Failing international climate politics and the fairness of going first

Political Studies 62 (3):618-633 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

There appear to be few ways available to improve the prospects for international cooperation to address the threat of global warming within the very short timeframe for action. I argue that the most effective and plausible way to break the ongoing pattern of delay in the international climate regime is for economically powerful states to take the lead domestically and demonstrate that economic welfare is compatible with rapidly decreasing GHG emissions. However, the costs and risks of acting first can be very large. This raises the question of whether it is fair to expect some states to go far ahead of others in an effort to improve the conditions for cooperation. I argue that a costly obligation to act unilaterally and to accept weak initial reciprocity can be justified and does not violate standards of fair burden sharing. Rather, the costs of creating the underlying conditions within which we can hope to achieve meaningful international cooperation are non-­‐ideal burdens for which we can appropriately assign fair shares.

Author's Profile

Aaron Maltais
Stockholm Environment Institute

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-10-14

Downloads
634 (#12,909)

6 months
39 (#32,935)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?