Best thing on post-Durban so far, IMHO

Can I pick out one article or commentary and say that it’s the “best piece” on Durban so far?

I nominate Looking Beyond Durban: Where to from Here? by Navroz K. Dubash, a policy activist at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.  It’s short, it’s diplomatic, it’s well-informed by what other commentators have argued, and most of all its forward looking.  It focuses, that is, on the real issue, which is “Reconceptualising Climate Equity” after Durban.

You should read the whole thing, but here’s the key bit:

“A re-formulated approach to climate equity should embrace an important distinction between responsibility for an action or culpability and responsibility to respond, or a duty (Rajamani 2011b). An approach that combines attention to industrialized countries’ historical responsibility for the problem with an embrace of the responsibility to explore low carbon development trajectories is both ethically defensible and strategically wise. Ironically, our own domestic national approach of actively exploring “co-benefits” – policies that promote development while also yielding climate gains – suggests that we do take climate science seriously and have embraced responsibility as duty. However, by focusing on articulating rigid principles, rather than building on our actual policies and actions, we weaken our own position. Is accepting a responsibility (understood as duty) to explore low carbon development pathways (as part of a larger package that keeps focus on industrialised country culpability) a slippery slope towards ever more onerous commitments? The answer depends, in part, on the domestic policy and regulatory framework that India establishes to implement its chosen approach of pursuing co-benefits. If this framework is robust, leads to domestic actions that actively explore low carbon options, and to tangible carbon gains, then India is well placed to defend itself against further demand

Development without Carbon: Climate and the Global Economy through the 21st Century

Elizabeth Stanton, an economist at the Stockholm Environment Institute who is active in the Economics for Equity and Environment (the E3 Network), has done a service in Development without Carbon.  It’s a crystal-clear paper that lays out a simple framework for thinking about equitable development within a constrained emissions space — like this planet.  It’s goal, particularly, is to show that traditional economic models are not up to the job, but that the job itself remains doable.

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Kevin Anderson meets Dave Roberts

In early 2011, when I first read “the Anderson Bows paper” (the actual title of which is Beyond ‘dangerous’ climate change: emission scenarios for a new world) I did so too quickly.’s Dave Roberts, in what I shall call his “Brutal Logic Trilogy,” was a much closer reader.  His trilogy, which takes off from the paper, is published here, here, and here, and is essential reading, as is the paper itself.  Though if you’re short of time, it’s probably better to listen to this talk by Kevin Anderson, in which he presents the paper’s main conclusion and also riffs rapidly and revealingly about many of the surrounding issues.

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