A treaty satisfies what we call International Paretianism if it advances the interests of all states that join it, so that no state is made worse off. The principle might seem obvious, but it rules out nearly all the major proposals for a climate treaty, including proposals advanced by academics and by government officials. We defend International Paretianism, and for that reason urge commentators in the debate over climate justice to abandon efforts to right past wrongs, redistribute wealth, and achieve other abstract ideals through a climate treaty
"Climate change raises complex issues of science, economics, and politics; it also raises difficult issues of justice. Poor nations are especially vulnerable to rising temperatures, in part because they are poor. Wealthy nations have less at risk, in part because they are wealthy. It is both tempting and plausible to suggest that for either emissions reductions or adaptation, wealthy nations owe special obligations to poor ones. In this paper, we address this general question by focusing on a much narrower one: how should permits be allocated in a global cap-and-trade system?"
Climate change raises difficult issues of justice, particularly with respect to the distribution of burdens and benefits among poor and wealthy nations. To illuminate these issues, this paper focuses on the narrower question of how to allocate greenhouse gas emission rights within a future international cap-and-trade system. In particular, it highlights shortcomings in an approach that is often advanced on fairness grounds: a per capita allocation in which emissions permits are distributed to nations on the basis of population.