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Sharing the Burden of Adaptation Financing: An Assessment of the Contributions of Countries

  • Rob Dellink

    (Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM))

  • Michel den Elzen

    (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

  • Harry Aiking

    (nstitute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University)

  • Emmy Bergsma

    (Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University)

  • Frans Berkhout

    (Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University)

  • Thijs Dekker

    (Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University)

  • Joyeeta Gupta

    (Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University)

Climate change may cause most harm to countries that contribute least to greenhouse gas emissions. This paper identifies deontology, solidarity and consequentialism as the principles that can serve as a basis for a fair international burden sharing scheme of adaptation costs. We translate these principles into criteria that can be applied in assigning contributions of individual countries, namely historical responsibility, equality and capacity to pay. Specific political and scientific choices are discussed, highlighting implications for international burden-sharing. Combining historical responsibility and capacity to pay seems a promising starting point for international negotiations on the design of burden-sharing schemes. From the numerical assessment, it is clear that UNFCCC Annex I countries carry the greatest burden under most scenarios, but contributions differ substantially subject to the choice of an indicator for capacity to pay. The total financial contribution by the Annex I countries could be in the range of $55-68 billion annually.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2009.59.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.59
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  1. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2006. "Fair adaptation to climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 594-609, April.
  2. Marco Grasso, 2006. "An Ethics-based Climate Agreement for the South Pacific Region," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 249-270, September.
  3. Richard S.J. Tol, 2006. "The Polluter Pays Principle And Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Climate Change: An Application Of Fund," Working Papers FNU-98, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2006.
  4. Fischhendler, Itay, 2007. "Escaping the "polluter pays" trap: Financing wastewater treatment on the Tijuana-San Diego border," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 485-498, August.
  5. Weber, Christopher L. & Peters, Glen P. & Guan, Dabo & Hubacek, Klaus, 2008. "The contribution of Chinese exports to climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 3572-3577, September.
  6. Tol, Richard S. J. & Verheyen, Roda, 2004. "State responsibility and compensation for climate change damages--a legal and economic assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1109-1130, June.
  7. Lasse Ringius & Asbjørn Torvanger & Arild Underdal, 2002. "Burden Sharing and Fairness Principles in International Climate Policy," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, March.
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