PEW Offers Method to Determine Fair Climate Change Commitments

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change released a plan to help resolve one of the most contentious issues to be debated at this month’s international climate change conference (November 2-13) in Buenos Aires – the relative obligations of countries. It divides the obligations of countries into tiers based on three criteria: responsibility for emissions, standard of living or ability to pay for mitigation, and the opportunity countries have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We cannot begin to address the climate change issue until we resolve what is fair
to expect of each country,” said Eileen Claussen, Pew Center executive director. “Until now, people assumed there would be one standard for the industrialized countries and another for developing countries.

Tier one: 30 countries with the greatest obligation to act because of their high emissions, standard of living, and opportunity to improve energy efficiency. It includes most industrialized countries including the U.S. and European nations, but also countries like Argentina and South Korea.

Tier two: 52 countries with a standard of living below the world average. Both developed and developing countries fall into this tier including China, India, Brazil, Russia, and Bulgaria.

Tier three: 74 countries which contribute less to the problem and have fewer resources to mitigate their emissions. This tier includes countries like Vietnam, Bolivia and Morocco.

The Pew Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council includes: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; American Electric Power Company; Baxter International Inc.; Boeing; BP America; CH2M HILL; DuPont; Enron Corp.; Holnam Inc.; Intercontinental Energy Corporation; International Paper; Lockheed Martin; Maytag Corporation; The Sun Company; 3M; Toyota; United Technologies; U.S. Generating Company; Weyerhaeuser and Whirlpool. DuPont and CH2M HILL are the two newest members of the council.

A copy of the report, “Equity and Global Climate Change,” is available:
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