Martin Khor on Climate Equity

If you’ve been following the international climate-equity debate, you probably already know that Martin Khor, former director of the Third World Network and now head of the South Centre, has been one of the driving figures, and you will probably be familiar with his views. But concision is its own reward, and the new issue of the South Centre bulletin contains a short piece in which Khor lays out his position in a very clear, and useful, manner.

The piece, Climate Deal Needs Equity In Carbon Space, is framed as a comment on a recent conference, organized by the Tata Institute for Social Sciences and held in late June in Mumbai India. This conference, which was focused on exploring the the “carbon budgeting” approach to global burden sharing was interesting indeed — see the brief comment here. But Martin’s comments are of broader interest. Note, in particular, that he reports that [Indian Environment Minister Jairam] “Ramesh indicated that India will take the lead in the UN climate negotiations in using the carbon budget to develop the paradigm of equitable access to atmospheric space and how this is to be put into operation.”

All this may seem pretty abstract to those in, say, the US, where the Administration’s attempt to pass climate legislation has failed, and rather pathetically, but it is not. This will be a long game, and if we’re going to win it, we have to bring climate change down from the sky and reveal its implications, in people’s daily lives. This, like it or not, will take you to the land of the “equity debate.”