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Current per capita annual GHG emissions

The emissions have to be above some threshold rate that will be determined by a world body. Once a country is above that threshold rate, it will qualify for climate change technology transfer or other technical assistance. This criterion is aimed at mitigation.

Because this has to be done impartially on a global scale, we need to decide which world body should decide on the threshold. It could be done through the UNFCCC or the World Bank. As we will see in Chapter 8, the World Bank has begun to be more proactive in aligning its policies with climate change mitigation and adaptation, and it is well-placed to formulate policy advice on these issues.

Suppose the per capita GHG emissions in a country is denoted by r. Suppose also one has agreed upon a world threshold to be t(r). For example, the threshold rate could be 350 ppm CO2. The criterion used would be as follows. A country would qualify if its actual rate of emissions were larger than the agreed-upon threshold value (to use a formula, a country would qualify if r > t(r) regardless of the economic development or any other criterion). A high rate of emissions would override every other criterion. The rationale for using this method is simple. It does not exclude countries that may not qualify because of otherwise mitigating factors such as a relatively high level of per capita income. How should the threshold be determined? This should depend on the importance of the threshold in question. The threshold should be determined by a level such that with a higher rate, the problem of climate change would rapidly escalate. For example, the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC considers that a rise of CO2e beyond 650 ppm would be catastrophic.[1]

  • [1] See the Intergovernmental Panel on Climactic Change (accessedDecember 29, 2012).
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