Cover Image
close this bookThe Global Greenhouse Regime. Who Pays? (UNU, 1993, 382 p.)
close this folderPart II Resource transfers
close this folder6 North-South transfer
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentObligation to pay indices
View the documentRedistribution of incremental cost
View the documentBenchmarks
View the documentUN scale of payments
View the documentFinancing mechanisms
View the documentConclusion
View the documentNotes and references


Obligation to pay indices
Redistribution of incremental cost
UN scale of payments
Financing mechanisms
Notes and references

Peter Hayes

In the previous chapter, I calculated the incremental costs to different nations and groupings of nations arising from the carbon abatement scenario and protection against sea level rise. In this chapter, I redistribute these incremental costs based on historic contribution to climate change and ability to pay. As might be expected, the North is obliged to pay substantially more than it would if it ignores its historic contribution and its greater ability to pay than the South. And unless the South's cost is reduced to its obligation-to-pay, it could pay much more than it should - from 58 to 90 per cent more according to the following analysis.

Redistribution in accordance with this indice is then compared with the pragmatic distribution rule known as the UN scale of payments, and some benchmarks. As the obligation-to-pay index does not diverge much from the UN scale of payments, the latter could be very useful in judging national claims for exemption from the former in the climate change context.

Next, I examine how the substantial funds involved might be collected, generated, and transferred by a carbon tax, traceable permits, or sale of abatement services. This analysis shows that the carbon tax and traceable permits are feasible instruments to achieve the requisite financing in the South, but that the sale of abatement services would likely only supplement the former two mechanisms. Finally, I direct the reader to a summary of the major uncertainties that affect each of these links in the logical chain presented in this analysis.