October 10, 2010

Negligence, Strict Liability, and Responsibility for Climate Change

by David Weisbach

- This paper examines the data on responsibility for climate change due to past emissions. It addresses two aspects of responsibility. First it shows that the data present a mixed picture. By some measures, developed or wealthy countries are responsible for most past emissions while on other means, responsibility is spread widely with poor countries responsible for a majority of emissions. The differences in the measurements are due two factors: whether the data uses a comprehensive measure of emissions and the extent to which the data is aggregated into regions.

Weisbach, D. (2010). "Negligence, Strict Liability, and Responsibility for Climate Change." Discussion Paper 2010-39, Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Jul 2010.