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Climate Change Justice
Eric A. Posner & David Weisbach

Paperback | 2015 | $22.95 | £18.95 | ISBN: 9780691166667
232 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4
Hardcover | 2010 | $27.95 | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780691137759
232 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 8 line illus. 11 tables.
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Climate change and justice are so closely associated that many people take it for granted that a global climate treaty should--indeed, must--directly address both issues together. But, in fact, this would be a serious mistake, one that, by dooming effective international limits on greenhouse gases, would actually make the world's poor and developing nations far worse off. This is the provocative and original argument of Climate Change Justice. Eric Posner and David Weisbach strongly favor both a climate change agreement and efforts to improve economic justice. But they make a powerful case that the best--and possibly only--way to get an effective climate treaty is to exclude measures designed to redistribute wealth or address historical wrongs against underdeveloped countries.

In clear language, Climate Change Justice proposes four basic principles for designing the only kind of climate treaty that will work--a forward-looking agreement that requires every country to make greenhouse--gas reductions but still makes every country better off in its own view. This kind of treaty has the best chance of actually controlling climate change and improving the welfare of people around the world.

Eric A. Posner and David Weisbach teach at the University of Chicago Law School.


"Anyone taking part in the next round of climate negotiations in Mexico in December should take this book with them. It is . . . certainly a guide. Legislating for the future is always tricky. This area is trickier than most."--Sir Crispin Tickell, Financial Times

"[T]his book is a potent attack on an argument that is growing rapidly in popularity yet declining in clarity and focus. . . . Chapter 1 provides what must be one of the most comprehensive, comprehensible, and yet still succinct accounts of the science of anthropogenic climate change currently in print."--Jamison E. Colburn, Concurring Opinions blog

"[B]y reflecting so clearly on the current 'economic consensus', Posner and Weisbach provide a useful introduction to the current state of play in climate change politics."--Joy Paton, Australian Journal of Political Science


"To attract broad participation from the major countries emitting greenhouse gases, both rich and poor, a climate change treaty has to be cost-effective and perceived as fair. In this book, while agreeing that fairness matters, Posner and Weisbach make a provocative case that fairness has been widely misunderstood."--Jonathan B. Wiener, Duke University

"This incisive book points the only way forward on climate change. Posner and Weisbach carefully weigh the arguments on a wide range of issues, from what policies have the strongest merit to how we should value the welfare of future generations. The analysis is provocative, judicious, and accessible. Read these pages. They will clarify your thinking."--Richard J. Zeckhauser, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

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Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
Chapter 1: Ethically Relevant Facts and Predictions 10
Chapter 2: Policy Instruments 41
Chapter 3: Symbols, Not Substance 59
Chapter 4: Climate Change and Distributive Justice: Climate Change Blinders 73
Chapter 5: Punishing the Wrongdoers: A Climate Guilt Clause? 99
Chapter 6: Equality and the Case against Per Capita Permits 119
Chapter 7: Future Generations: The Debate over Discounting 144
Chapter 8: Global Welfare, Global Justice, and Climate Change 169
A Recapitulation 189
Afterword: The Copenhagen Accord 193
Notes 199
Index 219

This book has been translated into:

  • Chinese (Simplified)

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