This article by Peter Singer, tries to tell us that Donald Trump’s reason for withdrawal from the Paris climate deal that, the accord is highly unfair to America, is not true by any means.
Peter Singer tries to look into this matter by going through certain statistics that are related to USA ane India. He tries to explain this situation by giving an example of an apple pie to be distributed among very hungry people and all of them are wanting to have a bigger slice of that Apple pie. Hence, he puts forward that in the Paris accord we are trying to divide a limited source. He compares the apple pie to the atmosphere’s pollution absorption capacity and he compares the hungry people wanting bigger slices to the countries wanting to emit larger amount of pollution.
He then even explains how we divide this apple pie between countries. By finding out the per capita share of the atmosphere’s capacity to absorb our green house gases, up to the selected date. And because the world is divided into soverign states and not by individuals, he says we have to then multiple per capita share to the total population of that country.
This methods seem to be pretty fair as there equal scale of measurement for every country. Now he brings in certain key statistics that makes Donald Trump’s claim baseless. He puts forward the statistics that America emits 15% of world’s green house gases eventhough having just 5% of the entire world population. Whereas, India having a population that is more than 17% of world’s population and emits less than 6% of world’s green house gases.
He then tries to explain that there might be some countries that might not ne needing a share that is in proportion to their population. That share might be more than they are seeking or they need.
He then tries to bring a new way for fairer division by bring the historical responsibility of the countries. He says that the country would pay according to its historical emission as to compensate for their own historical emission. And by this means, America being the highest pollution emitter, has to pay for its historical responsibility now.
He tries to bring these three principles of per capita share, need based sharing, historical responsibility. By any of these means, Donald Trump’s claim cannot be considered true enough that the accord is unfair to America.
To read the article penned by Peter Singer for the Project Syndicate, CLICK HERE