carbon debt a nation has built up. It matches this debt with the wealth of each country to create an Adaptation Financing Index that incorporates both responsibility and ability to pay. Not surprisingly, the US, the European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia are at the top of this list. Oxfam estimates that adaptation will cost at least US$50 billion each year, and far more if global emissions are not cut rapidly. This cost is then allocated according to a countries ranking on the index, with the expectation that liable nations should start providing more finance to developing countries immediately. This finance must not be counted towards meeting the UN-agreed target of 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product for aid, as it should be seen as a form of compensatory payment for damages. Oxfam notes that while wealthy countries are planning multi-billion dollar adaptation measures at home, to date they have delivered just US $48 million to international funds for least-developed country adaptation, and have generally counted it as aid. Under this formula, Australia’s annual bill’ would be for around A$1.75 billion. This may seem like a lot of money but can be put into context when we recall that the most recent federal government budget saw a cash surplus of A$10.6 billion, whilst also giving taxpayers A$31.5 billion in tax cuts over the next four years.

Adaptation Funding Is Not Enough In addition to providing meaningful levels of adaptation funding, it is vital that we prepare now for relocating communities. Australia should lead the way by working at four levels to: 1 establish an immigration program with a quota for climate refugees which is additional to our current humanitarian quota; 2 develop a coalition of Pacific Rim countries willing to accept climate refugees; 3 work within the United Nations to create an international protection mechanism for climate refugees; 4 provide support for those nations likely to have large numbers of internally displaced people because of climate change. These measures will need to be accompanied by a high-profile program to educate the Australian public about climate refugees, why

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they need to move and what our responsibilities to them are. We just need to recall the word ‘Tampa’ to be reminded of how hard-hearted the Australian people can be when faced with desperate people fleeing disaster, violence or persecution, and there is no guarantee that we will act with more solidarity when confronted with a wave of new arrivals. In the longer term, protection for climate refugees needs to be included in international law. One option would be to expand the definition of refugee currently enshrined in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, although there are potential problems with this approach. Some fear that such a development could result in a diluting of the current definition of refugee, possibly reduce the level of protection afforded to political refugees, strain the already limited resources of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and leave many climate refugees who are internally displaced unprotected. There has been a long and often circular conversation amongst refugee advocates, lawyers, environmental activists and others for several years about the use of ‘climate’ and ‘refugee’ in the same sentence. Friends of the Earth Australia favours use of the term climate refugee over others such as ‘ecologically displaced person’ or ‘climate migrant’ because it resonates with many people, it is clear what is being talked about, and the sense of ‘push’ factor is immediately evident. However, in recognition of both the sensitivities of some around use of the term and the real risk that opening the 1951 Convention to broaden the definition of refugee in the current political climate might actually lead to a watering down of protection afforded to refugees, we accept that there should be other options developed to allow adequate protection for climate refugees. An alternative as proposed by the United Nations University and some environmental refugee advocates is for environmental refugees (a broader category under which climate refugees would fall) to be recognised within a new international treaty which would afford displaced persons the same or similar rights as refugees displaced by other causes as recognised under the 1951 Refugee Convention. A third option, favoured by Friends of the Earth Australia and proposed by Biermann and Boas, is for a new legal instrument and funding mechanism specifically for the protection, compensation

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and resettlement of climate refugees which would sit under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This proposal does not take into account other (non-climate) environmental refugees and would include climate refugees displaced both internally and externally. A fourth possibility specifically raised for the Pacific island nations is for Australia to effectively open its borders to these people, allowing them to permanently settle in this country as Australians while also retaining their original citizenship.

New Definitions of Security In late 2007, the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty said that climate change, with the threat of water and food shortages and refugees fleeing rising sea levels, would be the greatest security risk of this century. While there is little doubt that large numbers of people will be forced to leave their homes and countries to seek refuge elsewhere because of climate change there is another reality which will occur at the same time. The people most at risk of displacement will be the poorest of the poor and in many instances they can be expected to hang on in their home town until there is no option but to leave, meaning they will have almost no financial resources to take with them. These people will not be able to afford to travel across national borders, and their movement will be primarily by bus, ferry or foot. They will become displaced in their own countries through no fault of their own. Even if we were successful in generating support for a climate refugee quota system, this system would not benefit these people. Therefore it is imperative that Australia also provide funding as part of the adaptation funds identified above to support intracountry relocation, at least in our region. For Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), relocation of displaced communities will place an enormous burden on governments if they are not provided with financial assistance. As one example, the cost of relocating and resettling almost 3000 people from the Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea to Bougainville has been estimated at a minimum of $A5.6 million over seven years. In terms of broad security concerns, there can be little doubt that Australia will be confronted with many people seeking refuge in

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future as well as the prospect of internal displacement destabilising some of our neighbours. There are clear security issues associated with this latter issue as displacement can cause a range of responses in communities. Indonesia, as one example, is the world’s most populous Islamic nation, with a significant presence of extremist groups. Mike Davis, in his book, Planet of Slums, points out that where governments fail their people when they are suffering or otherwise facing hardship there is room for civil society actors to fill the service provision space not taken, or vacated, by governments. He notes that in the poorest nations it tends to be fundamentalist Islamic and Christian groups taking on these roles. And with service often comes ideology. The implications of this should be clear given the post–9/11 context we live in. In addition, many communities along large sections of coastline on both sides of the Indian Ocean are still recovering from the devastating tsunami of 2004, which in term raises a vast number of issues around community resilience and ecological protection. For instance, it was widely reported that areas that had been stripped of protective mangrove systems suffered worse impacts from the tsunami. There is a deeper conversation here that is far beyond the scope of this chapter about the evolving idea of environmental security. This is often defined as the relationship between security concerns such as armed conflict and the natural environment. It has become particularly relevant for those studying resource scarcity and conflict in the developing world and has obvious implications for Australia in terms of how we should allocate adaptation funding as well as how to manage our defence forces and the relative skills set, training and equipment we will need to develop as our armed forces are increasingly subsumed into dealing with the various environmental, social and practical humanitarian impacts of global warming. How we respond to this displacement will speak volumes about us as a nation. We can either choose to continue aggressive border security and punitive policy against those seeking asylum or do our fair share of reducing climate change, funding adaptation and accepting climate refugees through a regulated intake system. The future is ours to choose, but the climate science suggest that time is running out before we need to decide.

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Notes 1 2 3

Pachauri, ‘UN Climate Change Impact Report: Poor Will Suffer Most’; Ki-moon, B., ‘Poor Countries Will Suffer Most from Global Warming’. Smith, K., The Carbon Neutral Myth, Carbon Trade Watch and TNI, 2007. WWF, Living Planet Report 2006.

Bibliography Anderson, D., ‘It’s Official: Global Warming Bigger Threat than Terrorism’, CNN news report, 6 February 2004. Australian Associated Press, ‘Climate Change a Security Risk, Top Cop Mick Keelty Says’, 25 September 2007, www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/ 0,22606,22478367-5006301,00.html Baer, P., T. Athanasiou and S. Kartha, ‘The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World: The Greenhouse Development Rights Framework’, Heinrich Boll Foundation, Berlin, 2007. Biermann, F. and I. Boas, ‘Preparing for a Warmer World: Towards a Global Governance System to Protect Climate Refugees’, Global Governance Working Paper, no. 33, Global Governance Project, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Environmental Policy Analysis, IVM, November 2007, www.glogov.org/images/doc/WP33.pdf Carbon Planet, Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Country, n.d., www.carbonplanet.com/country_emissions Christian Aid, ‘Human Tide: The Real Migration Crisis’, Christian Aid, London, 2007, www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/human_tide3__tcm1523335.pdf Climate Action Network Australia, ‘Climate Change Negotiations Guide’, n.d., www.cana.net.au/kyoto/template.php?id=6 Davis, Mike, Planet of Slums, Verso, London, 2006. Davissen, Jane, ‘Weathering the Storm: A Focus on Pacific Islanders’, Chain Reaction, no. 90, 2004, pp. 8–10. Environment News Service, ‘UN Climate Change Impact Report: Poor Will Suffer Most’, April 6, 2007, www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2007/ 2007-04-06-01.asp Friends of the Earth, ‘Exxon’s Climate Footprint: The Contribution of Exxonmobil to Climate Change since 1882’, Friends of the Earth, London, January 2004. Garnaut, R., ‘Garnaut Climate Change Review’, Draft Report, Commonwealth of Australia, Melbourne, 2008. Hansen, James, cited in David Pratt and Philip Sutton, ‘Climate Code Red: The Case for an Emergency Sustainability’, Friends of the Earth Australia, Melbourne, February 2008. Horstman, Mark, ‘Feeling the Heat’, ABC Radio, Health Matters, aired 15 May 2003, www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2003/05/15/1835489.htm Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third

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Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, J. T. Houghton, Y. Ding, D. J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P. J. van der Linden and D. Xiaosu (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001. ——Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007. Ki-moon, B., ‘Poor Countries Will Suffer Most from Global Warming, Ban Ki-moon Warns’, UN News Service, 5 February 2007. Lee, Josie, ‘Social Impacts of Climate Change on Victoria’, Friends of the Earth Melbourne, 2004. Mead, Rachael, ‘The Three Cs of Climate Justice: Contraction, Convergence and Compensation’, Chain Reaction, no. 99, March 2007. Myers, Norman, ‘The Environmental Dimension to Security Issues’, Environmentalist, vol. 6, 1986, pp. 251–7. ——‘Environmental Refugees: A Crisis in the Making’, People & the Planet, vol. 3, no. 4, 1994. ——‘Environmental Refugees’, presentation to public seminar, Storey Hall, RMIT, Melbourne, hosted by Friends of the Earth and the Globalism Institute, March 2006. Nicholls, R. J., ‘Coastal Flooding and Wetland Loss in the 21st Century: Changes under the SRES Climate and Socio-Economic Scenarios’, Global Environmental Change, vol. 14, no. 1, 2004, pp. 69–86. Oxfam International, ‘Adapting to Climate Change: What’s Needed in Poor Countries, and Who Should Pay’, Oxfam briefing paper, no. 104, Oxford, 2007, www.oxfam.org/files/adapting%20to%20climate%20change.pdf Pachauri, R., ‘UN Climate Change Impact Report: Poor Will Suffer Most’, Environment News Service, 7 April 2007. Renaud, Fabrice, Janos J. Bogardi, Olivia Dun and Koko Warner, ‘Control, Adapt or Flee: How to Face Environmental Migration?’, Intersections Publication Series, no.5, United Nations University, Bonn, 2007, www.ehs. unu.edu/file.php?id=259 Rukmantara, A., ‘RI Coasts to Bear Brunt of Climate Change: Experts’, Jakarta Post, 22 March 2006. Stern, Nicholas, The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007. Smith, K., The Carbon Neutral Myth: Offset Indulgences for Your Climate Sins, Carbon Trade Watch and TNI, 2007. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘The World of Refugee Women at a Glance’, Refugee Magazine, vol. 1, no. 126, 2002, p. 7, www.unhcr.org/publ/PUBL/3cb6ea290.html United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-IEHS), ‘As Ranks of “Environmental Refugees” Swell Worldwide, Calls Grow for Better Definition, Recognition, Support’, media alert, 12 October 2005, www.ehs.unu.edu/file.php?id=58

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Part III Policy Implications

10

Climate Justice Key Debates, Goals and Strategies Jess Fritze and John Wiseman

Climate change is a global threat and complex policy challenge which will compound and magnify existing inequalities, create new threats and dangers and compete with other critical policy areas for resources in a world already struggling to address growing inequalities of resources and power. As Australian political and policy debates about climate change at last begin to more accurately reflect the magnitude of the challenge and the urgency of the need for action, it is critical that the social justice impacts and implications of climate change are also placed firmly on the agenda. As the recent Friends of the Earth Australia report on climate change and equity argues: While mainstream debate currently focuses on science and the economic dimensions of climate change there is also growing awareness of its social costs. There is mounting understanding that the effects of climate change will be disproportionately felt by already vulnerable communities, including people on low incomes and communities directly dependent on their local environment for survival.1

The following chapter is therefore intended as a contribution towards an Australian climate change research agenda and policy debate informed by a clearer understanding of actions needed to protect the most vulnerable and excluded communities and population groups—among both current and future generations. The chapter begins with an overview of key climate change social justice debates, leading to a set of principles and goals for developing an equitable approach to climate change policy. In the second half of the chapter we outline five tasks central to the development of equitable climate change policies and strategies in Australia using the issue of climate change impacts on food security as an example. We conclude by noting the importance of locating the debate about climate change and social justice in a broader question: what social, cultural, economic, technological and political transformations are needed to reduce carbon emissions to prevent catastrophic impacts and adapt to climate change in ways which are healthy, just and sustainable?

Climate Change and Social Justice: Key Ethical and Policy Issues and Debates The social justice aspects of climate change are threefold: distributional, retributive and procedural. These dimensions of climate equity have local, national and international implications and apply both between and within generations. Intergenerational equity is a fundamental component of the concept of ‘sustainability’ itself and continues to be the primary ethical motivation for international action to prevent dangerous climate change.2 Intergenerational climate justice demands that future generations should not inherit reduced life opportunities due to our unsustainable use of natural resources and degradation of essential eco- and climatic systems. Taking sufficient action to prevent dangerous climate change is essential to fulfilling the mandate of intergenerational justice. However, with climate change now observed to be occurring at a much greater rate than previously anticipated, and with the possibility of ‘tipping points’ generating rapid and uncontrollable climatic changes, it is current generations, ourselves and our children, who are likely to suffer the first wave of climate change impacts.3

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Climate change also presents enormous intra-generational equity challenges due to the extreme spatial and social inequalities in climate change impacts, historical and contemporary responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, and inequalities in adaptive capacity between nations, regions and individuals. Climate vulnerability is determined by level of exposure to physical climate change effects, sensitivity to these impacts and adaptive capacity.4 The predicted geographic distribution of physical impacts of climate change such as extreme weather events, changes in rainfall, glacial melt, sea level rise and temperature increases overlay and interact with existing variations in social vulnerability. As such, climate vulnerability ‘does not exist in isolation from the wider political economy’ and applies to both the effects of climate change and the costs of policies to address it.5 There is a significant risk that climate change, and policy responses to it, are likely to ‘compound past injustices, such as underdevelopment and colonialism, that themselves have resulted in the uneven patterns of development in today’s world’.6 Given these complexities of geographical and temporal focus and scale, how do we as global, national and local communities determine equitable distributions of responsibility for responding to climate change? Thus far, the concept of social justice in relation to climate change policy has been largely negotiated and contested at the international level and has primarily focussed on attempting to determine an equitable distribution of mitigation costs and efforts between developed and developing countries.7 The international debate has noted that policy responses to climate change mitigation and adaptation based purely on egalitarian principles, which suggest an equal per capita allocation of emissions or costs, do not take into account historical or contemporary inequalities in the production of greenhouse gas emissions and the associated vastly disparate capacity to pay among nations. Retributive justice principles imply an obligation for countries with higher contemporary and historical emissions to transfer financial and technological resources to support the adaptation of those likely to be most severely effected by climate impacts (that is, the ‘polluter pays principle’).8 This would mean that countries with high

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levels of cumulative emissions have primary responsibility for the costs of emissions reduction and necessary adaptation measures. This issue was articulated in Article 3.1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which laid the groundwork for defining the relationship between social justice and climate change within the international policy context by stating that signatories ‘should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’.9 While the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities remains a useful guide, past emission levels do not necessarily correlate with current adaptive capacity—‘some countries with high cumulative per capita emissions have remained (or become) relatively poor; some countries have become wealthy with relatively low emissions’.10 There is also huge variation of responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions within countries, especially those with large and widening gaps between rich and poor.11 ‘Contraction and convergence’ models combine the principles of retributive and distributive justice to guide climate change mitigation towards a per capita level of emissions which reflects both the developing world’s need for economic development and the reality of the urgency to drastically reduce global emissions.12 These models point towards an ‘environmental space’ in which individuals can sustainably live and where resource consumption fulfils individual needs but does not exceed levels which permit long term sustainability.13 The concept of environmental space, incorporating regional variability in energy needs (such as between very cold, very hot and temperate climates), provides guidance towards equitable goal setting for mitigation policies.14 This approach is likely to conclude that an equitable environmental space for emissions will involve increased emissions to meet basic needs for some and drastic reductions by those with current high consumption levels in the order of 90 per cent reductions from 2000 levels by 2050.15 This model however, does not address equity concerns which may arise in relation to how this level of energy consumption is attained, the equity implications of policy outcomes and processes—or of equity issues in climate change adaptation.

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Poor nations and communities, who are likely to suffer the greatest climate change impacts, are unlikely to support climate change policy initiatives or regulations which assign to them disproportionate costs or which exacerbate existing inequalities.16 The international climate change regime therefore attempts to construct multi-lateral policy based on informed debate, participation and consensus while still requiring restrictive regulatory mechanisms to attempt to protect the global atmospheric commons. However, at the international level, procedural justice is constrained by huge variations in capacity to participate in negotiations. Some countries are able to support large, well resourced delegations with other countries struggling to participate at all through cost and language barriers. Within countries, there are similar issues where lack of effective democratic participation in policy development is likely to result in policy which benefits the interests of the most powerful and vocal groups.17 Given the urgency and extent of action required to avert the more extreme impacts of climate change, a high level of commitment and engagement is required across all levels of government, economic sectors and communities. Procedural fairness (perceived and actual) will therefore be particularly important in the development of effective and timely climate change responses as informed debate and genuine participation will be critical elements in achieving and sustaining the required level of public support and motivation.18 Yet there is also an inherent conflict in the development of climate policy between public participation and acceptance, which are prerequisites for action in a democracy but take time and resources to build; and achievement of swift outcomes in societies so deeply reliant on activities which generate carbon emissions. These different dimensions of climate equity are not always in accord and are the battle ground of powerful vested interests. Climate change is also occurring in the context of existing economic and demographic trends such as urbanisation and economic globalisation which can exacerbate, undermine or provide opportunities for equitable mitigation and adaptation in complex ways. While these intra-generational equity issues are fundamental to an ethical approach to climate change, they may conflict with intergenerational equity considerations. As Clive Hamilton has argued, the

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key point to note in relation to the distributional consequences of climate change is that the consequences of not acting to reduce climate change are likely to be far more unjust and regressive than the outcomes of a rapid and equitable approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation.19 This necessitates a risk assessment overlay to equity considerations at all levels of governance. It is critical that immediate moderate equity risks such as increased costs of goods and services are considered in the context of more substantial risks of injury, displacement and more serious financial impacts for future generations if substantial climate change mitigation is ineffective.

Climate Justice Goals and Strategies Informed by these reflections on the key ethical dilemmas and challenges, the next task is to identify some working principles or goals to inform policy directions and priorities. Paavola, Adger and Huq have identified four goals for equitable global climate change adaptation which could form broad criteria informing the development of an equitable approach to climate change policy. These goals are: • ‘avoiding dangerous climate change’; • ‘forward looking responsibility’; • ‘putting the most vulnerable first’; and • ‘fair participation for all’.20 These principles of prevention, inter-generational sustainability, protection of the rights of the most vulnerable and fair participation encompass distributional, intergenerational and procedural justice issues and usefully complement an environmental space approach to sustainable resource use. The first principle of an equitable response to climate change must be prevention—effective and rapid action to avoid dangerous climate change. 21 Climate policy choices should therefore first be evaluated by their emissions reduction potential at a global, rather than national level, to avoid transferal of emissions or climate impacts onto other communities. Policy options which merely displace emissions to other countries will not prevent dangerous climate change.

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While climate change prevention must be the fundamental intergenerational equity concern of climate policy, policy options should also be assessed as to their broader long-term social, environmental and economic implications. The emissions reduction benefits of nuclear energy must, for example, be balanced against the long term threats to future generations posed by environmental, health, social and economic challenges of storing and managing radioactive waste. Building on a platform of effective action to prevent dangerous climate change, the next step is to assess policy choices according to their impact in protecting the most vulnerable by: reducing exposure and/or increasing adaptive capacity of the • most vulnerable communities and population groups; and avoiding entrenching or exacerbating existing inequalities, for • example, by creating disproportionate financial impacts on poor households. The entire policy development, implementation and evaluation process should involve active participation of stakeholders, with an emphasis on the fair participation of vulnerable and marginalised groups. Without strong democratic engagement in policy development, political acceptance and equitable outcomes are jeopardised.

Climate Justice Policies across Scales of Geography and Governance Most aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation require policy action on multiple scales of governance—the global as well as the appropriate subsidiary levels—to unsure an effective and equitable response. As an issue of the global commons, with diverse origins and impacts, climate change must be initially addressed by action at the international level to ensure maximal participation, efficiency and equity between nations.22 However, ‘this does not mean that the appropriate scale of governance is global for all related climate change issues’.23 The focus, particularly by politicians and the media, on climate justice initiatives at the international and national level through the UNFCCC has meant that work on climate equity issues at sub-national and regional levels have been less well explored.24

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The interaction of climate change policy across scales of governance can be envisaged as a series of nested ‘Russian dolls’ with each determining the context in which the next level operates, from the global to the local. Understanding and addressing the local and regional impacts and implications of decisions made at national and international levels of governance will therefore become an increasing important and challenging priority.25 Mitigation frameworks and target setting are best effected at higher governance levels to create a common legislative environment in which institutional and individual action can take place efficiently.26 Climate change adaptation activities and impacts however are often highly localised and therefore best addressed at regional and local governance levels. Yet in both climate change mitigation and adaptation there are complex interrelationships between different scales: ‘Global changes in climate, environment, economics, populations, governments, institutions, and cultures converge in localities. Changes at a local scale, in turn, contribute to global changes as well as being affected by them’.27 These interactions between different levels of governance can create a disjunction between the action required and the capacity for this action at different scales.28 Local communities and governments may often be in the best position to identify and understand local impacts but are often constrained by lack of access to relevant policy levers as well as the necessary skills and resources. Clarity about which levels of governance are most suited to respond to different aspects of the climate change policy problem is essential to maximise the effectiveness of outcomes. Cash and Moser outline the need to match environmental issues and responses to the appropriate level of governance, taking into account geographical jurisdiction, ‘technical and institutional strengths’ and the complex ‘driving and constraining forces’ at both higher and lower levels of governance.29

Climate Justice in the Australian Policy Context The task of reducing Australia’s emissions by somewhere in the order of 90 per cent over the course of the next 50 years from a baseline trend of relatively rapid emissions growth and a heavily carbon dependent economy is a multi-dimensional public policy challenge

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of unprecedented complexity. Responding to this challenge will require actions which rise above the dominant ‘business as usual’ approach to economic growth targets and policies.30 It will also require the development and implementation of a comprehensive framework to analyse the social justice dimensions of climate change and their implications for policy making at various levels of governance. The principles outlined above—preventing dangerous climate change, protecting the rights of the most vulnerable, intergenerational sustainability and fair participation—provide a useful starting point for an Australian climate justice framework. Noting that all four principles are critical, the following discussions focuses particularly on the challenge of protecting the rights and livelihoods of the most vulnerable. This will require successful action in relation to five key tasks: 1 engaging citizens and communities with a particular focus on involving and engaging the most excluded and vulnerable individuals and groups; 2 assessing and tracking vulnerability to both physical and social impacts of climate change and climate change policy including the development of relevant indicators, scenarios and ‘tipping points’; 3 mapping the equity issues and policy levers across different policy areas; 4 mapping the linkages and interactions across levels of governance assessing likely barriers to equitable outcomes; and 5 developing and disseminating knowledge of successful equitable mitigation and adaptation policy options to inform policy making. In the following section we use the example of food security policy to illustrate the way in which these tasks should inform policy development and implementation across different spheres of jurisdiction and governance. Food security can be defined as ‘the state in which all persons obtain a nutritionally adequate, culturally acceptable diet at all times through local non-emergency sources’.31 This requires affordable, physically accessible, safe, culturally appropriate and secure food

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supplies in local communities.32 Food insecurity ranges from stress about and difficulty accessing sufficient appropriate food to hunger and food deprivation.33 Climate change is likely to impact on food production through changes in the viability of agricultural land and water availability, disruptions due to extreme weather events and corresponding increases in food costs.34 The rate and extent of climate change will determine the level of impact on food security with more extreme scenarios severely testing the capacity of agricultural systems to effectively adapt to climate change impacts.35 In addition, climate change mitigation policies such as carbon pricing have the potential to increase food prices through increasing costs of fossil fuel based agricultural inputs and transport.36 The use of food crops for bio-fuels is also increasing pressure on global food supplies and raising the cost of basic foods.37 The climate equity challenge in relation to food security is to create an Australian climate change adapted food system which generates substantially less carbon emissions while maintaining an affordable food supply, especially to the most vulnerable in our communities. Doing so will involve a transformation of existing food systems including production, storage and distribution with a shift to more localised production and distribution systems likely to be particularly important.38 While a detailed exploration of such a transformation is beyond the scope of this paper, the following discussion provides an initial exploration of some of the key features of an equitable approach to food security and climate change policy development. 1. Engaging Citizens and Communities The first step is to ensure that all citizens and communities have access to the accurate and up to date information about climate change and food security trends needed to make informed and considered choices. This includes choices about food consumption and production effecting individuals, families, households and local communities as well as broader political and policy choices. In addition to accessible information it will also be important to support a wide range of on line and face to face deliberative processes which enable

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complex and potentially conflict-prone issues to be debated and addressed respectfully, quickly and effectively. 2. Assessing and Tracking Vulnerability Understanding the geographic and demographic distribution of climate vulnerability within and between communities involves exploring relative exposure and sensitivity to climate change impacts as well as adaptive capacity. The growing body of work on the impacts of climate change on low income and disadvantaged communities in Australia illustrates the ways in which exposure to physical climate change impacts varies geographically according to the distribution of: • likely increases in temperature; • changes in rainfall patterns and water availability; • extent of sea level rise, consequent erosion and storm surge encroachment; and • location of flood plains and areas prone to other extreme weather events such as bushfires.39 Work to identify relative sensitivity to climate change impacts is less well developed, but has commenced on a number of fronts, especially with regard to resource dependent economies such as tourism and agriculture as well as geographically vulnerable communities such as coastal areas and remote Indigenous communities.40 Key dimensions of sensitivity to climate change impacts include: • dependence on natural resources (agricultural, natural resource based industries, tourism); • pre-existing medical conditions; • insurance coverage; • climate resilience of housing; and • access to and climate resilience of water and energy infrastructure. The third dimension of climate change vulnerability, adaptive capacity, is the least well explored. Key dimensions of adaptive capacity include:

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• • • • •

socioeconomic status (financial adaptive capacity); social exclusion and pre-existing social disadvantage; health status; access to social capital; and pre-existing geographic disadvantage in terms of access to infrastructure, services, and living costs.

While there is limited data collection on food insecurity in Australia, the 1995 National Nutrition Survey found a food insecurity rate of 5 per cent41 which is reflected in more recent data for Victoria recording a rate of approximately 6 per cent.42 Vulnerability to food insecurity is linked to a number of factors including: • financial resources; • physical ability to acquire and prepare food; • geographical isolation; • availability of public transport and accessibility of the built environment; and • location of food outlets.43 The particular groups within Australian communities likely to be most at risk of food insecurity map closely to those at greatest risk from climate change as outlined above including: • older people; • migrants and refugees; • rural communities; • indigenous communities; and • low income households.44 Understanding how vulnerable individuals and communities currently respond to existing food insecurity is critical in directing attention both to successful and culturally appropriate policy responses and to the likely impacts on climate change on these strategies. For example, if low income households currently travel further to access cheaper sources of food or emergency relief in times of financial stress, higher transport costs associated with carbon pricing may undermine this strategy.

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3. Mapping Equity Issues and Policy Levers across Policy Areas The third key task involves mapping equitable policy options and levers across diverse policy areas and integrating this work as part of a broader vulnerability assessment. The main focus of recent Australian climate equity work has been on the need to address the distributional consequences of an emissions trading scheme, given that this is the current primary national mitigation policy response.45 Emerging examples of more comprehensive analysis across policy areas is provided by the adaptation assessment and action plan developed by the Department of Health in Western Australia46 and, at a local level, by the Climate Adaptation Framework developed by the Southern Grampians Primary Care Partnership.47 Table 1 provides an indicative overview of the range of policy issues and debates relevant to developing an equitable approach to food security and climate change. Table 1: Equity Issues Across Policy Areas: Food Security and Climate Change Policy area

Equity considerations

Emergency management

Are emergency food distribution systems aware of and able to reach vulnerable people?

Health

How will higher costs of fresh foods affect health inequalities?

Industry and employment

How can local food industries prepare for and adapt to climate change to ensure the availability of affordable food?

Education and training

Are health, planning, policy and community service professions receiving adequate training to identify and response to food security issues?

Housing

How does the location of affordable housing interact with availability of affordable, accessible and culturally appropriate food?

Land-use planning

Are planning decisions ensuring an adequate distribution of affordable and food outlets stocking fresh food?

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Policy area

Equity considerations Is climate change resilient agricultural land being built over?

Transport

Is there adequate public transport to linking vulnerable communities to food outlets? Are transport alternatives in place to support shopping for people who can’t use public transport?

Energy

How will carbon pricing effect energy costs? How do we ensure people have energy to prepare food?

Water

Does water allocation support sustainable local food production? Does water pricing and water rationing effect the ability of vulnerable groups to grow their own food?

Agriculture and drought

How can food production be climate change resilient to ensure food availability and affordability?

Taxation and income security

Are statutory incomes correctly determined to ensure that people can continue to afford adequate food if prices rise?

Community development

Are local communities supported to develop informal food security systems and innovative local strategies?

Natural resource management

Are our catchments well managed to ensure ongoing water supply for food production?

International relations

Do our international trade agreements ensure food supplies under climate change?

4. Mapping Linkages and Interactions across Levels of Governance Mitigation and adaption action is often highly localised, resting with individual, household and organisational decision making. However, the knowledge needed to inform action, and the institutional and cultural context which determines the frame in which decision making can take place, is often located at national and international levels. Policy decisions at higher levels of governance can constrain the

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policy options available at lower levels, by determining the legal boundaries of policy action and altering the costs and benefits for different policy choices.48 For example, legally binding emissions reduction targets at the international level are likely to determine the minimum reduction level at national and sub-national levels. Australia’s proposed national emissions trading scheme will determine the market conditions in which sub-national policies around more localised emission reduction or energy efficiency schemes will operate, and will alter the relative price of many goods and services, including food. On the other hand it is important not to overstate the extent of the constraints on national and local action. International decisionmaking processes such as the Kyoto agreement are limited in their capacity to genuinely bind subsidiary jurisdictions. In some countries, such as the United States, a lack of national leadership has created the political space for states like California to implement significant emission reduction measures. The multi-level responses required for effective emission reduction carries equity implications at all levels of governance. The three tiers of government in Australia—national, state and local—sit within our involvement in international governance structures, trade arrangements and policies. How might a complex issue like food security in relation to climate change map across different scales of government? Each level of government in Australia has a degree of power to address aspects of food availability and affordability in the face of climate change through a number of avenues including: generating knowledge and understanding of the issue; • changing the dynamics of food supply and demand; • altering the system of food distribution; and • developing and disseminating best practice equitable policy • options. Australia in a Global Context The UNFCCC has, as a central goal, the need to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions at a level which prevents dangerous climate change ‘within a timeframe sufficient … to ensure that food production is not threatened’.49 This acknowledgement of the critical link between

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dangerous climate change and global food supplies is crucial. However, it is also important to note the ways in which the impacts of climate change interact with the existing inequities of the global food system which already creates enough food to simultaneously allow enormous waste of food in high consumption societies while onesixth of the world’s population do not get sufficient food to meet minimum dietary requirements.50 The threats to global food production from climate change will undoubtedly exacerbate existing inequalities in access to food at affordable prices. Global action motivated by the threat of climate change could also provide an opportunity to address existing food security issues through adaptation and mitigation measures. International trade regimes and financial structures also create the context in which food security at national and sub-national levels is played out. From an Australian perspective, multi- and bilateral trade agreements which determine agricultural terms of trade will in part create the context of our ability to respond to climate change impacts on local food production as well as impacting food prices. Australia’s involvement in the international action on climate change through the UNFCCC, including internationally negotiated emission reduction targets and timelines, will impact on changes required to reduce the carbon intensity of Australian agriculture as well as laying the framework for national level mitigation policies. The National Policy Context Australian responsibility for the design and implementation of mitigation policies including emissions trading and renewable energy targets is increasingly being consolidated at the national level. The Commonwealth government has carriage of a number of policy areas which impact on food supply and are likely to become more important as climate change intensifies. These include: implementation of a carbon price through an emissions trading • scheme which will directly increase the cost of energy and transport fuel creating flow on effects to food prices;51 • agricultural climate change adaptation programs though the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF);

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• • •



drought relief delivered through Centrelink which affects the context in which adaptation decisions of individual farmers are made; income security and taxation policies impacting on food affordability for low income groups; industry and labour market policies; and partial funding of emergency relief providers through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA). Other policy areas directly effecting food supply such as water availability in Australia’s major irrigation systems cross state boundaries and are emerging as increasingly contested political battle fields.

State Level Policy Context Australian state and territory governments retain significant responsibility for a wide range of planning, infrastructure and service delivery functions. Policy areas likely to affect food supply in relation to climate change include: regional assessments of agricultural vulnerability and adaptive • capacity to climate change which interact with drought and regional development policies setting the scene for the adaptive choices available to food producers; 52 • planning decisions around the use of land, especially the use of agricultural land on the fringes of urban developments which may impact on future affordable food supplies, especially if more marginal agricultural land in less populated areas becomes unviable; and water pricing and state level water restrictions which influence • the ability of communities to grow more of their own food. Access to food outlets is determined by both physical ability and availability of transport options. The presence of ‘food deserts’, where a food outlet with a range of fresh food is not available within walking distance,53 is likely to compound food insecurity as food and transport prices increase due to climate change. State governments have carriage of policies which determine:

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• •

planning frameworks effecting the location of food outlets; and public transport provision and connection to food outlets.

Local Policy Contexts While local government has limited control over macro level economic and social trends, including those which influence food prices, it can play an essential role in analysing, explaining and influencing local impacts, adaptive capacity and actions to address food security. Local governments in Australia are well placed to undertake: • assessment and monitoring of current adaptive measures that vulnerable communities use to address food insecurity; • development of innovative and targeted responses to food security issues; • local community capacity building and activities to support local formal and informal emergency relief networks; actions which facilitate alternative, active transport options (for • example, walking, cycling); and local planning and zoning for the use of public space including • for food production. Local governments also have an important role in implementing programs to build local social capital. Strengthening social connectedness is a critical element of adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change more generally, including food security issues.54 However, the nature and inclusiveness of local social networks is not always well examined and strong bonded social networks can marginalise vulnerable community members especially in times of crisis.55 5. Generation and Dissemination of Policy Knowledge Effective translation of knowledge and understanding about the relationship between climate change and food security will require a proactive, strategic approach built on a clear understanding of the wide variety of relevant policy jurisdictions and audiences. The cross sectoral and cross disciplinary nature of these policy issues creates particular challenges for communicating across diverse and competing policy discourses. In addition, there is a need to more effectively communicate with, involve and engage policy actors in all spheres of

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government as well as in the community and private sectors. This will require considerable skill, creativity and mutual respect to overcome misunderstandings and suspicions and to maximise the complementarity and effectiveness of policy responses.

Conclusion This overview of climate justice debates, goals and strategies has argued that key principles informing the development and implementation of equitable climate change policies need to include: prevention of dangerous climate change, promotion of inter-generational sustainability, and protection of the rights of the most vulnerable and fair, democratic participation. Key tasks in building an equitable approach to climate mitigation and adaptation include: engaging citizens and communities, assessing and tracking the climate change vulnerability of places and populations, mapping equity policy levers and linkages across diverse policy areas and levels of governance and disseminating knowledge of equitable mitigation and adaptation policy options. More broadly, the chapter is also intended as a contribution to the larger debate about the relationship between ecological, economic and social justice principles and objectives. As George Monbiot has noted, a full understanding of the consequences and implications of climate change calls for a response that extends well beyond technical fixes and cost benefit analyses.56 The larger and increasingly urgent challenge is to begin to envisage and build social and economic relationships which are based on sustainable and just patterns of growth and consumption. That analysis informs our view that the debate about social justice and climate change needs ultimately to be located in the context of the larger research and policy question: what social, economic, technological and political transformations are needed to reduce carbon emissions to prevent catastrophic impacts and adapt to climate change in ways which are healthy, just and sustainable?

Notes 1 2 3 4

Lee, Climate Change and Equity in Victoria, p. 1. World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, p. 43. Spratt and Sutton, Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action. Brooks, Vulnerability, Risk and Adaptation: A Conceptual Framework; Paavola and Adger, ‘Fair Adaptation to Climate Change’, p. 604.

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5 6 7

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

206

Adger, Paavola and Huq, ‘Toward Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’, p. 5. ibid., p. 3. Grasso, ‘A Normative Ethical Framework in Climate Change’; Wesley and Peterson, ‘The Ethics of Burden-sharing in the Global Greenhouse’; Adger, Paavola and Huq, ‘Toward Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’; Paavola, ‘Fair Adaptation to Climate Change’. McDonald, ‘Fair Weather Friend? Ethics and Australia’s Approach to Global Climate Change’, p. 217. United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Baer, ‘Adaptation: Who Pays Whom?’, p. 140. McLaren, ‘Environmental Space, Equity and Ecological Debt’; Leary, ‘A Welfare Theoretic Analysis of Climate Change Inequities’. Grassl, H. et al., Climate Protection Strategies for the 21st Century: Kyoto and Beyond, pp. 24–5. Spangenberg, ‘Environmental Space and the Prism of Sustainability: Framework for Indicators Measuring Sustainable Development’. McLaren, ‘Environmental Space, Equity and Ecological Debt’; Leary, ‘A Welfare Theoretic Analysis of Climate Change Inequities’. That is, at the upper limit of the 70–90 per cent reductions anticipated for a per capita model in Garnaut, Climate Change Review: Interim Report to the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments of Australia, p. 39. Wesley and Peterson, ‘The Ethics of Burden-sharing in the Global Greenhouse’. Pearse, High and Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the Selling of Australia’s Future. Paavola and Adger, ‘Fair Adaptation to Climate Change’. Hamilton, Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change. Paavola, Adger and Huq, ‘Multifaceted Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’, p. 269. Spratt and Sutton, Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action. Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’. Adger, ‘Scales of Governance and Environmental Justice for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change’, p. 921–2. Thomas and Twyman, ‘Equity and Justice in Climate Change Adaptation Amongst Natural-resource-dependent Societies’, p. 115. Adger, ‘Scales of Governance and Environmental Justice for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change’, p. 924. Cash and Moser, ‘Linking Global and Local Scales: Designing Dynamic Assessment and Management Processes’, p. 112. Wilbanks and Kates, ‘Global Change in Local Places: How Scale Matters’, p. 601. Wilbanks and Kates, ‘Global Change in Local Places: How Scale Matters’. Cash and Moser, ‘Linking Global and Local Scales: Designing Dynamic Assessment and Management Processes’, p. 117. Spratt and Sutton, Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action.

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31 Community Food Security Coalition, 1995 cited in VicHealth, Healthy Eating: Food Security Investment Plan: 2005-2012, p. 2. 32 Booth and Smith, ‘Food Security and Poverty in Australia: Challenges for Dieticians’, p. 150. 33 Klein, ‘Food Security and Hunger Measures: Promising Future for State and Local Household Surveys’. 34 Easterling et al., ‘Food, Fibre and Forest Products’; Quiggin, Drought, Climate Change and Food Prices in Australia. 35 ibid. 36 Larsen, Ryan and Abraham, Sustainable and Secure Food Systems for Victoria: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?, p. 7. 37 Quiggin, Drought, Climate Change and Food Prices in Australia, p. 7. 38 Larsen, Ryan and Abraham, Sustainable and Secure Food Systems for Victoria: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?. 39 Lee, Climate Change and Equity in Victoria; Fritze, Climate Change and Drought Policy in Victoria: Policy Context and Recommendations for VCOSS; Brotherhood of St Laurence, Equity in Response to Climate Change Roundtable 2007; CSIRO, Climate Change in Australia: Technical Report 2007. 40 Sietchiping, ‘Applying an Index of Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in North-western Victoria, Australia’; Green, Climate Change and Health: Impacts on Remote Indigenous Communities in Northern Australia; Preston et al., Mapping Climate Change Vulnerability in the Sydney Coastal Councils Group. 41 Booth and Smith, ‘Food Security and Poverty in Australia: Challenges for Dieticians’, p. 151. 42 Community Indicators Victoria. 43 VicHealth, Healthy Eating: Food Security Investment Plan: 2005–2012, p. 6; Wrigley, Warm and Margetts, ‘Deprivation, Diet and Food-retail Access: Findings From the Leeds “Food Deserts” Study’. 44 Booth and Smith, ‘Food Security and Poverty in Australia: Challenges for Dieticians’, pp. 151–2; VicHealth, Healthy Eating: Food Security Investment Plan: 2005–2012, p. 5; Lee, Climate Change and Equity in Victoria. 45 ACOSS, ACF and Choice, Energy and Equity: Preparing Households for Climate Change—Efficiency, Equity, Immediacy; Unkles and Stanley, Carbon Use in Poor Victorian Households by Local Government Area; Hatfield-Dodds, Energy Affordability, Living Standards and Emissions Trading: Assessing the Social Impacts of Achieving Deep Cuts in Australian Greenhouse Emissions. 46 Spickett, Brown and Katscherian, Health Impacts of Climate Change: Adaptation Strategies for Western Australia. 47 Rowe and Thomas, Strategic Framework: Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change and Rural Adjustment. 48 Adger, Arnell and Tompkins, ‘Successful Adaptation to Climate Change across Scales’; Wilbanks and Kates, ‘Global Change in Local Places: How Scale Matters’.

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49 United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 50 United Nations Millennium Project, Halving Hunger: It Can Be Done. 51 National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, The Impact of Carbon Prices on Victorian and Australian Households. 52 Sietchiping, ‘Applying an Index of Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in North-western Victoria, Australia’. 53 Wrigley, Warm and Margetts, ‘Deprivation, Diet and Food-retail Access: Findings from the Leeds “Food Deserts” Study’. 54 Adger, ‘Social Capital, Collective Action and Adaptation to Climate Change’; Pelling and High, Understanding Adaptation: What Can Social Capital Offer Assessments of Adaptive Capacity? 55 Pelling and High, Understanding Adaptation: What Can Social Capital Offer Assessments of Adaptive Capacity?, p. 315. 56 Monbiot, Heat.

Bibliography Adger, Neil, ‘Scales of Governance and Environmental Justice for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change’, Journal of International Development, vol. 13, 2001, pp. 921–31. ——‘Social Capital, Collective Action and Adaptation to Climate Change’, Economic Geography, vol. 79, 2003, pp. 387–404. Adger, Neil, Nigel W. Arnell and Emma Tompkins, ‘Successful Adaptation to Climate Change Across Scales’, Global Environmental Change Part A, vol. 15, 2005, pp. 77–86. Adger, Neil, Jouni Paavola and Saleemul Huq, ‘Toward Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’, in N. Adger, J. Paavola, S. Huq and M. Mace (eds), Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006, pp. 1–19. Australian Council of Social Service, Australian Conservation Foundation and Choice, Energy and Equity: Preparing Households for Climate Change: Efficiency, Equity, Immediacy, Australian Council of Social Service, Australian Conservation Foundation and Choice, Sydney, 2008. Baer, Paul, ‘Adaptation: Who Pays Whom?’, in N. Adger, J. Paavola, S. Huq and M. Mace, (eds), Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006, pp. 131–54. Booth, S. and A. Smith, ‘Food Security and Poverty in Australia: Challenges for Dieticians’, Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 58, 2001, pp. 150–6. Brooks, Nick, Vulnerability, Risk and Adaptation: A Conceptual Framework, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 2003. Brotherhood of St Laurence, Equity in Response to Climate Change Roundtable 2007, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne, 2007. Cash, David and Susanne Moser, ‘Linking Global and Local Scales: Designing Dynamic Assessment and Management Processes’, Global Environmental Change, vol. 10, 2000, pp. 109–20.

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Community Indicators Victoria, www.communityindicators.net.au CSIRO, Climate Change in Australia: Technical Report 2007, CSIRO, Canberra, 2007. Easterling, William et al., ‘Food, Fibre and Forest Products’, in IPCC, Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M. Parry, O. Canziani, J. Pulutikof et al., (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007. Fritze, Jess, Climate Change and Drought Policy in Victoria: Policy Context and Recommendations for VCOSS, Victorian Council of Social Service, Melbourne, 2007. Garnaut, Ross, Climate Change Review: Interim Report to the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments of Australia, 2008. Geddes, Mike, ‘International Perspectives and Policy Issues’, in P. Smyth, T. Reddel and A. Jones (eds), Community and Local Governance in Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2005. Grassl, H. et al., Climate Protection Strategies for the 21st Century: Kyoto and Beyond, German Advisory Council on Climate Change, Berlin, 2003. Grasso, Marco, ‘A Normative Ethical Framework in Climate Change’, Climatic Change, vol. 81, 2007, pp. 223–46. Green, Donna, Climate Change and Health: Impacts on Remote Indigenous Communities in Northern Australia, CSIRO, Canberra, 2006. Hamilton, Clive, Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change, Black Ink, Sydney, 2007. Hardin, Garrett, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, vol. 162, 1968, pp. 1243–8. Hatfield-Dodds, Steve and Richard Denniss, Energy Affordability, Living Standards and Emissions Trading: Assessing the Social Impacts of Achieving Deep Cuts in Australian Greenhouse Emissions, CSIRO, Canberra, 2008. Klein, Bruce W., ‘Food Security and Hunger Measures: Promising Future for State and Local Household Surveys’, Family Economics and Nutrition Review, vol. 9, 1996. Larsen, Kirsten, Chris Ryan and Asha Abraham, Sustainable and Secure Food Systems for Victoria: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?, Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab, Australian Centre for Science, Innovation and Society, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 2008. Leary, Neil, ‘A Welfare Theoretic Analysis of Climate Change Inequities’, in N. Adger, J. Paavola, S. Huq and M. Mace (eds), Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006, pp. 155–78. Lee, Josie, Climate Change and Equity in Victoria, Friends of the Earth, Melbourne, 2007. McDonald, Matt, ‘Fair Weather Friend? Ethics and Australia’s Approach to Global Climate Change’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 51, 2005, pp. 216–34. McLaren, Duncan, ‘Environmental Space, Equity and Ecological Debt’, in J. Agyeman, R. Bullard and B. Evans (eds), Just Sustainabilities:

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Development in an Unequal World, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003, pp. 19–37. Monbiot, George, Heat, Allen Lane, London, 2006. National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, The Impact of Carbon Prices on Victorian and Australian Households, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne, 2007. Paavola, Jouni and Neil Adger, ‘Fair Adaptation to Climate Change’, Ecological Economics, vol. 56, 2006, pp. 594–609. Paavola, Jouni, Neil Adger and Saleemul Huq, ‘Multifaceted Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’, in N. Adger, J. Paavola, S. Huq and M. Mace (eds), Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006, pp. 263–78. Pearse, Guy, High and Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the Selling of Australia’s Future, Penguin, Sydney, 2007. Pelling, Mark and Chris High, ‘Understanding Adaptation: What Can Social Capital Offer Assessments of Adaptive Capacity?’, Global Environmental Change Part A, vol. 15, 2005, pp. 308–19. Preston, Benjamin et al., Mapping Climate Change Vulnerability in the Sydney Coastal Councils Group, Sydney Coastal Councils Group and CSIRO, Sydney, 2008. Quiggin, John, Drought, Climate Change and Food Prices in Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation, Melbourne, 2007. Rowe, Rose and Anita Thomas, ‘Strategic Framework: Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change and Rural Adjustment’, Southern Grampians Primary Care Partnership, Victoria, www.sggpcp.com/news/CC%20Framework%20 Consultation%20Draft.pdf Sietchiping, Remy, ‘Applying an Index of Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in North-Western Victoria’, Applied GIS, vol. 2, 2006. Spangenberg, Joachim, ‘Environmental Space and the Prism of Sustainability: Framework for Indicators Measuring Sustainable Development’, Ecological Indicators, vol. 2, 2002, pp. 295–309. Spickett, Jeff, Helen Brown and Dianne Katscherian, Health Impacts of Climate Change: Adaptation Strategies for Western Australia, Environmental Health Directorate, Department of Health (WA), Perth, 2008. Spratt, David and Philip Sutton, Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action, Scribe Publications, Melbourne, 2008. Thomas, David and Chasca Twyman, ‘Equity and Justice in Climate Change Adaptation amongst Natural-resource-dependent Societies’, Global Environmental Change Part A, vol. 15, 2005, pp. 115–24. United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations, Geneva, 1992. United Nations Millennium Project, Halving Hunger: It Can Be Done, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, 2005. Unkles, Bill and Janet Stanley, Carbon Use in poor Victorian Households by Local Government Area, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne, 2008.

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VicHealth, Healthy Eating: Food Security Investment Plan: 2005–2012, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne, 2005. Wesley, E. and F. Peterson, ‘The Ethics of Burden-sharing in the Global Greenhouse’, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, vol. 11, 1999, pp. 167–96. Wilbanks, Thomas and Robert Kates, ‘Global Change in Local Places: How Scale Matters’, Climatic Change, vol. 43, 1999, pp. 601–28. World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1987. Wrigley, Neil, Daniel Warm and Barrie Margetts, ‘Deprivation, Diet and FoodRetail Access: Findings from the Leeds “Food Deserts” Study’, Environment and Planning A, vol. 35, 2003, pp. 151–88.

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11

More than Just Money Remembering Equity and Justice in International Adaptation Policy Charlotte L. Sterrett

The largest producers of greenhouse gases must bear responsibility for the damage being caused … in particular to the vulnerable countries whose sustainability and very existence are increasingly threatened by their actions. Prime Minister Stephenson King of Saint Lucia1

There is deep injustice in the impacts of climate change. The rich countries that are largely responsible for causing the problem through many decades of unabated greenhouse gas emissions disproportionately reap the economic benefits of fossil-fuel-dependent growth.2 Yet poor countries are being worst affected, facing more severe droughts, floods, hunger, and disease, and with less capacity to adapt.3 Within international climate change policy this injustice is entrenched by inequities in power relations in international negotiations, an ongoing lack of consideration for affected communities by rich developed nations, and a disregard for equity and justice. Given the current lack of effective international climate change policy, the rights of world’s most vulnerable people are at risk. This

chapter argues that the international community, in particular those with the responsibility and capacity to act, must bolster those rights in its response to climate change. This chapter begins by demonstrating how poor, developing communities are suffering the physical effects of climate change first and worst. It then sets out principles for adaptation policy that are sustainable and equitable for the world’s poor before examining international climate change adaptation policy. With particular reference to the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds, this chapter demonstrates how this type of funding is unable to protect those who are set to suffer the most—the world’s poor. Finally, this chapter offers possible solutions and ways forward for international climate adaptation policy that are sustainable, equitable, and reach those that need it most.

Poor Communities Hit First and Worst In 2007 damages from severe flooding alone in Northern Fiji cost FJ$10m ($7.1m).4 In Tuvalu king tides destroyed many homes and contaminated food supplies.5 In the 2004–05 cyclone season the Cook Islands incurred millions of dollars of damage from five cyclones in one single month, heavily affecting its economy and infrastructure.6 People living on low lying islands around the world—in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, or in the Caribbean—are already being affected by rising seas and salt water inundation which contribute to crop losses, destruction of fresh water sources, and flooding. For them, climate change is already a terrifying, and all-too-real future. Ben Namakin, a resident of Kiribati, says: During my childhood … we never experienced severe sea flooding. There were storms, but they weren’t that bad. As the sea levels continue to rise in Kiribati, several king tides hit the island. Saltwater intrusion affects the quality of water in wells; floods taro patches, gardens, and puts stress on plants/trees which are very important to the life and culture of an I-Kiribati.7 In the Western world we are slowly waking up to the issue. In 2006 the world watched Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth. In 2007

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the Nobel Peace Prize was jointly shared by Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In the same year climate change played a significant role in the Australian Federal Election. The sustained media interest around the current drought, recent bushfires and floods, and most recently the Garnaut Climate Change Review are further examples that we are now paying attention. However, despite these events, within the current debate in the Western world we are lacking in-depth analyses on climate change from a development perspective. Climate change is already beginning to undermine poverty reduction and sustainable development objectives under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and is set to get worse.8 It affects all sectors of development, from food and water security, to health and sanitation, to displacement and migration, and conflict and disasters.9 And developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change because they are more dependent on their natural resources than developed countries, and have a lower capacity to cope with environmental hazards and shocks.10 In the Pacific for example, many nations sit only a few metres above sea level and populations are concentrated in coastal areas, or in the coastal plains. Added to this, agricultural land, tourist resorts and associated infrastructure are concentrated in coastal zones. All these factors added together make these nations particularly vulnerable. In this debate we have forgotten to consider issues outside of science and economics: the issues of social justice, equity and responsibility. For poor people in developing countries who currently lack a voice these issues are a matter of life and death. Their voices must be heard in order for international policy to reflect real needs, and not just economic arguments. The reality is that climate change is the biggest moral and ethical issue facing our planet today, and how we rise to the challenge, ask and answer the ethical questions will play a significant part in determining the future of the world’s poor.

Costs Borne by Those Least Responsible No community with a sense of justice, compassion or respect for basic human rights should accept the current pattern of adaptation.11 Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town12

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Around the world the costs of adapting to climate change in developing countries are estimated to be in the tens of billions per year, and the cost of this is being disproportionately borne by countries not causing the problem.13 The costs to vulnerable developing economies are not only unaffordable, they are also a setback to achieving sustainable development. Worse still, even if global emissions are cut rapidly starting today, the impacts of climate change will worsen until at least 2030, due to the levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) already in the atmosphere, forcing people to adapt. For those already affected, the need for finance to support adaptation is urgent. To date, international policy on adaptation funding has been sluggish and insufficient.14 In 2007, the year that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its direst warnings to date of the impacts of climate change on vulnerable developing countries, the rich and high-polluting countries increased their contribution to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for urgent adaptation needs by a mere US$43 million, bringing the total amount pledged to a mere US$163 million.15 Since September 2007, the rich and highpolluting countries have increased their contributions to the Least Developed Countries Fund by only US$9.54 million,16 bringing the total pledged to US$172.84 million. Only US$91.84 million has been delivered to the LDCF.17 Oxfam’s estimate of the urgent adaptation needs to which this fund is devoted is at least US$2 billion, leaving a yawning gap between what is needed and what has been delivered.18

Principles for International Policy on Adaptation Funding Article 4.4 of the UNFCCC commits rich countries to ‘assist the developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting costs of adaptation to those adverse effects’.19 This statement places the responsibility for action on adaptation squarely on the shoulders of rich developed nations. In putting forward principles for adaptation policy, this article is central. Added to this is the need for all policy to be fair, adequate and reliable, as well as sustainable for the world’s poor. Any adaptation policy must therefore incorporate the following principles: 1 All multilateral financing for adaptation to be managed under the UNFCCC. This is because funds under the UNFCCC have the best structure and governance to:

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• • • •

2

3

4

5

prioritise the most vulnerable countries and communities; ensure developing-country ownership; ensure effective and accountable delivery; ensure funds will be managed according to principles agreed by all countries, as part of building developingcountry ownership and international trust. All financing for adaptation to be underpinned by the ‘polluter pays’ principle. All contributions should be based on a country’s historical responsibility for greenhouse gas pollution, and the capacity of that country to pay for adaptation.20 Financing to be raised through new binding funding mechanisms to guarantee adequate funds for adaptation. Current funding for adaptation misses the mark spectacularly, largely because it is voluntary. Financing to be unconditional. Funds to be provided as grants not loans, and to be additional to overseas development aid to ensure that we meet existing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) without diverting already committed funding.22 Financing to reach the most vulnerable. The greatest need for financial and technical support is in the poorest and most vulnerable communities. It is crucial that any funding allocated reduces climate change vulnerability.

International Progress to Date Under the UNFCCC there are currently two funds that provide opportunities to finance adaptation. The first is the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), and the second is the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). The total funding received for both funds is US$117 million.23 The miserly sum of funding is in part because contributions are not binding, but voluntary. Under the Kyoto Protocol the key opportunity for adaptation financing is the Adaptation Fund (AF). It has the capacity to offer the best sources of reliable funding for developing country adaptation. However, in its current state, it will never be able to provide the level of funding required because revenue raised is limited to one mechanism: a 2 per cent levy applied to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The total funding this is expected to raise by 2012 is only US$100–500 million, when global costs for adaptation in developing countries is estimated to be at least US$50 billion

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per annum.24 Given the paucity in financing available, and the need for developing countries to access billions more, there is much debate about how additional funding should be raised and disbursed. The World Bank is one proponent intent on playing its part in global efforts to finance adaptation. The World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds, approved by the Bank in July 2008, are expected to be worth between US$7–12 billion, of which the Strategic Climate Fund, aimed at financing adaptation projects in 5–10 developing countries, is expected to raise over US$1 billion.25 The World Bank states that in putting forward these funds that it ‘recognises that climate change is central to the sustainable development and poverty reduction agenda’, and that in light of this it wishes to establish funds to ‘scale-up financing available for policy reforms and investments that achieve sustainable development goals’.26 The funds are based on a number of guiding principles. These include: growth and poverty reduction, ensuring access to adequate financial resources for developing countries, finances that are country-driven and designed to support sustainable development, and that the UN is the appropriate body for broad policy on climate change and the bank should not pre-empt this.27 On the surface the Climate Investment Funds look promising, but once you delve a little deeper it becomes easier to see what’s written between the lines and what has been left out. First the manner in which the funds have been conceived and proposed may not result in the most appropriate outcomes for poor and vulnerable communities in developing countries. If concerns regarding governance and implementation of the funds are not given proper attention, their ultimate effectiveness in responding to the climate challenge may be significantly diminished and their operation might even undermine comprehensive international efforts to address the climate-related needs of developing countries. The following areas are of particular concern: the potential for diversion of support from UNFCCC funds, the proposed governance of the proposed funds, and the funds’ potential lifespan and relationship to UNFCCC negotiations. Second, it is critically important that the establishment and governance of these funds be tied to the central and most important multilateral institutional structure for addressing climate change, the UNFCCC. While the intention to provide a supportive role is

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important, the creation of such funds outside the ambit of the UNFCCC could in fact detract from the function of the UNFCCC and the multilateral climate negotiations, especially at this critical moment in the negotiating process. Climate-related finance is an integral part of the UNFCCC Bali Action Plan negotiations, and success in creating this financing, as part of the UN process, will be a major help in building trust and delivering vital outcomes. 28 Proliferation of global funds should be avoided, as this reduces overall effectiveness. Third, the donor-driven approach to these funds stands is stark contrast to the multilateral and more inclusive character of the UN negotiating process where recent negotiations at CMP13 set up a governance structure for the Adaptation Fund that has equal donor and recipient country representation.29 Fourth, given the ongoing nature of the negotiations the timing of the World Bank’s proposed funds diverts attention and resources from the establishment of a functioning UNFCCC Adaptation Fund. In order to help establish critically needed momentum for the Adaptation Fund, it is essential that any new proposals for new multilateral financial assistance for adaptation should be provided through the Adaptation Fund, including for programmatic adaptation efforts involving national development plans. In April 2008, at the recent Bangkok talks, delegates from the G77 and China made this very point, stating grave concerns about the Bank’s proposal and its attempts to undermine UNFCCC efforts and the Adaptation Fund.30 Other important points to add include the risk that this initiative will lead to the establishment of other top-down funds that lack adequate developing country participation, in order to make a ‘grab’ for the billions of dollars of funding that will be available in coming years. Under the funds, new financing will include loans, credit, guarantees and grants. Offering concessional loans is in direct opposition to the principle that financing should be unconditional and underpinned by the polluter pays principle.31 And if these funds are to be counted towards ODA, they will again fail the key principles set out earlier in the paper.32 Finally, one also has to question the role of the World Bank in climate change adaptation funding. Their long history and ongoing

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involvement in fossil fuels, and their poor environmental track record, and questionable governance arrangements, do not make them a first choice candidate to manage such a large portfolio of funding, or for ensuring sustainable development.33

Solutions for Sustainability, Equity and Justice With the debate on adaptation financing running hot in the past twelve months or so, there have been a number of options floated in the climate change arena besides that of the World Bank funding proposal. Using the principles of equity and justice, along with principles set out earlier in the paper, I would like to put forward one proposal that should be given further consideration: that of an international air travel adaptation levy. Aviation makes a substantial contribution to climate change. The IPCC estimates that globally, aviation accounts for 4 to 9 per cent of the climate change impact of human activity, and is growing exponentially.34 Worldwide passenger air travel rises at a rate of around 5 per cent annually which is currently faster than any other travel mode. Left unchecked, aviation may account for up to 15 per cent of global emissions by 2050.35 Essentially a carbon tax, taxing international aviation makes sense because most international aviation is a luxury good and those who use this good are wealthy in global terms.36 While the distributional impacts of the tax would not perfectly align with those who are most responsible for climate change, national consumption of international aviation is a rough proxy for contribution to global warming, and hence in line with the interpretation of the polluter pays principle.37 A levy or tax on international aviation is also attractive for practical reasons. It has the potential to raise enough revenue to form a significant new and additional finance mechanism for the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Fund. At the same time as potentially providing US$40 billion to the Fund, based on a per ticket surcharge of US$6–8; it would greatly improve the equity and justice dimensions of the Fund.38 Unlike the World Bank proposal which advocates loans rather than grants, the aviation tax recognises the essential principle of polluter pays. It ties the polluting activity with a means to assist

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developing countries adapt. While it not the only solution needed internationally, it should be one considered seriously as part of a more equitable means of tackling climate change.

Conclusion Climate change policy needs to act for tomorrow.39 However, in the current debate, there are mixed responses being advocated. On one side of the table are the developing countries who know what they need: finance for adaptation that is measurable, reportable, binding, adequate and reliable. They need to be able to have equal power in decision making in how this finance is managed and disbursed to ensure that the funding benefits those who are most affected and vulnerable. On the other side of the table are the rich developed nations, that, while realising in theory that they must do something to assist poor nations struggling to cope with impacts of climate change that developed nations caused, are still lacking in the political will to put their promises into powerful action. Under and around the table are civil society, development practitioners, environmentalists, scientific institutions, academics, and business, representing a multitude of disciplines, interests and beliefs, all hoping to influence the policy outcomes. In the struggle to tackle climate change the science is in, but this isn’t necessarily translating into action. Some of the solutions being put forward that are set to favour the poor are not being supported adequately. This is because unfortunately for those affected by climate change already, and into the future, climate change policy is still about economics, power and national interest politics. As a result, climate change policy lacks the equity and justice dimensions needed to ensure a future planet that is safe for all people, regardless of their socio-economic status or geographic location.

Notes 1 2 3 4 5

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King, speech at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2007. Oxfam International, ‘Financing Adaptation’. ibid. Naicker, ‘What to Pay for’. ibid.

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6 7 8 9 10 11

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

ibid. ibid. Oxfam Australia, ‘Climate Change and Development’. ibid. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2007. ‘Adaptation’ is the term used for the actions that are necessary for countries and communities to take to deal with the impacts of climate change. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2007. ibid; Oxfam International, ‘Adapting to Climate Change’. Huq and Alam, ‘Climate Change Adaptation’. These figures are sourced from the Global Environment Facility, as of September 2007. These figures are sourced from the Global Environment Facility, as of May 2008. ibid. Australia’s contribution to the LDCF is US$6.6 million. Oxfam International, ‘Adapting to Climate Change’. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Oxfam International, ‘Adapting to Climate Change’; Baer et al., ‘The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World’; La Trobe, Adaptation and the Post-2012 Framework. Oxfam International, ‘Financing Adaptation’; Global Environment Facility, Financing Adaptation. Oxfam International, ‘Adapting to Climate Change’; Make Poverty History, General Submission to the Garnaut Climate Change Review. Oxfam International, ‘Financing Adaptation’; Global Environment Facility Financing Adaptation Action. Harmeling and Bals, Adaptation and Climate Change; Oxfam International, ‘Adapting to Climate Change’. Müller and Winkler, ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?’. World Bank, Proposal for a Strategic Climate Fund. ibid. UNFCCC, Decision -/CP13 Bali Action Plan. ibid. Imbert et al., open letter. ibid. ibid. The Whirled Bank Group, Fossil Fuels and the World Bank. Penner, Aviation and the Global Atmosphere. ibid. O’Neill, ‘Funding Adaptation’. ibid. Müller and Hepburn, IATAL. DFID, ‘Adaptation to Climate Change’.

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Bibliography Baer, P., T. Athanasiou and S. Kartha, The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World: The Greenhouse Development Rights Framework, Heinrich Boll Foundation, Berlin, 2007. Department For International Development (DFID), ‘Adaptation to Climate Change: Making Development Disaster-Proof’, Key Sheet 06, DFID, London, 2004. Friedman, L., ‘Adaptation: World Bank Releases New Adaptation Plan’, Climate Wire, 7 April 2008, www.eenews.net Fry, I., ‘An International Blueprint on Adaptation’, paper presented at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP13 and COP/ MOP3, Bali, 3–14 December 2007. Global Environment Facility, Financing Adaptation Action, September 2007, www.gefweb.org/interior.aspx?id=232 Harmeling, S. and C. Bals, Adaptation to Climate Change: Where Do We Go from Bali?, Germanwatch, Bonn, 2008. Huq, S. and M. Alam, ‘Climate Change Adaptation in Post-2012 Architecture’, Progressive Governance, Policy Network, London, 2008. Imbert, Charlotte, Lucy Baker, George Gelbert, Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell et al., open letter to Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, 11 March 2008, BOND, Surrey, www.bond.org.uk/pubs/ groups/environment/feb08_deg_letter_ministers.pdf King, Stephenson, speech at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting, Vienna, September 2007, www.un.org/apps/ news/printnews.asp?nid=24065 La Trobe, S., Adaptation and the Post-2012 Framework, Tearfund, United Kingdom, 2007. Make Poverty History, General Submission to the Garnaut Climate Change Review, 10 April 2007, www.garnautreview.org.au/CA25734E0016A131/ WebObj/D0843883GeneralSubmission-MakePovertyHistoryFINAL/$File/D 08%2043883%20General%20Submission%20-%20Make%20Poverty%20Hist ory%20-%20FINAL.pdf Müller, B. and C. Hepburn, IATAL: An Outline Proposal for an International Air Travel Adaptation Levy, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Oxford, 2006. Müller, B. and H. Winkler, ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? The Governance of the World Bank Climate Investment Funds’, Oxford Energy and Environment Comment, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Oxford, February 2008. Naicker, J. R., ‘What to Pay for: Climate Change or Development’, Just Change: Critical Thinking on Global Issues, vol. 10, October 2007, p. 2. O’Neill, C., ‘Funding Adaptation through an International Air Levy’, Master’s essay, Harvard University, 2008. Oxfam Australia, ‘Climate Change and Development’, Public Policy Position, December 2007, www.oxfam.org.au/about/policy/POL/2_3_2.html Oxfam International, ‘Adapting to Climate Change: What’s Needed in Poor Countries and Who Should Pay’, Briefing Paper no. 108, Oxfam, Oxford, 2007.

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——‘Financing Adaptation: Why the UN’s Bali Climate Conference Should Mandate the Search for New Funds’, Briefing Note, Oxfam, Oxford, 2007. Penner, Joyce E. (ed.), Aviation and the Global Atmosphere: Report for the IPCC, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999. Practical Action, Funding Adaptation: A Summary of the Options, brochure, Practical Action, Rugby, UK, 2007. The Whirled Bank Group, Fossil Fuels and the World Bank, n.d., www.whirledbank.org/environment/fuels.html United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2007. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2007. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations, New York, 1992, http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf ——Decision -/CP13 Bali Action Plan, 2007, http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/ cop_13/application/pdf/cp_bali_action.pdf United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, ‘The Human Rights Impacts of Climate Change’, United Nations Joint Press Kit for Bali Climate Change Conference, www.un.org/climatechange/pdfs/bali/ohchr-bali07-19.pdf World Bank, Proposal for a Strategic Climate Fund, World Bank, Washington, DC, 28 April 2008, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTCC/Resources/ Proposal_for_a_Strategic_Climate_Fund_April_28_2008.pdf

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12

Equitable Climate Policy in a Dangerous World Benjamin L. Preston

Climate change is often posed as a modern incarnation of the classic tragedy of the commons paradox.1 The ultimate risk associated with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change is one that is borne by all. Yet, the benefits of the release of those emissions accrue solely to the individual emitter. Hence, those seeking to maximise their personal utility have strong incentives to continue to release emissions unabated, until the entire system, in this case the Earth system, approaches collapse. The solution to such commons problems is to advance the concept of community common interest to the forefront of decision making. 2 For example, the Stern Review 3 and Australia’s Energy Futures Forum4 found that the global economic benefits of GHG mitigation in the form of avoided damages outweigh the mitigation costs. This suggests GHG mitigation could prove to be a common good. Yet the persistence of problems in achieving international agreements on mitigation targets and timetables indicates that emissions reductions and global measures of wealth are not sufficient bases around which to build a collective common interest. Given this, perhaps we should be asking ourselves whether we’re on a productive track with our current approaches to the challenge.

The standard approach to framing both the problem and the solution is highly reminiscent of other regulatory approaches to environmental pollution problems. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change specifies that the ultimate goal of international climate policy is the ‘stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’.5 This implies that (a) GHGs in the atmosphere represent some form of direct or indirect hazard to human and natural systems; b) excessive exposure to this hazard will create a significant likelihood of adverse consequences; and c) there is a level of exposure to which GHGs can be limited that will prevent adverse effects. Subsequently, the challenge for climate policy is the identification of this ‘safe’ level of GHG concentrations and the management of future emissions to conform to this standard. Here it’s argued that this framing of the climate challenge is both incomplete, and, potentially, dangerous in and of itself. This is not to say that the pursuance of GHG emissions reductions is imprudent— quite the contrary, there is ample evidence that mitigation is necessary if various tipping points and critical thresholds in the Earth system are to be avoided.6 Rather, the argument that is advanced is that the pollution model of climate policy has traditionally caused the international community to focus myopically on these biophysical tipping points and their management through emissions reductions. As there is no common global climate that is experienced by all, nor are the implications of GHG mitigation similar across all nations, regions or communities, it is no wonder that identifying the point of common interest through this pathway remains problematic. Instead, public policy should focus on the achievement of positive social and environmental outcomes, within a context that includes climate change, but not to the exclusion of other non-climatic drivers.7 Furthermore, positive outcomes should not be viewed simply as regional or sectoral benefits (market and non-market), but sustainable and equitable livelihood systems. 8 There is already international agreement over the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals;9 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;10 and the Convention on Biological Diversity.11 Such international

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agreements indicate that there is strong precedent for outcomeoriented international policy agreements that set global standards but pursue those standards from the ground up. Although climate change may increase the likelihood of adverse climatic events, such events are only one factor affecting the magnitude and likelihood of adverse downstream outcomes.12 The success of policy interventions must ultimately be judged not simply for their influence on the occurrence of climatic events, but for the extent to which such interventions secure positive social and ecological outcomes. The defence of this argument rests on four assertions, which collectively justify the need to broaden the framing of climate change, highlight potential pitfalls of adherence to existing frameworks and identify challenges with existing decision making frameworks and institutions that impede more holistic approaches to the issue. These assertions can be summarised as follows: 1 Social and ecological vulnerability is the critical driver of climate risk. 2 The efficacy of public policy (including climate policy) should be evaluated based on its capacity to secure positive social and ecological outcomes. 3 Narrowly framed climate policy will lead to unintended and inequitable consequences. 4 Novel decision-making frameworks and institutions are needed to holistically manage climate risk within the larger context of global change. The remainder of this chapter focuses on the explanation and defence of these assertions.

The Tyranny of Vulnerability Global climate change and its associated consequences are symptoms of a much larger phenomenon—specifically, rapid globalisation and the rise of the ‘knowledge economy’.13 The exponential growth in population over the past 150 years has fuelled profound changes in land use and the consumption of natural resources and capital generally.14 The magnitude of such changes in the Earth system have been so profound, that some have argued that we are now living in a

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new geologic era, the ‘Anthropocene’, characterised by human domination of the Earth system.15 What is the significance of the Anthropocene Era to current debate over equitable pathways to the avoidance of dangerous climate change? The most common linkage is through the concept of distributional equity, the core considerations of which are associated with four questions: 1 Who is most responsible (at present and historically) for GHG emissions? 2 Who has benefited most from GHG emissions to date? 3 Who (including those not yet born) will bear a disproportionate cost associated with adverse climate change damages? 4 Who (including those not yet born) will bear a disproportionate cost associated with GHG mitigation efforts? Collectively, these questions seek to define what constitutes a fare share of climate and policy risk that entities (nations, regions or communities) should bear given the large global disparities that have emerged during the Anthropocene with respect to social and economic conditions. Such inequity ultimately affects both carbon footprints and vulnerability to climate damages (see figure 1). What’s important to note is that such inequities are not a consequence of climate variability or climate change per se, but rather a suite of more proximal socio-economic processes.16 Schmidhuber and Tubiello illustrate this point in their examination of climate change and food security (see figure 2).17 Over a range of future global development and climate scenarios, the risk of food insecurity generally declines over the 21st century due to lower population growth rates, improvements in productivity and economic diversification. However, one cannot exclude the possibility of climate futures (for example, figure 2, A2) where the benefits of development are offset by climatic change. This highlights the utility of GHG mitigation for reducing the likelihood of such adverse outcomes. Yet generally, this example demonstrates the primacy of socio-economic processes in driving social and ecological vulnerability to climate change. Nevertheless, one must also be cautious not to dismiss the implications of climate altogether. While the aforementioned

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Figure 1: Conceptual Model of Distributional Equity Challenges in Global Climate Policy *Developed nations are associated with a greater burden of the responsibility for GHG emissions, but are generally assumed to have a greater capacity to cope with the consequences. In contrast, developing nations have a much smaller carbon footprint, but may bear a disproportionate cost with respect to climate damages.

Figure 2: Effects of Different Development and Climate Scenarios on Global Food Security *Vertical bars represent millions of people at risk of hunger globally in response to four different global development pathways (A1, A2, B1, B1).55 For each development pathway, three climate scenarios are presented: REF assumes current climate persists indefinitely, CC accounts for future changes in climate associated with development; NO CO2 is identical to CC except it excludes the effects of CO2 fertilisation on crop production. Source: IPCC, Special Report on Emissions Scenarios.

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example was selected to highlight the importance of non-climatic drivers on consequences often associated with climate change, there are an array of biophysical impacts that are, in fact, critically dependent upon the climate system. For example, key tipping points in the Earth system, such as the irreversible melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet or the loss of Arctic summer sea ice are almost entirely determined by climate.18 As such, to the extent that GHG mitigation can prevent some events from occurring in the first place, downstream communities and populations may be spared from having to make potentially costly and disruptive adjustments. However, what this highlights is the fact that human concern with such events is almost entirely due to their implications at the local level. In other words, while climate science emphasises physical changes in the climate system, such changes are often only salient to individuals when placed in the context of their implications for livelihoods. This leads to the second assertion of this chapter. Given the importance of social and ecological vulnerability in influencing the fate of human and ecological systems in light of both climate and non-climatic pressures, public policies should be evaluated based upon their performance with respect to reducing these vulnerabilities. In other words, the benefits offered and successes achieved by climate policy or environmental policy more broadly should be evaluated in the context of the social and ecological outcomes they achieve.

Securing Equitable Outcomes through Policy In the previous section, it’s argued that the danger that human and ecological systems face with respect to climate change is not so much tied up in the climate system itself, but in other social and economic processes that contribute to vulnerability, not the least of which is human aspirations for wealth and the security of livelihoods. This suggests that the criteria we select for evaluating possible climate policies should reflect such processes. In the book Climate Code Red,19 a number of relevant measures of dangerous climate change are reviewed that include such things as health of local ecosystems, people at risk, refugees created, lives lost, species lost and quality of life. All of these are tangible and immediate measures of outcomes and, more importantly, they integrate multiple drivers, not just climate change.

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Perhaps the best example of this is with quality of life. Climate change and variability can obviously influence quality of life, but climate will be just one of a suite of important factors. Others might include food and water security, equity in representation in governance systems, freedom of movement, employment opportunities, freedom of religion and the list could obviously go on.20 To the extent that climate change reduces quality of life, climate policy may provide a tangible benefit. However, for reasons already mentioned, policies which target the climate system alone are unlikely to be a sufficient mechanism for ensuring quality of life. The same is true for the rest of the aforementioned indicators of dangerous climate change—to be successful, policies which target these indicators must address both climate threats as well as underlying social and ecological vulnerabilities. Therefore, climate change must be viewed as a more holistic problem that encompasses global change more broadly inclusive of social, economic and demographic trends.21 Upon reflection, this reality should be self-evident. Yet, as alluded to in this chapter’s introduction, the policy framework for addressing climate change is deeply rooted in a pollution context, where adverse outcomes are influenced linearly by a stressor. Returning to the ‘ultimate objective’ of the framework convention, one finds that the criterion for success as defined by the UNFCCC is the ‘stabilisation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere’. Positive social and environmental outcomes aren’t even at the forefront of policy development and evaluation. Contrast the UNFCCC’s objective with those of the Convention on Biological Diversity: ‘The conservation of biological diversity.’ • ‘The sustainable use of biological resources.’ • ‘The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the • utilization of genetic resources.’22 Notice, all of these objectives emphasise biodiversity outcomes, not the causes or events that might jeopardise those outcomes. One may ask whether the decision to focus the UNFCCC on the stabilisation of GHGs over any number of alternative objectives more proximally associated with human and ecological well-being may fundamentally hinder efforts to achieve equitable solutions to the climate challenge.23

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Few attempts have been made to rigorously explore the relationship between atmospheric concentrations of GHGs and measures of human livelihoods, quality of life or ecological health. Instead, biophysical tipping points in the Earth system have largely been used for evaluating dangerous climate change. Such tipping points are aggregated into a single metric, most often a global warming threshold of 2 degrees C above pre-industrial global mean temperature.24 There is something comforting in the concept that a single number such as this can be used to guide development of international climate policy. Yet there is also something quite disconcerting, in that it is seemingly implausible that one globally-averaged value can be used successfully to define a protection level for ‘all children, all species, for all time’.25 If such a simple target cannot ensure an equitable distribution of risk and resulting policies cannot elevate the welfare of all, then such policies are inherently inequitable. One of the key limitations of the 2 degrees C threshold for preventing dangerous climate change is simply the fact that the Earth system is rapidly approaching the point at which warming of 2 degrees C or more is already locked-in. For example, Hare and Meinshausen examined the likelihood of remaining below 2 degrees C given a range of stabilisation levels and found that carbon dioxide–equivalent atmospheric concentrations of 450 parts per million (ppm) or less are necessary to ensure at least even odds.26 Yet at present, carbon dioxide concentrations are approximately 385 ppm.27 With the inclusion of methane and nitrous oxide, the carbon dioxide–equivalent concentration is already at 460 ppm, although when other forcings (such as aerosols, some of which offset GHGs) are included, total carbon dioxide–equivalent concentrations are approximately 375 ppm. This suggests a small window still exists for mitigation, but on that is closing rapidly.28 Another limitation of the 2 degrees C threshold is that regional or local climate consequences that could be considered dangerous could still eventuate even if the global mean temperature remained within the confines of this threshold. Again, problems with the equity in the distribution of climate impacts surface, where the proposed solution, while yielding global benefits,29 may not be sufficient to provide comprehensive climate protection or ensure positive outcomes more generally. A simple demonstration of this can be found in the

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Arctic,30 where temperatures are currently rising several-fold faster than the global mean. Global climate models suggest that future warming in the Arctic will generally be about 1.5 times the global average,31 in which case keeping temperatures below 2 degrees C in the Arctic would necessitate something more like a 1 degrees C global threshold. Global temperatures have already warmed about 0.7 degrees C (1906−2005), and substantial impacts are being observed including erosion of coastal communities, melting of permafrost, movement of forests to higher latitudes, and of course the well-known retreat of Arctic sea ice.32 This suggests another problem in that many systems may experience significant adverse consequences for warming (global or local) well below 2 degrees C. Coral reefs are often cited as an example of an ecological community where local thresholds for bleaching may be just 1 to 2 degrees C above average maximum summer sea surface temperatures.33 Yet there are many ecological systems that display such sensitivity. Thomas et al. estimate that approximately 15−37 per cent of species would be at risk of extinction by 2050,34 when global temperatures are expected to increase by approximately 1−2 degrees C

Figure 3: Probability of Overshooting a 2° C Global Mean Temperature Target for Different Atmospheric CO2-e Concentrations Source: Reproduced from Hare and Meinshausen, How Much Warming, with permission.

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Figure 4: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Temperature Sensitivity Distribution *Filled circles represent global mean temperature change (relative to preindustrial temperatures) thresholds for a range of species and ecosystem impacts, plotted on a probability scale.56 The shaded area under the curve represents the ecosystem risk associated with a 2° C threshold.

(see figure 3). Meanwhile, a review of temperature thresholds for a range of studies of the ecological impacts of climate change indicates that approximately 40 per cent of those thresholds lie below 2 degrees C (see figure 4).35 So while maintaining global mean temperature change below this level avoids roughly 60 per cent of adverse ecological consequences, it also puts 40 per cent at risk. This suggests that we fundamentally lack the tools and metrics to define dangerous climate change in a manner that actually reflects the myriad dangers that exist throughout the Earth system. Rather than developing holistic management methods that can treat systems in their complexity, those systems are aggregated under a single simple metric which is used to set policy goals. This leads invariably

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to another core consideration in equity, that of procedural justice.36 Who is responsible for determining appropriate thresholds for dangerous climate change? To date, it would seem that such thresholds are set from the top-down by scientists and policy makers based upon what is assumed to be technically and politically feasible as opposed to individuals and communities. If one turned this process over to those that actually bear climate risk, one would likely find a great diversity of opinion regarding what is dangerous and how that risk should be managed. Such considerations are often ignored,37 which again suggests the current framing of the problem is inadequate. The inadequacies of GHG mitigation as the sole, or at least primary, policy tool for climate protection increasingly are becoming appreciated. As such, remaining below global warming thresholds should constitute a ‘minimal safe standard’ of investment in risk management.38 Significant effort beyond this standard would appear to be necessary, which is perhaps why there is a renewed emphasis on adaptation as a necessary and complementary component of climate policy. Despite inroads, there is still hesitancy or caution when it comes to embracing adaptation.39 For example, Tim Flannery, author and Australian of the Year has stated the following: ‘I think that adaptation, except in the more trivial ways, is a very dangerous route to go down … I see adaptation, if we take it too far, as really a form of genocide. We’ll be all right, but there’s a lot of people who won’t be all right’.40 Flannery’s argument is relevant to the extent that decisionmakers seek to rely upon adaptation as a sole means of securing desired outcomes. As already discussed, for those components of the Earth system that have critical climate thresholds, mitigation may be the only means by which they may be avoided. However, Flannery’s critique of the pitfalls of adaptation could just as readily apply to mitigation, as there are clearly a range of adverse outcomes that could transpire (or are already occurring every day) even with heroic GHG mitigation efforts. In fact, if one considers the least developed nations, adaptation is more likely to lead to improvements in quality of life over the near-term than mitigation.41 The value in adaptation is in its ability, when appropriately implemented, to address non-climatic factors that influence the fate

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of human and natural systems. To be most effective, such adaptation must be directed at the community level, where most risks are borne and where the various factors that contribute to social and economic vulnerability lie. Community based adaptation (CBA) and capacitybuilding has already been taken-up by the development community as a means of addressing social vulnerabilities to climate and global change.42 The benefits of CBA include: achievement of positive outcomes at the local level; • realisation of benefits over both the near- and long-terms; • treatment of both climatic and non-climatic drivers of adverse • outcomes; and exploitation of complementarity between mitigation and adap• tation. In short, achieving positive outcomes through climate policy means looking beyond, but by no means excluding, GHG mitigation as a risk management strategy. Invariably, significant effort must be invested at the site where climate risks are borne to ensure social, economic and cultural capacity exists to cope with change. Failure to embrace this holistic management approach may lead to a range of unintended consequences in policy development, which is the subject of the next section.

Avoiding Unintended Consequences Policies and measures implemented to address environmental externalities such as climate change can be risky endeavours, necessitating careful consideration of the balance between climate risk versus policy risk.43 In other words, are the downstream consequences of a particularly policy more damaging with respect to preferred outcomes than simply allowing climate change to continue? If so, then obviously one would seek to modify a particular policy proposal to reduce those downside consequences and ensure a better payoff. Making this determination, however, is complicated by the fact that the balance of policy and climate risks may vary from one global region to another.44 In order to recognise such unintended consequences of a policy, a sufficiently comprehensive view of a system must first be in place that includes an appreciation for direct and indirect effects that may eventuate.

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Adverse externalities of policy decisions do occasionally go unnoticed during the design phase. Recent consequences of US biofuel production are a case-in-point. One of the documented consequences of policies incentivising biofuel production has been an increase in the production of corn for ethanol-based biofuels.45 This in turn has placed greater demands on existing water resources as farmers switch to corn production. In addition, crop switching and expansion of cropping into new areas has increased nutrient and sediment runoff into surface water systems, despite a decades-long effort to control agricultural runoff and nitrogen export by the Mississippi River. The nitrogen fertilisers used to grow crops for biofuels are also believed to increase agricultural emissions of the GHG nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.46 This phenomenon may negate the benefits of using biofuels altogether, resulting in a suite of adverse environmental consequences with no environmental benefit. Finally, recent increases in global food prices also have led many to question the wisdom of taking food crops out of production in favour of biofuel feeder crops. The practice appears inconsistent with fundamental international development goals centred on poverty reduction and food security.47 This is what happens when policies prioritise emissions reductions without first ensuring the ultimate outcomes they generate are in fact desirable. The lesson here is that one must be vigilant to avoid the trap of ‘zero-sum’ decision making, where one externality is managed simply by creating one or more additional externalities elsewhere in the system. In some instances, such trade-offs are made knowingly, due to the fact that some consequences are perceived to be better than others. What is perhaps more worrying are situations where such trade-offs go unrecognised due to myopic decision making that fails to account for downstream consequences and fails to design policies that manage those accordingly. As perfect knowledge is often hard to come by, the risk of accidental unintended consequences is very real, even when every effort is made to prevent them. In a complex world, decision makers need assistance implementing decision frameworks that minimise such risks, which is the subject of the next and final section.

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Outcome-Oriented Decision Frameworks for Global Change The potential for adverse outcomes to result from otherwise wellintentioned policies highlights the decision-making challenge that exists with respect to climate change. On one hand, we have many policy instruments at our disposal for responding to climate change— both for reducing GHG emissions and for adapting to climate change. On the other hand, coordinating the deployment of those policy instruments across a range of public and private institutions existing at different geopolitical scales is an inherently complex and difficult undertaking. In fact, traditional institutions and tools for selecting policies for climate protection may not be sufficient or even appropriate for ensuring positive outcomes in an era of rapid global change.48 Given such complexity, how do we then make decisions that facilitate holistic management in pursuit of positive outcomes? There would appear to be two possible paths forward. The first is to pursue a process of multi-scaled policy harmonisation.49 Given the identification of a particular outcome or management goal (for example, a poverty reduction target), institutions can collaborate to develop policies that can be implemented across different scales, the cumulative effects of which contribute to the realisation of that particular outcome. Jones et al. illustrate this simply by pointing out that mitigation addresses some fraction of future climate risk (typically risk associated with high magnitudes of climatic change),50 while the residual risk can be addressed through local adaptation. Policy design is simply a matter of calculating the risk reduction potential of different approaches and optimising the appropriate balance with respect to cost and efficacy. This form of policy optimisation makes some intuitive sense, in that there are numerous examples where addressing some particular environmental or human security challenge does indeed necessitate multi-scaled actions (for example, food security is influenced by international trade, national governance, and local capacity). However, the fact that future trajectories are uncertain, as are the effects of different policy options, makes such optimisation dependent upon foresight, predictability and policy certainty and

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consistency. At each scale, agents must know what is transpiring at other scales and be confident that such a path is likely to persist into the future. The Earth system is not known for its predictability, nor do there currently appear to be appropriate institutions capable of ensuring such multi-scaled co-operation in policy development. The alternative is to attempt the pursuit of policy options that are robust to the various uncertainties in future multi-scaled trajectories and policies.51 For example, much of the interest in adaptation stems not only from the linkages between adaptation and sustainable development, but also the fact that communities need climate protection strategies that are not held hostage by international mitigation efforts and their uncertain future. Delaying local adaptation until one can better predict the path of future global mitigation efforts and their climatic implications is not a prudent option particularly if such mitigation is not forthcoming. As such, many adaptation planning efforts currently underway are focused on policies and measures that are largely insensitive to climate uncertainty (in other words, ‘climateproof’). This effectively reduces the sensitivity of outcomes at the local scale to global scale trajectories. It is possible to identify the range of conditions and policy options under which preferred future outcomes or management goals are more or less likely to eventuate. Yet for this to lead to robust outcomes, the agents at one scale in the system must have the capacity to deliver those outcomes independent of the trajectories operating at other scales. In many instances, such as the world’s least developed nations, this is unlikely to be feasible due to fundamental limits on coping and adaptive capacity or entitlements.52 Does a community plagued by poverty have the capacity to implement robust solutions to water and food security challenges, independent of uncertainty in future national governance or international development assistance? Those communities, institutions and governments that can adapt unilaterally to climate impacts will, while those that cannot are invariably dependent upon coordination with and assistance from those higher up the geopolitical ladder. Some degree of policy alignment across scales would seem necessary to actually achieve those outcomes, but where does responsibility for such coordination lie and who determines whether effort is equally distributed? Again, existing institutions do not seem up to the task.

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In summary, decision-frameworks that can address the complexity of the biophysical and geopolitical Earth system currently appear to be lacking to the extent that it is difficult to even conceptualise institutional arrangements that would facilitate multi-scaled outcome-oriented decision making. This ultimately may be the greatest threat to achieving equity in responses to climate and global change. If global GHG mitigation efforts fall short and there is no policy framework in place to ensure other avenues are available across a range of scales to achieve valued social and ecological outcomes, then climate change and policy responses will conspire to ensure certain regions, communities and species lose out.

Conclusion Ten years have elapsed since Rayner and Malone encouraged policymakers to ‘view the issue of climate change holistically, not just as the problem of emissions reductions’.53 Climate change poses a threat to human welfare, but the pathways by which such threats are propagated are seldom linear. Rather, in many instances, the threat of climate arises largely from other characteristics of the system. If society is to utilise human and ecological welfare as criteria for judging the appropriateness of policy decisions, then it should be self-evident that the architecture of those policies should ensure that welfare is not just maintained, but improved. The task is seemingly daunting, as holistic approaches to environmental management that capture climate as well as other aspects of global change and vulnerability rapidly become complex, even to the point of paralysis. A single silver policy bullet that can accomplish these tasks is inconceivable. Rather, policy portfolios are needed, with each policy addressing different aspects of the problem and working at different scales, but which are harmonised to avoid duplication of effort, antagonistic interactions, and adverse externalities. The first principle of public policy is to improve human welfare, and thus decision-making should be driven by an ethic of ‘do no harm’. This ultimately means three things: 1 Human and ecological welfare must be the fundamental endpoints used in the evaluation of policy interventions to address climate and global change;

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2 3

Such policies must actively minimise, and where possible completely avoid, adverse externalities; and Institutional arrangements and forms of governance are needed that can better facilitate equitable decision-making for global change.

The mitigation of human emissions of GHGs is an essential defence against climate change that can help ensure adverse climate impacts do not impede long-term efforts to improve the quality of life of human beings and the environment. Nevertheless, it is inadequate to address all impacts and failure to acknowledge this is tantamount to codifying inequities in international climate policy. More importantly, such inadequacies will often require treatment from the bottom-up. Effort must be made to uplift human enterprises by harmonising the benefits of international GHG mitigation with CBA efforts that are ‘mainstreamed’ into economic development activities.54 The point where these two efforts meet is where the success of public policy must be judged, and any gap can only be construed as a fundamental policy failure.

Notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

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Hardin, ‘Tragedy of the Commons’. Lynch, Tryhorn and Abramson, ‘Working at the Boundary’. Stern, Economics of Climate Change. EFF, Heat Is On. UNFCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Lenton et al., ‘Tipping Points’. Rayner and Malone, Ten Suggestions for Policymakers. Huq and Khan, Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change. UN, Millennium Development Goals Report. UN, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UNEP, Convention on Biological Diversity. Sarewitz, Pielke and Keykhah, ‘Vulnerability and Risk’. Rischard, High Noon. Steffen et al., Global Change and the Earth System. Crutzen and Stoermer, ‘The “Anthropocene”’; Ruddiman, ‘Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era’. Pielke et al., ‘Climate Change 2007’. Schmidhuber and Tubiello, ‘Global Food Security under Climate Change’. Lenton et al., ‘Tipping Points’. Spratt and Sutton, Climate Code Red.

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20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38

39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

52 53

Adger et al., New Indicators. Rayner and Malone, Ten Suggestions for Policymakers. UNEP, Convention on Biological Diversity. Huq and Khan, Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change. Preston and Jones, Climate Change Impacts. McDonough, Hope and Human Enterprise. Hare and Meinshausen, How Much Warming. Tans, Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. Sheehan et al., ‘Climate Change and the New World Economy’. Stern, Economics of Climate Change; EFF, Heat Is On. ACIA, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Gregory and Huybrechts, ‘Ice-Sheet Contributions’. IPCC ‘Summary for Policymakers’; ACIA, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. O’Neill and Oppenheimer, ‘Dangerous Climate Impacts’. Thomas et al., ‘Extinction Risk from Climate Change’. Hare, Assessment of Knowledge. Korsgaard, Schweiger and Sapinza, ‘Strategic Decision-making Teams’. Huq and Reid, ‘The Role of People’s Assessments’. Contrast this concept of a ‘minimal safe standard’ with the ‘safe maximum standard’ outlined by Paavola, Adger and Huq. The latter argues that a maximum permissible level of emissions and/or climate change should be used to ensure equity in climate policy. The former, however, extends this by arguing that selecting and then achieving such a safe maximum standard represents the bare minimum of what is necessary to ensure equitable outcomes. Substantial additional efforts will be required beyond this minimal standard in the form of adaptation and development assistance. (See Paavola, Adger and Huq, ‘Multifaceted Justice’.) Pielke et al., ‘Climate Change 2007’. Tim Flannery, interview with Eric Berger. Tol, ‘Adaptation and Mitigation’. Jones et al., ‘Adaptation and Mitigation’. EFF, Heat Is On. Tim Flannery, interview with Eric Berger. NRC, Water Implications; Donner and Kucharik, ‘Corn-Based Ethanol’. Crutzen et al., ‘N2O Release’. UN, Millennium Development Goals Report. Rischard, High Noon; Morgan et al., ‘Conventional Tools’; Hajer, ‘Policy without Polity’. Nelson et al., ‘Using Adaptive Governance’. IPCC, Special Report on Emissions Scenarios. Lempert and Schlesinger, ‘Robust Strategies for Abating Climate Change’; Lempert and Schlesinger, ‘Robust Strategies for Abating Climate Change’; Dessai and Hulme, ‘Adaptation Decisions’. Adger and Kelly, ‘Social Vulnerability’. Rayner and Malone, Ten Suggestions for Policymakers.

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54 Najam et al., ‘Sustainable Development’; OECD, Bridge Over Troubled Waters. 55 Schmidhuber and Tubiello, ‘Global Food Security under Climate Change’. 56 Hare and Meinshausen, How Much Warming.

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Conventional Tools for Policy Analysis Are Often Inadequate for Problems of Global Change’, Climatic Change, vol. 41, 1999, pp. 1573−80. Najam, A., A. A. Rahman, S. Guq and Y. Sokana, ‘Integrating Sustainable Development into the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’, Climate Policy, vol. 3, 2003, pp. S9−17. National Research Council (NRC), Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States, National Research Council of the US National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, 2007. Nelson, R., M. Howden and M. Stafford Smith, ‘Using Adaptive Governance to Rethink the Way Science Supports Drought Policy’, Environmental Science and Policy, 2009, in press. O’Neill, B. and M. Oppenheimer, ‘Dangerous Climate Impacts and the Kyoto Protocol’, Science, vol. 296, 2002, pp. 1971−2. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Bridge over Troubled Waters: Linking Climate Change and Development, OECD, Paris, 2005. Paavola, J., W. N. Adger and S. Huq, ‘Multifaceted Justice in Adaptation to Climate Change’, in W. N. Adger, J. Paavola, S. Huq and M. J. Mace (eds), Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006, pp. 264−77. Pielke, Jr, R., G. Prins, S. Rayner and D. Sarewitz, ‘Climate Change 2007: Lifting the Taboo on Adaptation’, Nature, vol. 445, 2007, pp. 597−8. Preston, B. L. and R. N. Jones, Climate Change Impacts on Australia and the Benefits of Early Action to Reduce Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Report for the Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra, 2006. Rayner, S. and E. L. Malone, Ten Suggestions for Policymakers: Guidelines from an International Social Science Assessment of Human Choice and Climate Change, Human Choice and Climate Change, Battelle Press, Columbus, OH, 1998. Rischard, J. F., High Noon: Twenty Global Problems, Twenty Years to Solve Them, Basic Books, New York, 2002. Ruddiman, W. F., ‘The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began Thousands of Years Ago’, Climatic Change, vol. 61, 2003, pp. 261−93. Sarewitz, D., R. Pielke Jr, and M. Keykhah, ‘Vulnerability and Risk: Some Thoughts from a Political and Policy Perspective’, Risk Analysis, vol. 3, 2003, pp. 805−10. Schmidhuber, J. and F. N. Tubiello, ‘Global Food Security under Climate Change’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 104, pp. 19703−8. Sheehan, P., R. N. Jones, A. Jolley, B. L. Preston, M. Clarke, P. J. Durack, S. Islam and P. Whetton, ‘Climate Change and the New World Economy: Implications for the Nature and Timing of Policy’, Global Environmental Change, 2009, in press. Spratt, D. and P. Sutton, Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action, Scribe Publications, Melbourne, 2008.

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Steffen, W., A. Sanderson, P. D. Tyson, J. Jäger, P. A. Patson, B. Boore III, F. Oldfield, K. Richardson, H. J. Schellnhuber, B. L. Turner and R. J. Watson, Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet under Pressure, SpringerVerlag, Berlin, 2004. Stern, N., The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006. Tans, P., Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: Global, Earth System Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends. Thomas, C. D., A. Cameron, R. E. Green et al., ‘Extinction Risk from Climate Change’, Nature, vol. 427, 2004, pp. 145−8. Tol, R. S. J., ‘Adaptation and Mitigation: Trade-offs in Substance and Methods’, Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 8, 2006, pp. 572–8. Trenberth, K., ‘Uncertainty in Hurricanes and Global Warming’, Science, vol. 308, 2005, pp. 1753–4. United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, New York, 1948. ——The Millennium Development Goals Report, United Nations, New York, 2005. United Nations Environment Program, The Convention on Biological Diversity, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, 1992. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations, New York, 1992.

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Index

‘ability to pay’ approach, 58–60, 179 Adams, P., 94 adaptation: critique, 232; health impacts, 153–5, 158; justice issues, 131–41, 190, 210–18; non-climatic factors, 232–3; policy frameworks, 235–6; refugees, 168, 175–82 see also mitigation policies Adaptation Financing Index, 179 Adaptation Fund (AF), 214, 216–17 adaptive capacity, 134–5, 195–6 Adger, Neil, 190 aerosols, 26–7, 30, 229 Africa: agriculture, 45–6, 147; drought, 45–6; greenhouse gases, 45; refugees, 177; sea level rises, 45 agriculture, 45–6, 133 aid funding, 179 air pollution, 146 allocation schemes, alternate, 108 Alma Ata declaration, 144, 149–51 Anthropocene Era, 225 Arctic summer sea ice, 227, 230 Arrhenius, Svante, 41 Asia, 148, 177 Australia: Aboriginal health, 158,

195–6; Adaptation Financing Index, 179; agriculture, 134–5, 200–1; burden of disease, 152; bushfires, 149; carbon emissions trading schemes, 113–19, 200; Centrelink, 201; coal exports, 62; Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), 200; Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA), 201; drought, 46, 148; emissions, 5, 29, 113, 169, 172, 192; emissions target, 107, 113; equity goals, 193; equity policies, 197–203; food security, 194, 196–202; governance levels, 200–3; heat waves, 149; Kyoto flexibility mechanisms, 118; Kyoto obligation, 113; mitigation costs, 94; mitigation responses, 175, 200–3; mosquito-borne diseases, 149; refugee preparation, 179–82; temperature increases, 148–9; vulnerable populations, 195–8; water supply, 201; Western Australia, Dept. of Health, 197

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 92 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), 93 Australian Conservation Foundation, 149 Australian Medical Association, 149 Australian Public Service Commission, 4 aviation, 20, 217 Bachram, Heidi, 103 Bali Action Plan (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), 11, 108, 216 Bangladesh, 148; agriculture, 46; refugees, 177–8; sea level rises, 18, 45 Barmah Forest virus, 149 Barnett, Jon, 17 Barrett, S., 94 Barry, Christian, 48 benefit accounts, 14, 55–8 Berry, Helen Louise, 18 Biermann, F., 180 biodiversity, 230–1 biofuel production, 234 blame, 11, 13–14, 25–35 see also benefit accounts; ethics; justice Blashki, Grant Andrew, 18 Boas, I., 180 Bougainville, 181 Boyer, J., 79 Brazil: mitigation policies, 9 Broome, John, 60 Bush, George W., 40–1, 46–7 ‘business as usual’ projections, 69, 71–3, 79, 83–6, 88, 94, 193 Californian emissions trading scheme, 9 Canada, 29, 106, 159; Adaptation Financing Index, 179 cap-and-trade schemes see carbon emissions trading schemes capacity building, 150, 155–9, 233 capacity to pay, 100, 102–5, 108–9

carbon, 43, 96; sinks, 105, 136, 172 carbon allowances, personal, 173 carbon capture, 170 carbon dioxide, 25–9, 40–3, 69, 145, 229 carbon emissions tax schemes, 62–3, 83, 87–93, 101–2, 105, 217 carbon emissions trading schemes, 82–96, 99–119; auctioning permits, 8, 16, 83, 90, 96, 115; Australia, 113–14, 200; banking and borrowing permits, 117–18; California, 9, 199; environmental justice, 16–17; ethics, 44, 114–17; European Union, 7–8, 83, 93, 95, 106, 115; fairness, 109–11, 114–17; free permits, 7–8, 17, 90, 96, 115–17; grandfathered permits, 83, 89, 96, 109, 115; history, 105–7; international, 44, 62, 107; moral objections, 101–5; permit price, 93, 118; permits, 6; pricing, 6–8, 87; tradable permits, 87–91, 95–6, 102–3, 109 see also Certified Emission Reductions (CERs); Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); Emission Reduction Units (ERU) carbon footprints, 104 carbon leakage, 115 Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme: Australia’s Low Pollution Future, White Paper, vol. 1, 15 December 2008. (Australian Government), 114, 117–18 Cash, David, 192 Cass, Loren, 106 CBDR see ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ (CBDR) C&C see contraction and convergence (C&C) CDM see Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Centrelink, 201 Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), 106, 111–12

Index

247

Chan, Margaret, 145 Chen, Y., 93 China, 41, 108; agriculture, 46; Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), 111; emissions, 171; greenhouse gases, 43, 62; mitigation policies, 9; refugees, 177–8; sea level rises, 18; wealth distribution, 52; World Bank, 216 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), 99, 101, 103, 105–6, 111–12, 118, 214 climate change: anthropogenic forcings, 31–3, 35; component elements, 4–5, 13, 33, 45–6, 69–71, 145; costs, 84–90; health effects, 18, 33, 145–62; legal liability issues, 13, 26, 47–8; mortality, 33, 145–6, 149; secondary effects, 133; tertiary effects, 133; tipping points, 20, 186, 193, 223, 227, 229; vulnerability, 132–41, 147, 195–6, 210 Climate Change Health Check 2020 (RACGP), 159 Climate Code Red (Spratt & Sutton), 227 ‘Climate Fund’, 62 Climate Investment Funds, 19–20, 211, 215 Cline, W., 78 coal fired generators, 93 ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ (CBDR), 100, 107, 117, 188 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), 149 Community based adaptation (CBA), 233, 238 community engagement, 194–5 compensation, 44–8, 56, 58; households, 89–90, 93, 96; international, 173–4; targets, 48 competitive partial equilibrium model, 84–90 Conference of the Parties, sixth (COP6), 106

248

Index

Consumer Price Index (CPI), 93 consumerism, 152 consumers: cost increases, 88–91, 93, 95–6, 133, 190 contraction and convergence (C&C), 109, 173, 188 Convention on Biological Diversity (UNEP), 223, 228 Cook Islands, 211 coral reefs, 134, 230 cyclones, 70, 136, 211 Davis, Mike, 182 dengue fever, 18, 146, 149–50 Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), 200 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA), 201 desalination plants, 46 developed countries: mitigation policies, 10; responsibilities, 2, 11, 14, 16, 41–3, 45–9, 52–6, 63, 95, 100, 103, 171–2, 178–9, 188, 210–11, 214, 226 developing countries: carbon emissions trading schemes, 110–13; funding, 62, 213–17; grants, 20; loans, 20; mitigation policies, 3, 10, 108, 189; perspective, 2, 95–6, 189 Diogenes, 48 discount rates, 2, 15, 67–79 discounting, 73–9; discount rates, 2, 15, 67–79; ‘inherent discounting’, 68–9, 74–7, 79; opportunity cost discount rate, 74 Doctors for the Environment Australia, 159 drought, 45–6, 70 Earth Hour, 170 Eckersley, Robyn, 16 Eco Equity, 172 Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, The (Stern), 75, 94, 170, 222

ecosystems, 70–2, 77 Egypt, 177 EITE see emissions-intensive, tradeexposed industries (EITE) electricity industry: emission intensive, 6–7, 115 Emission Reduction Units (ERU), 106, 112 emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries (EITE), 116–17 Energy Futures Forum (CSIRO), 222 energy intensive industries, 17, 115–17 energy use reduction, 62, 72, 150, 160, 174 environmental justice, 103–5, 108–9 environmental space with equity (ESwE), 174, 188 environmental sustainability, 150, 160, 188 equity effects: domestic, 5–6, 9, 17, 96, 114–17, 119, 135–41, 189; intergenerational, 5, 15, 55–6, 67–79, 174, 186, 189–91; international, 5, 10–12, 14, 16, 19–20, 100–1, 103, 119, 146, 150–1, 172–3, 187, 189, 210, 225–6, 229; justice, 134 see also fairness equity premium, 78 Estonia, 112 ET see carbon emissions trading schemes ethanol production, 20, 234 ethics, 38–49; global ethics, 39; pure rate of time preference, 74, 77 see also justice Ethics and International Affairs, 48 Europe: carbon emissions trading schemes, 7–8; post-Kyoto arrangements, 8 European Commission, 106, 115 European Union, 105–7, 112–13, 115; Adaptation Financing Index, 179 ExxonMobil, 178 ‘fair shares’ approach, 58–63 fairness, 103, 107–11, 174

Family Wellbeing Program, 158 Fiji, 211 fire risks, 149 fishing, 136–8, 147 Flannery, Tim, 232 Fleischer, Ari, 46–7 floods, 14, 46, 148, 211 food production, 59, 133, 136, 147, 194, 200; Australian, 19; global, 19; trade agreements, 19 food security, 193–4, 196–200, 225–6 fossil fuels, 2, 12, 17, 39, 41, 84–5, 115, 171, 174 France: heat-related deaths, 33 ‘free riding’, 94, 96 Freebairn, John, 15–16 Friends of the Earth, 178 Friends of the Earth Australia, 170, 180, 185 Fritze, Jess, 19 Garnaut, Ross, 71 Garnaut Climate Change Review, The: Final Report (Garnaut), 114, 116–18, 212; (Garnaut) [draft], 5, 68, 71–3, 83, 87 gas fired generators, 93 GDR see Greenhouse Development Rights (GDR) general equilibrium model, 91–2, 96 generations: defining, 75; equity effects, 5, 15, 55–6, 67–79, 174, 186, 189–91; income distribution effects, 1, 5, 68–79 Germany, 43, 93 glaciers, 33, 145, 148 Global Commons Institute, 173 Global Warming Potential index (GWP), 27–9 Goodin, Robert, 104 Gore, Al, 211–12 Gosseries, Axel, 56 Green Clinic project, 160–1 Greenhalgh, Trish, 153–4, 158 Greenhouse Development Rights (GDR), 109, 173

Index

249

greenhouse gases: atmospheric lifetimes, 28; Australia, 29; Canada, 29; current concentration, 67; emission intensive industries, 7, 83; global distribution, 13; IPCC, 25; lag time, 69; per capita emissions, 29, 169, 172–3, 188; pre-industrial, 67; radiative forcing, 26–7; regulation, 83, 87, 99; target concentrations, 71, 86, 107–9, 113–14, 134, 154, 229; United States, 29, 41–3, 172; year 1900, 41, 45; year 1990, 42–3, 86, 107; year 2000, 42, 113, 150, 154, 188; year 2050, 71, 136, 188, 217; year 2100, 69, 149 see also carbon dioxide; carbon emissions tax schemes; carbon emissions trading schemes; methane; mitigation policies; nitrous oxide; water vapour Greenland Ice Sheet, 227 GST reforms, 16, 92–3, 96 GWP see Global Warming Potential index (GWP) Hamilton, Clive, 189–90 Hansen, J., 70 Hare, W., 229 health effects, 18, 33, 145–62; mental health risks, 146, 150, 152, 157–9 heat-related deaths, 33, 146, 149 heat waves, 33–4, 146, 149, 152, 156–7 ‘historical’ principles, 41, 44, 52–6, 58 houses, amphibious, 46 Howard, John, 171 Howard Government, 6 human rights, 150–1, 169–70, 172 Huq, S., 190 Hurricane Mitch, 176 income distribution effects, 2–9; domestic, 3, 5–6, 9, 17, 92, 94; intergenerational, 1, 5, 68–79; international, 2–3, 5, 94, 96

250

Index

Inconvenient Truth, An (Gore), 211 Independent Carbon Bank, 118 India, 41, 108; Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), 111; emissions, 171; floods, 46; greenhouse gases, 43, 62; mitigation policies, 9; refugees, 177–8; sea level rises, 18, 45 Indonesia, 177–8, 182; mitigation policies, 9; sea level rises, 18 ‘inherent discounting’, 68–9, 74–7, 79 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 25, 27, 30, 42, 46, 68, 108, 113, 145, 147, 171, 212–13, 217; Fourth Assessment Report, 69 international cooperation, 4, 16, 83, 94–5, 100, 179, 191, 213–17, 223–4 see also Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) International Society of Doctors for the Environment, 159 IPCC see Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) isotherm migration rate, 70 Japan, 43, 106, 179 Joint Implementation (JI), 99, 105–6, 112 Jones, R.N., 235 justice, 51–64, 185–203, 210–18; benefit accounts, 55–8; carbon trading, 100–5, 119; consent, 57; distributive, 188, 190, 225; environmental, 103–5, 108–9; equity, 134; ‘fair shares’ approach, 58–63, 103, 174; goals, 190–1, 193; ignorance, 54, 56; Kyoto Protocol, 107–9; powerlessness, 56; procedural, 101, 190, 232; retributive, 187–8; vulnerable groups, 132–41, 147, 152, 191 see also ethics; fairness Karoly, David J., 13 Keelty, Mick, 181

Kidd, Michael Richard, 18 Kiribati, 45, 177, 211 Kyoto Protocol: Adaptation Fund (AF), 214, 216–17; aims, 43; Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), 99, 101, 103, 105–6, 111–12, 118, 214; fairness, 107–11; flexibility mechanisms, 99, 105–7, 111–13, 118; Joint Implementation (JI), 99, 105–6, 112; limitations, 95, 199; main features, 105–7; permit allocation, 83, 96, 109; post-Kyoto arrangements, 8, 115; process, 11, 42, 105, 131; target, 86; UNFCCC, 169; United States, 41–2 see also carbon emissions trading schemes Latin America, 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), 181 Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), 213–14 level of scientific understanding (LOSU), 27 lifestyle changes, 51, 150, 152, 157, 160–1, 170 Living Planet reports (WWF), 174 Locke, John, 40 luxury emissions, 110 malaria, 18, 145–7 Malawi, 45 malnutrition, 18, 145–7 Malone, E.S., 237 market power, 90–1, 103 Marshall Islands, 148 McMichael, Tony, 177 Meinshausen, M., 229 mental health risks, 146, 150, 152, 157–9 methane, 25–8, 40, 229 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 212, 214, 223 mitigation policies, 82–96; advocacy, 150, 159; costs, 67–79, 213–17, 222; evaluation, 227–33; framework, 223–4, 227–8, 232–8;

governance levels, 191–2, 197–203; international cooperation, 3–4, 16, 62; social aims, 20–1 see also adaptation; Bali Action Plan; carbon emissions trading schemes; equity effects; income distribution effects; justice; Kyoto Protocol; lifestyle changes Moser, Susanne, 192 mosquito-borne diseases, 18, 145–6, 149–50 Museveni, Yoweri, 45 Myers, Norman, 178 Namakin, Ben, 211 National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, 177 National Emissions Trading Taskforce (NETT), 6 National Nutrition Survey, 196 NATSEM, 92 Netherlands, 93; sea level rises, 46 Neuhoff, K., 93 New Zealand, 106, 137 nitrous oxide, 25–8, 229 Niue, 17, 135–41 Nordhaus, W., 77–9 Norway, 106 Nozick, Robert, 41 nuclear energy, 191 Obama, Barack, 47 Ontario College of Family Physicians, 159 Ott, H.E., 102 Oxfam International, 178–9, 213 ozone, 146 Paavola, J., 190 Pacific Islands, 148, 172, 177, 179, 181, 211–12; Niue, 135–41 Parikh, J., 95 Parmesan, C., 70 partial equilibrium competitive model, 83–90 permits, 6; auctioning, 8, 16, 83, 90, 96, 115; banking and borrowing

Index

251

permits, 117–18; fairness in allocation, 114–17; free, 7–8, 17, 90, 96, 115–17; grandfathered, 83, 89, 96, 109, 115; price, 93, 118; tradable, 87–91, 95–6, 102–3, 109 petrol prices, 17, 115 petroleum products excise, 92 Planet of Slums (Davis), 182 ‘polluter pays’ principle, 51–2, 102, 108, 117, 214, 216 Popp, D., 92 population: age, 43; growth, 43–4 Preston, Ben, 20–1 primary health care, 149–62 public education, 150, 155–7 public transport, 63, 161, 198 ‘pure social time preference’, 68, 74–7, 79 quality of life, 228–9 Quiggin, John, 15 RACGP see Royal Australian College of General Practitioners radiative forcing, 26–30 rainfall, 45, 69–70, 145 Ramsey, F., 74 Rayner, S., 237 recycling, 161 refugees, 18–19, 151, 168, 175–82 regulation: emissions, 83, 87, 99; energy consumption, 9 Rio Earth Summit, 42 Ross River fever, 18, 146, 149 Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 159 Rudd government, 113, 115, 117 Russia, 105 Sachs, W., 102 salinisation of soil, 46 Schelling, T., 74 Schmidhuber, J., 225 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 9 sea level rises, 18, 33, 45–6, 145, 147–8, 177–8, 211–12; Africa, 45; Netherlands, 46

252

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Second Treatise on Civil Government (Locke), 40 security, national, 181–2 Shue, Henry, 53, 60 Sijm, J., 93 Simpson, O.J., 47 Singer, Peter, 14, 59 Skjáerseth, Jon Birger, 112 Small Island Developing States (SIDS), 181 Smith, Adam, 38–9 snowfall, 70 social capital, 159 social justice, 52, 61 Southern Grampians Primary Care Partnership, 197 Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), 214 species survival, 70, 77, 230 Starfield, Barbara, 153 Stern, N., 2, 71, 75–6, 79, 170 Sterrett, Charlotte, 19 Stott, Peter A., 33 subsistence emissions, 110 Switzerland, 106 Tackling Wicked Problems (Australian Public Service Commission), 4 tame problems, 3–4 tax incidence, 16 technology innovations, 62–3, 110, 114, 117, 170 technology transfers, 62, 105, 119, 178 temperature increases, 20, 69–70, 145; anthropogenic forcings, 31–3, 35; Arctic, 230; Australia, 148–9; coral reefs, 230; Europe, 34; IPCC, 25; national causes, 13; projections, 154; radiative forcing, 26; species extinction, 230; tipping point, 229 see also heat waves thermal stress, 147 Thomas, C.D., 230 ‘timeslice’ principles, 41–2, 44

tipping points, 20, 186, 193, 223, 227, 229 Tokelau, 148 Tol, R., 77–8 trade consequences, 117–19, 200 transport, 77 tsunami, 182 Tubiello, F.N., 225 Tuvalu, 45, 148, 177, 211 Ukraine, 105 Umbrella group, 105–6 United Kingdom: greenhouse gases, 43 United Nations, 95 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 42, 169, 171 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 11, 42, 100, 103, 107, 109, 116, 131, 139, 169, 181, 188, 191, 199–200, 213–17, 223, 228 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 180 United Nations Millennium Development Goals, 144 United Nations University, 180 United States of America, 172; Clean Air Act, 105; Clinton Administration, 105; greenhouse gases, 29, 41–3, 172; Kyoto Protocol, 42; state carbon schemes, 106 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations), 223 utilitarianism, 15, 73–4, 76–7 utility theory, 74

Vietnam: sea level rises, 45 ‘virtual emissions,’ 112–13 volcanic aerosols, 27 vulnerability: places, 132–41, 197–8, 211–13; populations, 147, 152, 191, 195–6, 210; social causes, 224–7 Walker, Cam, 18–19 Warren, N., 92 water stress, 18, 148 see also drought water vapour, 70 ‘weak links,’ 54–5 weather events, extreme, 33–4, 59, 70, 146–7 Western Australia, Dept. of Health, 200 Wettestad, Jørgen, 112 wicked problems, 3–4 Wiseman, John, 19 World Bank, 215–17; Climate Investment Funds, 19–20, 211, 215; Strategic Climate Fund, 215 World Health Day, 144–5 World Health Organization (WHO), 145–6, 155 World Meteorological Office, 42 World Trade Organization (WTO), 95, 117 World Wildlife Fund, 174 WTO see World Trade Organization (WTO) WWF see World Wildlife Fund Yohe, G., 70, 77–8

Index

253