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Where equality is treating everyone the same, equity is meeting everyone where they are and getting them what they need to be successful. Án equitable approach acknowledges personal and social differences and works to promote fairness. 


This section focuses on climate debt, climate fair-shares, and the credibility gap. It looks into equity as a gateway to environmental ambition and how to prevent the undermining of equity in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.




Preventing the Undermining of Equity in the Implementation of the Paris Agreement

By Meenakshi Raman

Briefing Paper

9 pages

Learn why equity is important in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and why a failure of this will be highly disadvantageous for developing countries.


Third World Network is an independent non-profit international research and advocacy organization with a focus on issues relating to development, developing countries, and North-South affairs.  

Tags: common but differentiated responsibility, common responsibility according to respective capabilities, nationally determined contributions


Climate Justice Brief #1 - Cancún
Climate Debt

By Organizations contributing to the Climate Justice Briefs, Nov 2010

Fact Sheet 2 pages

Also available in Spanish and Arabic

This fact sheet is a basic means to convey the 'climate debt' that is owed by developed countries to developing countries. In summary, developed countries are in debt though their historical and continuing excessive emissions (preventing developing countries their fair share of atmospheric space) and for the contribution to the effects of climate change that developing countries suffer adversely. Developed countries must therefore reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2017 (Fact Sheet Date: Nov 2010) and provide technology, finance and reparations for developing countries' lost opportunities.

Tags: developing countries, developed countries, development opportunities, greenhouse gases, corporations

Climate Fairshares: Confronting the Climate Crisis Based on Justice

By Friends of the Earth, Jubilee South: Asia Pacific Movement on Debt & Development


Tags: global average temperature, emission budget, global north

This infographic explains the concept of the emissions budget and how the global 'North' and 25 major companies are responsible for a disproportionate amount of carbon emissions.
The emissions budget is the limit on how much humans can emit from their activities, the budget is less than 3,000 GTCO2E, so if we kept global emissions at their current rate of 50 gigatonnes/year, we have 14 years left of the emissions budget. 54% of historical emissions come from the global 'North' and 25% of historical emissions come from 25 polluting countries. What is required is for historical responsibility for pollution, capacity and control of wealth and technology, and ensuring the right to sustainable development

After Paris: Inequality, Fair Shares, and the Climate Emergency
“A Civil Society Science and Equity Based Assessment of the Nationally determined Contributions”

By Civil Society Review, Dec 2018

Report, 16 pages

Tags: paris agreement, 1.5C, IPCC, climate emergency

This report details the most recent data relating to Paris Agreement signatories meeting their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Equity is not a moral or academic nicety, but a practical necessity in meeting the Paris goals. When looking at climate equity and how to achieve it, the differing approaches by different regions are inherently political. The Civil Society Review rejects that equity is “too political” and “too dangerous”. Inequality between countries is a major factor of climate equity, but this report also focuses on the inequality within countries considering the rich and poor divide. Limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees celsius requires profound action in developing countries that cannot be realised without ‘meaningful levels’ of international support.

A Long-Term Global Goal: That Delivers Equity and Ambition, and Why "Net-Zero" Cannot Play a Role

By, Oct 2015

Fact sheet/article

Tags: global average temperature, net zero, carbon neutrality, food security, land rights, biodiversity

This brief explores the issues that arise when aiming for a 'net-zero' or carbon neutral goal. The most marginalised communities will suffer if arable land is 'grabbed' for establishing CO2 trapping forests, through diminished land for crop production. The burden of full decarbonisation is on developed countries.

Credibility Gap - Developed Countries and Climate Negotiations

By Africa Trade Network, Friends of the Earth,,  Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt Nord-Sud XXI, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, June 2011

Article/fact sheet

tags: credibility gap, creative accounting, emissions targets

This article states that industrialised countries are escaping their legal and moral responsibility to cut greenhouse gases due to little commitment and creative accounting thus disproportionately shifting the burden to developing countries. There are credibility gaps between what science demands and what rich countries are promising, between rich countries' legal obligations and their actions and between how much countries say they're reducing and how much they're really reducing due to 'creative accounting'. Further, developed and developing countries produce emissions and control their emissions are different rates.

Equity as the Gateway to Environment Ambition

By Martin Khor

Article, 4 pages

Tags: global eissions targets, equity principle, copenhagen accord, cancún pledges, kyoto protocol

This article explains that developing countries and developed countries should be afforded different rights and responsibilities when it comes to achieving a global reduction in climate emissions. The awareness and use of the equity principle will be a gateway for the increase of environmental ambition. Developing countries need assistance so they can meet their development needs, and in time, contribute to the global mitigation effort for reducing carbon emissions.

The Equitable Sharing of Atmospheric and Developmental Space: Some Critical Aspects

By Martin Khor, Nov 2010

Research paper, 41 pages

Tags: global emissions targets, equity principle, carbon reduction, carbon space

This research paper gives greater insight into the other Kohr 4 page text. The paper, in addition to discussing how developing countries may achieve their environment and development goals simultaneously, thoroughly discusses finance needed by developing countries as a means to mitigate carbon debt as well as to support and enable their climate actions. The main issues for the UNFCCC negotiations are mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and “shared vision”, including a long-term global goal for emission reduction.

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