The ‘non-cooperator pays’ principle and the climate standoff

Jonathan SYMONS*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter looks at China's responsibility for climate change in a new way, basing its analysis on whether China is cooperating with other countries to solve the problem. As a measure of the point at which fairness concerns become an obstacle to cooperation, it draws on the distinction between ‘equitable CBDR’, which tilts the distribution of cooperative surplus towards certain parties, and ‘inefficient CBDR’, which allocates more than the entire net surplus of cooperation to certain parties and so strips states of their incentive to cooperate. The chapter argues that the emissions-intensity targets which China promised at Copenhagen were consistent with both equitable CBDR and a cooperative outcome. However, China's refusal to accept the targets as binding totally undermines its positive contribution, making the country a central obstacle to international cooperation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChina's responsibility for climate change : Ethics, fairness and environmental policy
EditorsPaul G. HARRIS
PublisherPolicy Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781847428141
ISBN (Print)9781847428134
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2011


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