Developing countries have thus firmly asserted that a solution to climate change cannot come at the expense of their development.

The Greenhouse Development Rights (GDR) framework is a climate regime architecture explicitly structured to safeguard a right to development, and thus make an ambitious global solution possible.

It is a burden-sharing framework that defines national obligations, based on responsibility for the climate change problem and capacity to solve it. Both are defined with respect to a “development threshold” that serves to relieve from the costs and constraints of the climate crisis those individuals still striving for a decent standard of welfare.

Highlighting the United States and China, we discuss implications in the context of an international funding mechanism and a global cap and trade system.

The GDR approach is relevant to a next phase of the global climate regime negotiated in Copenhagen as a framework for principle-based commitments for industrialized countries, and a basis for future evolution toward a globally differentiated system.