To be clear, this does not mean that the countries in which poor people live are not required to cut their emissions, but rather that the global consuming class – the elites both within these countries and in the industrialized countries – are the ones who must pay.

The locus for this idea is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change itself. The Convention states that in tackling climate change countries should respond according to their “…common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions”.

The Greenhouse Development Rights Framework attempts to work this idea through in a manner that explicitlysafeguards the right to development. It lays out and quantifies the burden-sharing framework that would logically follow from clear and defensible measures of responsibility and capability defined so as to preserve developmental equity.

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