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Paris agreement and fair shares

To meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, the global effort will need to be shared fairly between wealthier and poorer countries, and between wealthier and poorer people, according to the major study by a broad, global-cross section of civil society groups, the Civil Society Equity Review. The review provides a clear framework for calculating each country's fair share, in line with keeping under 1.5°C, and the UN Climate Convention's equity principles. Countries pledges under the Paris Agreement need to match these shares if we are to tackle the climate breakdown successfully. 


The Paris Agreement is not meeting its own goals

  • The Paris Agreement charted a new way forward, but is unfinished. 

  • It gives countries, wealthy and poorer, flexibility to determine their own contributions

  • It is so far failing to deliver the scaled-up action needed to meet its goals. 

  • The first round of contributions in 2015 place the world on track for over 3°C. 

  • This remains an unimaginable threat to human civilisation and the planet.


Efforts between countries, rich and poor, must be shared fairly

  • To increase ambition, and enhance participation, the global effort needs to be shared fairly. 

  • Each country should do its fair share based on its responsibilities for causing climate change, and its capabilities to help the world address it. 

  • Wealthy countries' fair shares include ambitious action at home, and support to help poorer countries to also undertake ambitious action.

  • Wealthy countries, unfortunately, have mostly pledged actions falling far short of their fair shares.

  • Poorer countries, on the other hand, have pledged actions generally on the same scale as their fair shares. With additional support as part of wealthy countries' fair shares, they could and need to do more. 


Efforts within countries must also be shared fairly

  • Efforts should be divided fairly among countries, and also within them. 

  • The richest 10% of the world’s population receives more than 50% of world income. 

  • They also emit more than 50% of climate pollution. 

  • The majority of these wealthy people live in wealthy countries. 

  • Their “luxury” emissions must be treated differently from the “survival” emissions of the poor.

  • The poorest half of the world receives barely 10% of global income. They emit barely 10%  of emissions. The climate and over-consumption crisis is clearly not their fault.

  • A wealthy minority must not shift burdens to poorer people in their own countries, or to poorer countries, or to future generations. 

A way forward under the Paris Agreement

  • Under the Paris Agreement each country should pledge its fair share for 1.5°C.

  • Each wealthy country should quantify the support it will provide to developing countries.

  • Each developing country should specify its needs relating to more ambitious efforts.

  • The Paris Agreement should then focus on matching support and needs.

  • Action can then be scaled up through international cooperation to implement alternatives.

  • National compacts – such as Green New Deals – can share the national efforts fairly 


Fairness can help to unlock greater ambition for 1.5°C

  • Unless countries and communities within them experience the transition to be broadly fair, there is not going to be a transition. 

  • Any truly ambitous global climate mobilisation under the Paris Agreement will require a broadly shared sense that all people and countries are doing their fair share. 

  • A fair approach will help us to address the climate crisis, and realize the major opportunities it presents to build a more just and equitable future.  


For more information see:
The Civil Society Equity Review

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